This morning heading south, for a Roman weekend…but not in Italy in Nîmes
Rightly nicknamed Little French Rome… doubly so since its Maison Carrée has just been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it has seduced, inspired many in 2000 years: including Louis it is dismantled and rebuilt in Versailles. Fortunately for Nîmes, the architects found it in too poor a condition to be able to dismantle it and reassemble it.
What was this Maison Carrée originally intended for?
It was a temple dedicated to Caius and Lucius Caesar, the adopted grandsons of Augustus. The first Roman temple dedicated to imperial worship. And then it will cross the centuries serving as a church, a prefecture, even stables, but while remaining in an exceptional state of conservation. A miracle: that was one of the arguments for his candidacy.
Other Roman remains to discover in Nimes
Obviously the amphitheater, “the arenas” as they are called and which come to life during the traditional Roman Days in May. Arenas which are reflected today in the glass facade of the Musée de la Romanité, just opposite. And there you have a leap of 2000 years in unique antique collections. Unavoidable.
And to complete the Roman loop you just have to go to Pont du Gard…I imagine
That’s it ! Bridge which is part of the Unesco Ancient Route – the only site in France which has been selected for this route. It comes from Roman engineering, it was built with 3 rows of arches superimposed on each other… …all this to supply water to the Roman city Nemausus-Nimes – A modern city with thermal baths, fountains, running water in the rich residences, healthy streets…. …. Imagine 40,000m3 of water per day circulating from a source near Uzès to Nîmes, over 50km and that for 5 centuries!!!
The Royal Hotel in a former 19th century convent on Place d’Assas. From 90 euros per night.
NIMES TOURISM OFFICE https://nimes-tourisme.com/fr/
THE ROMANITE MUSEUM https://museedelaromanite.fr/
THE PONT DU GARD https://pontdugard.fr/fr
THE ROYAL HOTEL https://www.royalhotel-nimes.com/
The main variations? some contain egg, different ways of cooking eggplant (fried, steamed), breaded in some cases. Most often tomato sauce is added, but it is not obligatory. Cheeses: pecorino, mozzarella, scarmozza?
For 4 people
Cut the eggplants into slices or strips of approximately 1 cm / salt the slices and leave to drain for 15 minutes / dry the eggplants and lightly flour them / fry them in olive oil for 1’30 (45 seconds on each side) / cut the mozzarella into thin slices / in a gratin dish, alternate layers of eggplant and mozzarella, pouring a little tomato coulis and adding chopped basil / sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 30′ at 200°