There is an atmosphere of the South in Saintes maybe due to the tiles covering the white houses or the plane trees? Unless it is due to the roman arenas (although it is now a bullfighting arena!) ? Its inhabitants like to perpetuate this illusion since they were called the Santons! It is nevertheless a lovable city with a pleasant city centre, a superb roman abbey, and roman it remains... It is hard to resist the appeal of the capital of the Saintonge region.