Aix-en-Provence city in France
Rotunda fountain at Aix-en-Provence, France
Mont Sainte Victoire in Provence, France
Church in Aix-en-Provence
Cour d'appel d'Aix-en-Provence Palace of Justice of Aix-en-Prove
Pavilion Vendome (circa 1667). Aix-en-Provence, France
France, Bouches-du-Rhône (13), Pays d'Aix, carrières de Bibémus
The water and art of the south
This town of honey-colored walls is a doorway to Provence that immerses you in the gentle south. A historic city, Aix-en-Provence has travelled across the world through Cézanne’s paintings, for which it has been an incredibly rich source of inspiration. And with good reason! Just take a stroll in the heart of the city to marvel at its Baroque architecture, its many fountains, its seductive terraces and its gentle ambiance. Take a tour of the capital of Provence in just a few days!
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Set off from the Fontaine de la Rotonde, one of the many fountains you will come across in a town sprayed throughout with water. Head to Cours Mirabeau, where you can enjoy a coffee break at one of the many surrounding terraces. Next, walk along the Rue de l’Opera, before entering Old Aix through the streets leading to the Palais de Justice and Palais Montclar. After lunch in the heart of Old Aix, take Rue Espariat to reach Place d’Albertas, one of the wonders of Aix’s historic centre. Cross the town hall square to admire the Archbishop’s Palace where you can visit the Tapestries Museum. Don’t miss the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral, its cloister and fabulous Burning Bush Triptych, before spending the evening on Rue de la la Verrerie.
On this second day, head to Pavillon de Vendôme, an 18th century bastide surrounded by an inviting French formal garden that is ideal for walks. If the weather isn’t suitable for an outdoor visit, enjoy a well-being break in the nearby ancient establishment, Termes Sextius. After lunch in the old centre, head down through the narrow streets of the Mazarin quarter and stop at the Granet Museum which features, among other things, some of the works of Cézanne and twentieth century masterpieces from the Jean Planque collection. The Caumont Art Centre demands a visit inside what is a beautiful old hotel. In the evening, continue your walk towards the Sextius Mirabeau district to admire the finely-lit buildings of the Grand Théâtre de Provence, the Conservatoire Darius-Milhaud and the Pavilion Noir.
MyTripTailor Tip: Sextius Mirabeau has a limited choice of restaurants so, once you have explored the quarter, return to Old Aix for dinner.
Head to Place de la Rotonde to take one of the regular buses that serve the three major locations marked by Cézanne: his studio, his Jas de Bouffan residence and his favorite location, Carrières de Bibémus, with its strange, colourful and inspiring rocks. Lovers of contemporary art, should stay in the area to visit the Fondation Vasarely, dedicated to the memory of an artist considered the forefather of Op Art. The more sporty could enjoy an afternoon walk on the Sainte-Victoire mountain, another subject of Cezanne’s paintings. Those lacking the time or motivation for a hike could go by car.
MyTripTailor Tip: End this Cezanne themed day with dinner at the Les Deux Garçons brasserie that the painter sometimes attended in the company of the writer Emile Zola.
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