Favorite thing: One nice thing about exploring Aix is that many of the sites of interest are marked with signs that explain important events, buildings, fountains, etc. Although in French, I was able to get a lot of information from these.
2, place du Général de Gaulle BP 160
13605 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 1
- Tel.: (+33) (0)4 42 16 11 61
- Fax: (+33) (0)4 42 16 11 62
- E. mail: email@example.com
- Internet: www.aixenprovencetourism.com
De La Rotonde is the most beautiful place to spend time with friends and family having typically french lunch, watching beauties whole day long. Dressing scene of this town is one of the best in the France
Fondest memory: Calm comfortable life, skydiving n friends
I am putting this in General Tips because I am out of travelogue space.
Long before 9/11, Aix has had a lot of bomb scares. In fact sometimes they turn out to be real. While I lived there my post office at the Rotonde was bombed and just before that one of the cafes on the Cours was hit. While visiting there this last time in 2006, all on the same day, there were several bomb alerts as reported in the paper. I think, just as in New York, people have become a bit immune to them and so it was not uncommon to find them standing around the area watching as the police investigated. Finally it was cordonned off so we could only watch from a distance. Then we were told to leave.
To my knowledge, no one has ever been injured.
If you look at a map of the city centre, you'll find the oldest, medieval part of the town lies between the ring road and the cours Mirabeau. This road and the "cours" used to be the place where the walls of the town stood for protection. On the other side of the "cours", stands the "Quartier Mazarin" all built in the 18th century.
If you really want to enjoy the architectural variety, pay attention to details, sculpted wooden doors, look up at the walls where you'll notice many statues.
More photos on the travelogue pages.
Favorite thing: Aix en provence hosts many beautifully sculpted fountains. It could be a nice idea to stroll along the streets with this idea in mind, looking for the fountains. I'll give a couple of pictures in my travelogue page.
All year round, you can have a drink at a café on the "Cours Mirabeau". It is a wide and famous avenue a bit like the Champs Elysées in Paris, only smaller, of course.
In the summer, your are confortably settled under 4 rows of planetrees. In the winter, you can still sit outside because the terraces are heated with outside infrared heaters.
For guys(!) : Aix has been elected the sexiest french town a few years ago. Sitting and looking from one of these cafés is certainly a nice place to enjoy the sight of beautiful ladies !!!!! ;-))
avignon is a pleasant little town that is probably best known as being the temporary home of the pope during the 14th century. it is a relatively short drive from aix.
a walk through the palais des papes and the surrounding gardens is a worthwhile investment of time. the more touristy little train ride looked little more exciting than horse riding in the local supermarket though.
a stroll through the alleyways in the town below is also quite pleasant with some nice old buildings and squares.
Favorite thing: In her book "Map of Another Place" MFK Fisher writes about visiting the fountains of Aix. The town is known for its healing waters, and thus there are pretty fountains all over town. My favorite was the fountain of the four dolphins in the Mazarin quarter.
The Vasarely Foundation, an architectural structure, designed by the artist himself, is also a work af art in itself.
The building consists of 16 hexagonal volumes, with which Vasarely succeeds in creating an optical effect, that is reïnforced by the speed you drive by at in your car. The Foundation shows an exhibition of architectural art, where especially the colours and optical effects caught our eye. According to Victor Vasarely, artists must strive to integrate Art within architecture.
Vacqueyras is one of the better winemaking villages, which is located northeast of Chateaunuef-Du-Pape
in the southern portion of France's Rhone region. We did some tasting at the 'Caveau des Dentelles de Montmirail': They have a nice selection - Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Sablet and Beaumes de Venise.
Place de l'Eglise - 84190 Vacqueyras - 04 90 65 86 62
The Provence Tourist Guide
Provence - Beyond the French Riviera
Keep following those little brass plaques in the street...go up to the Atelier Cezanne just to the north of the city. This is where the great artist, obsessor of the mountain, astonisher of Paris with his apples (his words, not mine), would work. The studio was built in 1902 on Les Lauves (the hill) and was the creative home of the "new art" of which Cezanne liked to call himself the primitive. He died in 1906 of pleurisy. It was later bought by Marcel Provence, and preserved, and then given to the University of Aix-Marseille (my former employers). In 1955, Marilyn Monroe of all people visited, and wrote in the visitors book, "a wonderful visit". She crossed out, "boo-boo-be-doop". Now the studio is owned by the City.
It's address is: Atelier Paul Cezanne,
9, Avenue Pauk Cezanne
tel: 04 42 21 06 53
Favorite thing: Here's a view of one of the four dolphins to be found in the heart of the Mazarin Quarter. I know that they don't look all that much like dolphins, but they had a different idea of things in the olden days.
The Office de Tourisme at the Rotonde offers a whole host of delightful little tours, mostly walking tours of Aix but also some visits to other parts of Provence. The guided Aix tours start at 4€ for the small hour long walks to 8€ for the more detailed "visites decouvertes".
For further details, contact the Tourist Office on 04 42 16 11 65, or try this site: