If you love exploring historic cities, then be sure to visit the old university town of Aix-en-Provence. Founded by a Roman general in 123 B.C., this is a classy, elegant city of tree-lined boulevards, grand stone monuments, ornate fountains, and sophisticated cafes.
It was during the Renaissance that Aix came into its own, and since then, artists and academics have flooded into this cool, cultural city.
Aix-en-Provence is also known for being the home of French artist Paul Cézanne, and you can see many of his most inspiring works at museums and studios throughout the city. The cathedral is well worth a visit, as well as the legendary Hotel de Ville, where you can enjoy coffee in the pretty square. You can also head to the Quartier Mazarin to admire the city’s most famous fountain: the Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins.
In the centre of the city is the Vieil Aix – a network of narrow medieval lanes where you can admire spectacular sixteenth and seventeenth buildings, browse unique shops, and enjoy fine food and wine in the many excellent restaurants, cafés, and shops.
On the weekend, Aix plays hosts to some of the best farmers’ markets in Provence. So if you’re looking to pick up some delicious culinary souvenirs to take home, you’ll be spoiled for choice.