Visit of Arles during Jeannie and Meagan's immersion stay in Provence.
Updated: 7 days ago
Hello, my name is Jeannie, my daughter’s name is Megan, and we live in North Carolina, in the United States. We had a wonderful French immersion week in Provence at Virginie’s.
Since my daughter and I love art, we told Virginie, and then she offered we tour Arles.
Arles in Provence
We will give you some information about the city, this way, you will better understand the beauty of the place and its wealth of culture.
Arles …. is the place where the Rhone delta begins: the river cuts the city in two.
Arles est la commune la plus étendue de France métropolitaine :
In the North, there are the Alpilles.
In the South, there’s the Camargue which extends to a small town called Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.
In the East, there’s the Crau.
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Arles, Touristic City
It’s a city that lives mainly from tourism. And for good reasons… It’s s a magnificent city which surprised us with its mixture of Roman and Romanesque architecture, like the amphitheater, the Alyscamps and its Saint Honorat church or the Constantine baths.
Its heritage is so important that the city is classified as “Cities and Countries of Art and History”, and these Roman and Roman monuments have been registered on the World Heritage List since 1981.
We recommend you buy a pass to visit the different monuments: it’s more economical than paying for entry to each monument. You can buy one at the tourism office, which is at the entrance to the city.
Nowadays, monuments such as the amphitheater still live thanks to events, such as the Camargue races.
Arles, Artistic Scene
Arles is also a city full of art.
The impressionist Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles for 15 months and he painted about 300 paintings there!
An impressive museum – called the Van Gogh Foundation – is dedicated to his work. A must see !
At the entrance, a fountain made of garden hose welcomes us… It’s weird and quite unique: my daughter and I wonder: “but how can someone imagine such a thing?”
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In this museum 10 works of Van Gogh, 10 works of Picasso and 10 works of Monticelli (who, despite his name, is French !) are exhibited. Apart from the 10 Van Gogh paintings that can be seen at the Foundation, no work has remained in the region.
There are opportunities for guided tours, but by reading the explanatory panels, we already learn a lot.
We learn that when we look at Picasso’s painting called “Man’s head with straw hat”, we can see common points with the work of Van Gogh: among others, the colors he used and the straw hat.
We had a good laugh when Virginie gave us her opinion on Van Gogh: “What he did, it’s ok …. But I hate it. It makes me depressed. “
There’s also another museum – called the Réattu Museum – dedicated to contemporary art. Picasso, who also visited Arles several times, gave them 57 of his drawings.
Van Gogh's Café Le Soir in Arles
Van Gogh’s Café “Le Soir” in Arles
After all these visits, we finish the walk by taking the way back. And there …. We are delighted to see the coffee that Van Gogh immortalized in his painting: The Terrace of the Café Le Soir.
Right ! In Arles, you can find a treasure around a street corner. If you like art and history, you shouldn’t miss a tour of this unique Provence city.
My name is Virginie, and I'm a French teacher. I live in the countryside of Provence, with my husband and three young children. Enjoy an authentic French immersion family homestay in Provence! (We have a pool !!)