For more information, visit the Aix-en-Provence Tourist Office at www.aixenprovencetourism.com.
City region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Population & what they are called: 145,160 inhabitants (2014 census); Aixois (or, rarely, Aquisextains)
Access from Paris:
by road: between 6 h 40 min and 8 h 50 min (470 miles) via A6 and A7 autoroute du Soleil
by train: about 3 hours by TGV from the Gare de Lyon
by plane: 1h15, landing in Marseille-Provence Airport, then 20 minutes by shuttle
Famous native daughters & sons:
Paul Cézanne, painter
Hélène Grimaud, concert pianist
Thylane Blondeau, top model and actress
Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):
Aix is known as the city of a thousand fountains.
The Fondation Vasarely was established in 1966 by Victor Vasarely himself, leader of the op art movement, who chose Aix-en-Provence given the city’s rich history, artistic and architectural activities, world-renowned festival, exceptional network of motorways and, finally, Vasarely's admiration for Cézanne.
Vieil Aix – the historic old town
Cours Mirabeau – the city's most famous grand boulevard, lined by fountains and lofty plane trees, and bordered by fabulous Renaissance mansions
Montagne Sainte-Victoire – the nearby mountain that inspired Cézanne and was, in turn, made famous by him
Top annual events:
Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – a month-long festival of classical music, opera and dance, celebrating its 70th year in 2018 (festival-aix.com)
Festival de Pâques (Easter Festival) – a classical music festival (festivalpaques.com)
Les Rencontres du 9e Art – a festival of comics and other innovative graphic and popular arts (bd-aix.com)
Most notable museums:
Musée Granet – a showcase of iconic artists associated with Provence, including Picasso and Cézanne (www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr)
Caumont Art Center – rotating exhibitions about the region’s artistic and cultural heritage set in a stunning 18th-century mansion (caumont-centredart.com)
Atelier de Cézanne – the former studio of Paul Cézanne
Calissons d’Aix – diamond-shaped delights with almonds, sugar, candied melon and orange peel
Olive oil – there are 2,000 olive growers in the Aix region
Local wines & spirits:
- Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC – the second largest Provençal wine appellation whose rosés are considered especially unique
Shopping: * antiques – the best markets are in the Mazarin District and around the Cours Mirabeau
- artisanal crafts – such as soap, santon (clay figurines), ceramics, mosaics, metal art
Most popular night spots:
Les Woods Cardeurs – a student bar with music a large terrace
Le Mistral – for anyone in the mood to dance
Au Verre Levé – a café with a great selection of organic wines from small producers
Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):
Montagne Sainte-Victoire – a popular place for outdoor sports (hiking, biking, paragliding, climbing and more)
Cours Mirabeau – the most famous of many superb shopping boulevards; also location of Brasserie Les Deux Garçons, the city's most famous café
Parc Jourdan – one of the largest parks in the city and a great place to play pétanque
cosmetics – several leading firms, such as Esthederm and Daniel Jouvance, lead the charge in scientific research into nutrition, anti-aging, dermatology etc.
energy research – Cadarache, a research center of the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, is one of the most important centers for energy research and development in Europe.
In Pop Culture:
Cézanne and I (Cézanne et moi) – a 2016 French movie about the friendship between Emile Zola and Paul Cézanne
The Horseman on the Roof (Le hussard sur le toit) – an award-winning 1995 movies about an Italian nobleman in France during a time of cholera
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – the famous book about life in Provence Major 2018 development:
MP2018 Quel Amour! – an unprecedented artistic collaboration in the form of a rolling celebration of the arts in Provence (mp2018.com), including Opéra participatif Cours Mirabeau (an operatic mix of Greek and Persian legend) and Fleshless Beats, a dance performance at Aix-en-Provence’s National Choreographic Center, which was designed by Rudy Ricciotti.