Coming here it is worth visiting the Old Upper Town of the 13th century - the olden time charm, the «echo» of the events that took place here in ancient times will not leave you indifferent!
At the upper part of Vaison-la-Romain you can see the ruins of the fortress of XII century, the ancient narrow streets, the fountains and gloomy medieval stone buildings. But the main attractions of the city are on the opposite bank of the Ouvèze river. Be sure to visit the medieval Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth (with hidden arcades) built in XIII century, the cloister built in XII-XIII centuries, and the magnificent Castle of the counts of Toulouse (or rather the remnants of its former greatness), the chapel of Saint-Quenin.
In the so-called Roman city (divided into 2 districts - La Villasse and Puymin) inspect the Roman theatre in the open air and the old luxury villa – «du Paon». The archaeologists conducted the excavations here – now we can see the quite well preserved remains of two «Roman» city districts.
Even looking at the ruins you can get an idea of how comfortably for the residents of the ancient Roman the city was organized!
In the archaeological area the tourists can examine the finds of the scientists in the museum. The houses belonging to the Roman patricians with preserved colourful mosaics on the walls, with thermae and basil unearthed in La Villasse are also opened for seeing. And also the ancient streets paved with stone with gutters, and the rows of traders’ shops with arcade.
In Puymin district the archaeologists found several palaces, residences of «commoners», theatre and colonnade (known as «the Portico of Pompey»).
And the Ancient Theatre (Théâtre antique) today also holds about seven thousand viewers during the traditional annual July festival in Vaison-la-Romaine.
Ouvèze river separating the modern and the Old Upper Town not just once overflowed its banks causing serious damage to the city buildings. During the last large-scale flood of 1992 the part of the historical monuments of the city including the famous Roman bridge suffered.
On the Poids Square you can see the city gate built in XIV century, a bit further – the Gothic gate the chiselled wrought iron grill and a bell tower.
Do not forget to visit also the Crestet Art Centre (Crestet Centre d'Art) in Vaison-la-Romaine where on the back of the natural landscape the old sculptures, especially the statue of Vierge Noire, look very beautiful.