World-beating wine and UNESCO-listed Roman ruins are on the menu in the small city of Orange in Vaucluse.
The Theatre is one of Europe’s most spectacular Roman monuments, and you’ll be amazed by how much of this building is still in situ.
There’s an informative little museum next door, and a short walk from the centre of the town is a Triumphal Arch, noted for its three-arched design.
If you love wine you’ll have the pleasure of discovering the many domaines, caves and wineries of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, one of the strictest and most revered labels in the world.
Avignon, the Luberon and yet more Roman monuments are also within your grasp in Orange.
Lets explore the best things to do in Orange:
1. Roman Theatre
Orange’s Roman Theatre is one the great ancient sites in Europe.
There isn’t a better-preserved Roman theatre in France, or possibly the rest of the continent, and is rare because it retains its scaenae frons – the 37-metre-high stone backdrop to the stage, with niches, columns and a statue of Augustus.
The exterior facade is stunning too, an imposing stone wall with corbels at the top, and three wooden doors leading to the stage.
To this day the theatre can seat 9,000 spectators and has an expansive stage, 61 metres across.
Even now it is the atmospheric venue for the Chorégies d’Orange, an opera festival held every August since the theatre was restored in 1969.