Just 33 miles northeast of Avignon, the town of Vaison-la-Romaine is home to some of France
’s most significant archeological finds. The Ouvèze River flows through the village, creating two separate banks. On the left, a medieval town features enchanting fountains, houses built into the side of cliffs, a towering belfry, and the ruins of a 12th-century castle. On the right, the new town surrounds an ancient Roman village, complete with preserved dwellings, a theater from the 1st century C.E., and a Gallo-Roman bridge. Amid the Puymin and La Vilasse archeological sites, you’ll also find the imposing Our Lady of Nazareth Cathedral (built in the 11th and 12th centuries) and the Saint-Quenin Chapel (which an apse dating back to the 13th century). A €9 pass grants 24-hour access to all of the sites with guided tours if desired, but you can also just wander the cobblestone streets for free, discovering ancient doorways, striking facades, and hidden statues as you go.