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The Roman Amphitheatre at Arles, Bouches-du-Rhone

The Roman Amphitheatre, Arles

Arles sits on a low hill between the two branches of the Rhône river; somehow the river isolates the city from the outside world and helps it keep its medieval character. It was one of the richest cities of the Roman empire; there are many ancient buildings mixed in with the more modern and it's a place to explore on foot to enjoy the atmosphere.

Sadly, Arles, like Nîmes, still holds bullfights in its Roman arena, and these are Spanish style corridas where the bull is maimed and then killed, not the bloodless alternatives more common in France where the matador has to retrieve a rose placed between the bull's horns, or something similar. 'Course Camarguaise' is the local name for this sanitised version of the spectacle.

While you're here, make sure you take a horse ride in the nearby Camargue to see the wildlife, including the black bulls some of whom are destined for a slow and agonising death in the arena.

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