Superb 2,000-year-old Roman theatre
www.orange-tourisme.fr. Derived from the flourishing Roman city of Arausio, not the citrus fruit, the name of Orange has spread far and wide from California, to South Africa and the Northern Irish protestant movement.
The great draw today is the 2,000 year-old Théâtre Antique. The only Roman theatre with its stage still intact and superb acoustics which permitted an audience of around 8,000 to hear every word, it is a beauty. After an unsavoury interlude as a Revolutionary prison, the theatre was a setting for classical productions starring Sarah Bernhardt amongst others, and now hosts annual choral spectaculars, Les Chorégies, www.theatre-antique.com. Joint tickets include the assorted local history exhibits in the Musée d’Orange. At the northern entrance to the town, an intricately carved Roman Arc de Triomphe commemorates the exploits of Julius Caesar and the Second Legion, who were Arausio’s early settlers.