Les Plaines Roman Bridge
A small twin-arched stone Roman bridge sits out on the plains of the Var departement, near a road leading from the A8 autoroute to the popular summertime resort of Saint Tropez. The old stone bridge crosses a small stream that divides a land of solid rock and wide, green vineyards.
The 2000-year-old bridge is fairly short, 20 m from end to broken end, but an otherwise nicely intact double-arched stone structure. The little river is pretty dry in the summer; there were some small pools of water and a few spots of damp mud in July.
The Beyond countryside here is wide and open, with forested hills in the near distance, very rocky terrane, wide swaths of vineyards and easily-recognizable umbrella pines (pins parasols).
Standing on the rocky slope at the east side of the bridge can give you a time-shift feeling, with the Roman road and bridge at your feet and just beyond a modern road full of traffic heading for the beaches and yachts of a modern resort. There's also the sense that the thousands of people rushing by are oblivious to an ancient treasure — probably most don't really care.
There is more than just a bridge here. With a bit of looking around and some deduction, you can work our where the ancient road came westward over the rocky hill, turned sharply right (north) for a couple of hundred metres, then turned sharply left to cross the bridge. A long square-angled trench is cut through the rock along the side of the ancient roadway, probably for the rainwater coming down across the stone.
The location is near the hamlet of Les Plaines, just southeast of the junction of the D48 road with the D558 road from the A8 autoroute towards La Garde-Freinet and St Tropez. Latitude, Longitude: 43.358133, 6.394008