Cotes du Rhone and Orange

Rick Steves has been a very helpful traveling companion on this trip.  One day we followed his suggested tour of the Cotes du Rhone wine road.  We didn’t buy any wine or tour any wineries, but we did enjoy seeing the vineyards along the beautiful drive.  We stopped at two little stone villages, Seguret and Crestet,  that were almost too pretty to be true.

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I have always loved stone, so this part of France makes me very happy! And what about those skies?

After lunch we went to Orange, which is notable for its amazing Roman Theater.  We thoroughly enjoyed our audio-guided tour of this site.  It’s not to be missed if you are ever in the area.

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This stage has been put back together after much destruction by various haters.  It is 37 meters high and provides amazing acoustics.  Originally it had 72 columns, as well as frescos and statuary.  The big statue of the emperor in the center had a removable head, so that the reigning ruler’s likeness could be added to the existing body.  That probably explains why they never had a female emperor.  The exterior of this wall looks completely intact, and was described by Louis XIV as “the finest wall in my kingdom”.

There were times that the Roman calendar contained 180 theater days, when everyone went to the theater for productions that frequently lasted the entire day.  The productions were free, and every stratum of society attended and sat in its designated part of the theater.  Slaves and prostitutes sat in the highest seats, and the importance of the spectators increased as the seats descended toward the stage.  Walls separated the sections, so that the classes were never required to mix.

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Here is the link to this site if you want to read more about it and see better pictures.  It really was impressive.

The theater is still used today.  Wouldn’t it be cool to watch an opera there?

I hope you all are having a good week!

5 Comments

Filed under Provence, travel, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Cotes du Rhone and Orange

  1. Martha E

    You should try to see an opera in a Roman amphitheater. Years ago, I saw Aida complete with live elephants at the amphitheater in Verona, Italy. Amazing!
    Last year, I toured the beautifully intact amphitheater in Pula, Croatia and they were preparing it for an ice hockey game! I suppose it was good for the local economy.

    Next time, I am in Paris, an opera at the opulent Palais Garnier is top on my list.

  2. Looks for the world like Tuscany! Love it!

  3. Lynn

    Did one of you climb or walk to the top while the other stayed below and then spoke so you could hear the perfect acoustics? it is an amazing place.
    I would love to hear a rock concert which they do hold there.

  4. Laura

    It’s hard to say which one of your days is the best as they all are so fantastic. We did have dinner at Bistro Provence tonight and thought of you.

Hollah back y'all!

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