Sunday, May 17, 2009

‘Roman France’


Great travel piece in the Times today by Elaine Sciolino:

Over the years, I have discovered traces of Roman civilization throughout the country, from Arras in the north to Dijon in the center and Fréjus in the south. My hunt for Roman Gaul has turned up treasures in the oddest places, including the middle of wheat fields, the foundations of churches and the basements of dusty provincial museums.

Then I asked Patrick Périn, the director of the Musée des Antiquités Nationales just west of Paris, which houses the country’s finest Gallo-Roman collection, the best way to explore Roman France. He said he had two words for me: “Go south.”

Set aside for a moment images of Provence’s lavender fields, the Riviera’s beaches and Marseille’s bouillabaisse. The southeastern swath of the country seems as crammed with ancient Rome as Rome itself: temples, theaters, amphitheaters, aqueducts, roads, arches, monuments, mosaics and every sort of object from daily life.

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