Travel

All about Arles

Author: Elle Canada

Travel

All about Arles

 

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All about Arles

Reason to visit #1: It's gorgeous

The city’s streets spiral out from a magnificent Roman amphitheatre. Wandering along the cobbled byways is like following a really large meditation maze – if your Zen involves stopping for aperitifs in one of the buzzing squares, snapping endless Instagram-worthy details and impulsively going through half-open doors just to see what’s behind them. (The odds are it’ll be worth it.) BONUS: Van Gogh lived in Arles, so the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles offers a walking tour of spots that inspired his most iconic images. GALLERY: The best travel gift ideas

Image by: ELLECanada.com By: Sarah Laing Source: Handout

All about Arles

Reason to vist #2: It’s home to legendary ladies

This town’s women are reputedly so extraordin­ary that they have spawned the legend of the Arlésienne: a mythical creature whose beauty is so great it can never quite be captured, almost like a fragrance left behind after someone has left the room. BONUS: Spend a night at Hôtel Jules César, where the colourful decor created by native Arlesian designer Christian Lacroix (no big deal) and attentive service are worthy of a creature of myth, such as yourself. GALLERY: Kenya's poshest safari hideaway

Image by: ELLECanada.com By: Sarah Laing Source: Handout

All about Arles

Reason to visit #3: It's got a signature scent

It has scored its own fragrance Olivier Baussan, founder of L’Occitane, has channelled his long-time love of the city he considers the true capital of Provence into a fragrance. Hoping to distill the alluring spirit of Arlesian women, Baussan created the scent with three main notes: graceful rose, playful saffron and mysterious violet. “There is something special in Arles,” says Baussan. “Because of the legend, there’s this expectation: People are always hoping to catch the trail of the ‘Arlésienne.’” Bonus: The bottle celebrates the city’s artisan-fabric-making tradition. Pick up a vibrant traditionally printed scarf at Souleiado boutique; they’ll even teach you how to tie it like a Frenchwoman. ELLE interview: L'Occitane founder Olivier Baussan on his passion for Provence

Image by: ELLECanada.com By: Sarah Laing Source: L'Occitane

All about Arles

Reason to visit #4: It hosts an amazing photo festival

If the idea of a David Bailey exhibit (hey, Kate Moss!) mounted inside an old Catholic church appeals, you’ll love Rencontre d’Arles, the city’s annual photography festival. Over the summer months, groundbreaking visual art finds a home in the city’s historic spaces. As outgoing director François Hébel describes it: “Having the festival in Arles creates dialogue like nowhere else because it’s a village. It’s like being a beautiful little theatre filled with living people, and you have time to talk together and meet people you wouldn’t meet otherwise.” BONUS: Not in town for the festival? Take in the fine-arts museum, Musée Réattu, home to its own impressive photography collection (the first in a French museum, in fact!). GALLERY: Live the uber luxe life in Dubai

Image by: ELLECanada.com By: Sarah Laing Source: Handout
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All about Arles