Scent of Lavender
I cannot point to the single fact that makes Provence so special, in the same way that it's sometimes difficult to say why you love someone: is it because the way in which she walks, the light of her eyes or the sound of her laugh? No, you never know what the reason is; everything you know is that you are in love.
Surprisingly, our weakest sense, the smell, is the one that brings more vivid memories from the things that impressed us. And that's the reason why, whenever your nose gets a hit of the perfume of your loved one, you immediately remember her. And that's the reason why I cannot smell lavender without going back to Provence for a while...
The Arlaten Shows Local Ethnography
In the ArlatenMuseum are two floors of exhibits most of them arrays of cases of various materials of the life of the ordinary people of mostly the 19C. For example we see bread safes or hangers to prevent rodent loss or a double level bed for two children. There are cases of metal ends for hand tools and primitive musical instruments or obsolete ones like the serpent ( a lip vibrated horn) and even a bust of Mistral himself with a goatee.
Ancient Roman Ruins in the City of Glanum
Think of a cluster of Roman ruins situated in the middle of a Van Gogh painting.
Just outside (1 mile south) St. Remy and almost across the road from a hospital where Van Gogh attempted to convalesce, sit the ruins of the Roman city of Glanum. Approx. 2000 years old, many of the sites in Glanum are very well preserved and documented.
The area around Glanum is very beautiful and inspirational. This is a side/day-trip from Arles that is well spent. Anyone interested or fascinated by ancient history and Caesar's conquest of Gaul will love Glanum, Orange, Arles and Nimes.
Here (click below) is some good info:
Roman City of Glanum
Cloitre Saint Trophime
I think the cloitre is one of the better sights. Although it's like entering a small monastery or nunnery, there are actually authentic tapestries exhibited for public viewing.
The tapestries are quite wondrous because you actually get to see a good piece of ancient art close up.
Museon Arlaton (Folk Museum)
Open daily except on Monday (9:30am - 12pm / 2pm - 17:30 pm). Price: 4 Eur/pers. Museum dedicated to preserving and displaying everyday life objects related to Provence life (clothing, furnitures...). It's located in a 16th century house. Don't miss the instructions on how to dress properly in traditional Arles's dress.