Aix En Provence
After the exciting day at cooking school had concluded, we jumped in our car started our journey from Avignon to Aid de Provence. Aix is continually talked about as one of the prettiest cities in Provence.
I guess if I was to be really honest, I prefer the small mountain top stone villages in the Luberon Valley. I thought Aix would be small based on the descriptions I had heard. But it is a fairly large city and very confusing to navigate by car. LOts of one-way streets.
But They do take the cake on Fountains.
Yes, there are markets here to. But certainly not on the scale or interest of Il Sur le Sorgue. Here there is great food and spice markets, lots of clothes and jewelry,linen, and soaps. On Sunday they have a beautiful fresh flower market.
But if I were to be honest about what makes Aix de Provence famous, it’s the shopping. Located all behind the Rue du Mirabeau are so many small cobblestone streets and alleys that are loaded with Couture Fashion, elegant Chocolatiers, Outrageous Pastry shops, 5 Star Jewelry stores, and just about everything you can find in Paris except all together. It can be a bit of a zoo navigating all the tour groups who come form Japan, China, Eastern Europe…you name the country. They are all here spending their money on expensive stuff.
But my favorite day in Aix was visiting Paul Cezanne’s studio and a wonderful Greek lunch. THe studio is about a thirty minute hike uphill form the Centre Ville. But it is worth it. Cezanne spent most of his life growing up and dying in Aix. He built this studio in the late 1800’s to provide him with a studio to paint his still life with many different arrays of light. Cezanne also wanted a studio large enough to paint very big canvases which he could not find already existing. The studio you will see below measures 50 square meters which is extremely large by the standards of the time for an artist. The surrounding gardens provided many backdrops for the artist work. It was these very gardens that ended up being his deathbed. Cezanne was completing a series of drawing of his gardener outside in the gardens. He caught a cold, followed by pneumonia painting and sketching in the cold winter rains of Aix. This is quite ironic given the fact that he purposely built this studio with a 50 square meter pane less window so he would not have to venture outside in the weather to work.
After a lot of walking up and down that hill, I was starving. But not for French food. I wanted Greek food and found just the spot at the bottom of the hill. THe food was terrific, inexpensive, and the Greek wine brought it all together.
A very swell day in Aix En Provence.
C’était un grand temps
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