The Good Life- Why Provence

After Paris is Provence.  There is an air of true enjoyment here- it is The Good Life personified. People take time to live here in Provence, nothing is rushed.


Aix-en-Provence, a sunny, lively, artistic city known from early Roman times for thermal hot springs, grew majestically into the scholarly, delightful, historic beauty that it is today. A short drive from the Mediterranean Sea, the climate is warm, sunny and welcoming. It is known by the French as Little Paris. Explore the Old Town- dating from 123 BC- there are a few Roman ruins left- and immerse yourself in the glory of Aix. From the modern “Thermes Sextius” (water based spa) - still in the original spot as the Roman baths to the ultra-modern new symphony Hall, Aix has centuries of treasures waiting to be discovered. Stroll the majestic Cours Mirabeau, the Quartier Mazarin and the tree lined squares. Stop in a local café for a refreshing aperitif and people watch- a favorite French pastime. Bathe yourself in the buttery sunlight- so sought after by artists- you will be amazed by just being there. Shop the many brand names and local stores- they have everything here!


Tuesday and Thursday are the bigger market days-with Saturday being the biggest of the week. Merchants, farmers, crafts people, cheese makers, meat vendors, olive & olive oil vendors, chicken roasters, soap makers, lavender farmers all pack in around 7:00 am and will be gone by 1:00pm. The markets of Aix are the most amazing in Provence- pick up some fruit, wine, olives, cheese and fresh baguette and have a picnic. Don’t forget the dessert- Aix has pastry shops galore, the most renowned being Bechard, on the Cours Mirabeau but it is extremely difficult to find one that is not amazing. Just peer in the windows to see the splendid selections. Right now Aix is undergoing major renovations- the original market place is being repurposed as an underground parking and that has spread the markets out.The parking is finished but the markets still remain in remote locations.

Aix has much more to offer than just food and wine, although the Rosé of Provence is well known- you can find excellent local red and white wines as well.


(this information subject to change-my next trip is Jan 2022 due to Covid)

Music- two large events each year

    Festival d Aix-en-Provence-late June and July

    Musique dans la Rue- street events in June- a really lively night

Dance- Ballet Preljocaj calls Aix home since 1996

Museums & Libraries

    Museum of Old Aix- history & heritage of Provence

    Natural History Museum- dinosaurs, local natural history

    Tapestry Museum- in Archbishops Palace- collection from 17th C

    Musée Paul Arbaud- pottery

    Granet Museum- painting, sculpture and archeology of Aix (Ingres, Cezanne

    Van Dyck, Giacometti etc)

    Pavillion Vendome-17th C mansion housing art exhibits

    Hotel de Caumont-fully restored mansion from 18th C with major art exhibits 

    Vasarely Foundation- outside of Aix, dedicated to Victor Vasarely

    Cezannes Studio- as the artist left it: his home and studio

    Jas de Bouffan- Cezanne’s childhood home- now partially open to public

    Cité du livre- media space for dance, cinema and music - library

Mt Sainte-Victoire- Cezanne’s favourite subject- a short trip from town and visible from

     Aix- at least from the rooftop of our hotel.

Markets- Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are market days with Saturday being the

    biggest and most lively. Food, wine, clothing, breads, chocolates, silver, antiques, cloth,       local crafts, soaps, pottery, roasted chickens, cheese, hats, handbags, old books,

    antiques, jewelry, shoes: the big market day has it all.  There is always a "petite  

    marché" every day of the week for  food essentials - just behind the old "corn

    exchange"- and now the post office in the Place Richelme.

World Class Name Brand Stores- Aix has many of the popular boutiques and chain stores- classical and new for every budget- like Longchamps, Lancel, Paraboots, Sephora, Monoprix, Gap, FNAC, Kookai, NafNaf, Promod and hundreds of unique local boutiques. And even Bobbi Brown and MAC cosmetics. 





Need information?

Phone: +1 778 996 7581



Want to know how to thrive while in France? Click on the "CONTACT US " tab and fill out the form FOR A FREE EBOOK with 101 tips and tricks on how to survive France. Everything is different there- culture trumps experience.

Example: order a coffee and you get an espresso. Order a martini and you get vermouth.  Want to go to a Museum on Tuesday? Check that because most are closed. It is just the way things are in France! And now with the pandemic slowly grinding to a halt, many other things have changed. 

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