Fun in Fréjus

Frejus maquette N down

Diorama of Roman-period buildings in what is now Fréjus, known then as Forum Julii. Note the amphitheater (43.43438,6.72883), locally called the Arènes, and theater (43.43695,6.73811)—both survive. I’m standing on the “north” side, so you may consider this view “upside down.”

Frejus church tower market

As is common in these parts, the medieval town of Fréjus is atop the Roman town. Here, though, archaeologists have had more of a chance than normal to delve into the Roman remains. Check out the boat basin (43.43122,6.74033), the economic hub of the community. It was silted in within centuries after the Romans faded from France, but, since it’s still low-lying, is now mostly open land, and almost perfectly bisected by a RR grade. A portion of a city gate/wall survives at the edge of it.

We enjoyed the hustle-bustle of market day, and I certainly wished I had a kitchen to retire to, and could justify buying the fine fish, cauliflower, fruits, and more that vendors offered in enticing displays on the west side of the church—but not in the plaza to the south (don’t know why).

Frejus perfume containers museum

We very much enjoyed the small, high-quality archaeological museum, tucked around the north side of the church. These elegant perfume bottles testify to the fine-points of the Roman toilette, if you could afford such.

I consider Fréjus a lucky stop for us. We left our morning B&B in rain, drove in rain, but Fréjus was clear and even sunny. After we got back on the highway, we went through more rain. Lucky us, it was clear and sunny again by the time we got to our “new” B&B, where we’ll be for days. And nights.

We’re indulging here, and have paid for half-board, which means we go to dinner, four courses, just downstairs. Wine extra (duh!). Tonight: beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan, fresh basil and petit salade; fruits de mer (steamed or simply cooked fish, five kinds, one prawn) with lemon couscous served in a cream sauce that couldn’t be topped; fromage assortment; and sherbet trio (melon, red we couldn’t figure out, third I never figured out—all delicate and delicious) in a baked bowl made from two squares of filo, making a crunchy complement to the sherbet and two raspberries.