Friday September 7 Rendez-vous at Gare TGV, Avignon at 4pm. Drive to Uzès. Welcome dinner at 4 rue de la Grande Bourgade, our home for the week.
Saturday, September 8 Morning free to visit the 'grand' open air market in the Place aux Herbes. Lunch* and afternoon are open to explore the town's historic past, from Roman times to the present. A detailed map allows you to find your way through streets filled with charming shops and cafes. An informal cooking class precedes dinner.
Sunday, September 9 Morning drive to the Gallo-Roman town of Arles to see its newly restored Roman Ampitheatre, the Baths of Constantine and small museums. You can stroll the banks of the Rhone, visit the site of Vincent van Gogh's Maison Jaune and the new Van Gogh Museum. After a special mid-day lunch we drive back to Uzès, stopping at Mas des Tourelles in Beaucaire, a modern winery located on the excavated site of a Gallo-Roman cave. We will compare ancient and modern winemaking methods and taste recent vintages with recreations of wine in the Roman style. Dinner* is open in Uzes that evening.
Monday, September 10 We trace the route of an engineering masterpiece: the Roman aqueduct that began in Uzès, and reached its full expression at the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO world heritage site. There will be time to walk both the bridge and the newly accessible water course level. A remarkable museum in the visitor's center details how the Pont was sited, constructed and maintained. Then on the aquaduct's final destination, the ancient Gallo-Roman city of Nîmes for a late lunch*. This city is home to the best preserved Roman temple in France, the Maison Carré and Les Arenes, a Roman Ampitheatre where an audioguide will introduce you to gladiatorial spectacles in vivid detail. We return to Uzès, for dinner in a local restaurant.
Tuesday, September 11 Our day is devoted to understanding the meaning of 'terroir'. We'll visit local producers of wine, olive oil and goat cheese, tour their operations and taste their products. We stop for lunch* between stops in Uzès. That evening we dine in a local restaurant.
Wednesday, September 12 The producers market in the Place aux Herbes is our morning destination. Lunch* and early afternoon are open to continue exploring the town. There's a cooking class in the late afternoon followed by dinner at home.