Roman amphitheater Arles
The Provençal countryside is well-known throughout the world for lavendar fields, vineyards, & gastronomy. On our trip, we centrally located ourselves in Arles. Arles is an ancient town, having been established by the Greeks & then taken over by the Romans. There are several Roman ruins to visit while in Arles: the amphitheater and Constantine's thermal bathes are among these ruins.
Bull fights are conducted in the Roman amphitheater, including Provencal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter, Arles also holds a Spanish-style corrida (in which the bull is killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.
Arles made an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888.
He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including the Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the infamous ear-severing incident in December 1888. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889 he took the hint and left Arles for the asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. (excerpt taken from Wikipedia)
In honor of Vincent van Gogh (please note that this is not his tombstone)