We visited a couple of towns, Vienne and Arles, which were built up, layer upon layer, from roman ruins.

White stone from Roman ruins used as the foundation of a church built centuries later.  Can you see the Roman writing on the one at the bottom?
In Vienne, instead of leveling the temple, they just added to it and turned it into a church, which is why it is so well preserved.  They are now restoring it to its original state.

Both towns have colliseums and amphitheatres that are still in use today. 

In addition, there are streets filled with houses representing just about every century.  These very same historic buildings might have a Starbucks or a Subway sandwich shop on their ground floor.  I found it to be somewhat surreal, but it got me to thinkin'. 

When I was in school, stories about the Romans seemed about as real as our lessons in Greek mythology.  But just imagine, if you were a kid growing up in Vienne or Arles --  a kid who walked past an honest-to-goodness temple or amphitheatre each day on the way to school --  how very different your perspective might be!

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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5