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Considered by many to be a less conceited and cleaner version of France’s renowned capital, the sleek and sophisticated city of Aix-En-Provence offers an intriguing image of crumbling affluence and gorgeous grandeur. In this Provencal town, magnificent mansions line leafy boulevards and impeccably chic coffee shops decorate every street corner. The birthplace of artistic pioneers such as Paul Cezanne and Emile Zola, Aix-En-Provence is a place designed for soaking in the palpable cultural heritage that pulsates from every avenue.
Begin your Provencal exploration with a serene stroll around what is undoubtedly Aix-En-Provences most sleek and sophisticated neighborhood; in the Cours Mirabeau, sparkling fountains are ubiquitous and pavement cafes are populated by fashionable French intellectuals discussing current events. Continue to feast your eyes upon examples of classical architectural splendor at the Aix Cathedral and the Eglise Saint-Jean-de-Malle, exquisite ecclesiastical structures that provide peaceful refuge from the chattering city.
When it comes to museums, Aix-En-Provence truly excels; as their national treasure is venerated artist Paul Cezanne, visitors can enjoy many attractions dedicated to the painting pioneer. The Cezanne Trail gives visitors an insight into the places he frequented, while the Atelier Paul Cezanne, allows fans access into his hilltop studio, affording fantastic views and painstaking preservation. Continue your artistic odyssey with a visit to the city’s most impressive museum; Musee Granet boast captivating collections of art that straddles the 16th and 20th century, featuring work from some of the most influential artists ever to have existed.
For fabulous French fare that will leave your taste buds tingling, delve into the languid labyrinth of the Old Town in order to enjoy the dynamic delights of Le Comte d’Aix. Soak in the rustic décor and relaxed ambience before perusing the daily specials from a blackboard; traditional Provencal dishes are guaranteed to seduce, however oysters and lobsters are on offer for those willing to indulge expensive taste.(17 Rue de la Couronne, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France, +33 4 42 26 79 26)