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What to see and do in Orange The Roman Museum in Orange Across the road from the Roman theatre is the Museum of Art and History. It's a great little museum located in a 17th century mansion with an eclectic collection and a very famous map. In France a cadastral plan is a map that shows property in a village or town. In Roman times it was the same and amazingly fragments of a cadastre of Orange has survived. Quite how anyone could put all these tiny fragments together to come up with a map is beyond me, it must have been like doing the hardest jigsaw in the world with loads of missing pieces. It's enormous and seeing it hanging on the wall makes you realise just how amazingly advanced the Romans were. Entry to the museum is free and on a warm day, it’s cool inside. The Roman Triumphal Arch of Orange A short distance from the theatre is yet another souvenir of the Romans - a grand triumphal arch which, until recently, was a place that cars drove though (it really doesn’t bear thinking about). Incredibly this vast, ancient monument has managed to withstand the pollution, the vibration of traffic hurtling by and has not been ostensibly harmed by having a road run right through the middle. Thankfully the authorities have seen sense and have begun a programme of preservation, placing the arch in the centre of a roundabout and directing traffic around it as well as creating a way for visitors to get close to it as it deserves.
The inside track The centre of Orange is an easy place to get around on foot with plenty of shops, restaurants and places to while away hours in the sun. Orange is more than its Roman legacy, the town is lovely too and great for spending a day relaxing, spoiling yourself with fabulous food and enjoying sitting in the sun watching the world go by. It makes for a great base in Provence. Wine and dine in Orange The pretty town centre has lots of choice for eating out… Locals love: If you’re looking for somewhere fabulous for lunch or dinner, you can’t do better than La Grotte, built into the Roman wall of the theatre! It’s popular with the artists who perform at the theatre and will the locals who love the ambiance, the menu and the friendly service. www. restaurant-orange.fr Ice Ice Baby: in this sunny place an ice cream is always a good idea. Head to Regal Tendance (1 Rue Madeleine Roch) by the theatre for the best glaces in town. In summer lavender flavour is de rigeur and in winter the chocolate ice cream is delish. The maker uses spices like pepper and ginger to give a unique and utterly scrumptious taste. The flavours change regularly according to the seasons but if they have the Baladine Irlandaise flavour when you visit, don't miss it, a whisky and marmalade ice cream that's utterly delectable.
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