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Vaison-la-RomaineVaison-la-Romaine can be viewed as twoseparate towns - the lower, modern andmore commercial town, and the upper oldtown across the Ouveze river. Both parts areworth exploring. It’s especially nice in theearly Fall when the weather is mild and thesurrounding wine-growing region hums withharvest activity.Start your morning with a café crème andcroissant at a local cafe in the “modern” partof town before touring the exceptionalRoman ruins. Unless your visit coincideswith the peak tourist season, you are likelyto have these ruins almost to yourself, anextraordinary experience, rarely replicatedat other Roman sites of this stature andimportance. The two “quarters” - Quartierde Puymin and Quartier de la Villasse willallow you to imagine life in the 1st centuryAD. The large urban dwelling, the house ofApollon Laure, undoubtedly a very wealthyresident, with its atrium, library, receptionhall and private bath contrasts with the otherresidential area featuring “homes to rent” forless affluent citizens. The Quartier de laVillasse, with its colonnaded streets, shopsand baths provides an intimate view ofcommercial and social life in the Roman era.Don’t miss the Peacock Villa with its recentlyexcavated mosaics.From the Quartier de la Villasse, cross theRoman bridge and climb to the Medievalupper town. The walk is a bit strenuous butyou’ll be rewarded by shady squares,picturesque, narrow streets and, if you makeit to the top, a breath-taking view of MontVentoux.
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