They may not actually throw the Christians to the lions these days, but they do stage a decent historical re-creation of the Roman games in the impressive Roman arena at Nîmes (30 Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon) 29 April – 1 May 2017
Discover the biggest living history event in the south of France. Roman legionnaires, Celts, the Imperial Court, auxiliaries, cavalrymen and war chariots will all be there for this great celebration of Roman civilization….
Nîmes became a colony under Latin Law and was ornamented with sumptuous monuments. It reached its peak in the second century AD. Successive invasions and then the arrival of the Visigoths in the fifth century put an end to its prosperity.
The local wine is Costières de Nîmes, which is the most southerly of the Côtes du Rhône appellations – see our article on Nimes and its Costieres
1-5 June 2017 – Feria de Pentecôte
One of the largest festive events in France, in which opinions, thinking, beliefs and tastes are mingled. The city changes, acquires a joyful atmosphere and resounds with the sounds of the arena and music played by bands in the street. Large paintings are displayed along the boulevards. The first Féria was held in Nîmes from 30 May to 2 June 1952 and the event has developed ever since. But what is the Féria ? It is six days of festivities at Whitsun and three days in September with bullfights in the arena and abrivados and bandidos with local bulls. You can walk around and listen to peñas (small brass bands), dance the ‘Sévillane’ in the bodegas until late at night, eat paella in a Camargue or Seville style village, go to concerts, watch water-jousting in the Canal de la Fontaine, enjoy the evening market, attend mass in Provencal in the cathedral and watch the Pégoulade, the opening procession at the Whitsun Féria
In Summer, 20 June – 21 July 2017 Nîmes is home to an important music festival – Festival de Nîmes – This year, the Nîmes Arenas are once again the venue for a program of events to match their splendour with Pharrell Williams, Johnny Hallyday, Lenny Kravitz, Toto, Santana, Lionel Richie, Sting, Joan Baez, Black M, Soprano… and many others in the offing!
Best rates for Hotels , B&B and apartments in Nîmes including self-catering at the Appart’Hotel Odalys Le Cheval Blanc in the historic heart of Nîmes, opposite the Roman Arena and a 5-minute walk from Nîmes Train Station
Then there is the Magic of Water Festival (Féerie des eaux)
12-14 August 2016 – a star summer event , the Magic of Water adds wonder to the enchantment of the Jardins de la Fontaine with fountains of light, fireworks, music, etc.
Four days of events during the day and shows in the evening centred on a magnificent water theatre. – see www.ot-nimes.fr