National Geographic : 1967 Jun
around Frejus, turning it into one of the most typical Roman cities outside Italy. Since those days the sea has receded more than half a mile, and I found it difficult to visualize Frejus in the days of its maritime glory. Cows graze on a grassy meadow which once was the harbor. Yet 25,000 people lived here, supplied with fresh water brought by an aqueduct 25 miles long. Citizens enjoyed mar ble baths complete with steam rooms and massage attendants. They were entertained in the first amphitheater erected in Gaul, and rode in chariots to the beach, where a holiday suburb took form. Now Frejus's suburb has grown into a re sort community unique on the Riviera. In St. Raphael I found myself among elderly cou ples looking in shopwindows or gazing se renely out over the water. "My wife and I rent an apartment for two 818 or three months a year," a vieux monsieur told me. I sat by him on a bench, and despite the sun he wore a dark suit, high-lace shoes, and a felt hat, as though he had just left an of fice. "Many are like us, from all of northern France-lawyers, doctors, merchants. Not rich, not poor. We don't want the crowds or the night clubs of other towns along the coast. St. Raphael is a quiet backwater." Staid Resort Envies the Bikini Set But even this Gallic version of Florida's St. Petersburg is changing in the Riviera boom. A red-cement promenade lined by restaurants, bars, and what-not shops has been built along a beach of imported sand. St. Raphael, no longer content to be an ample matron, now wishes to slenderize and, like St. Tropez, parade as a glamour girl in a bikini. As I followed the shore eastward out of St.