An urbane city noted for its elegance and high-culture, Aix has been settled by some of France’s preeminent minds and artists.
Most notable of all is Paul Cézanne who immortalised the limestone peak of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which rises to the east of the city.
Provence is famously scorching in summer, but the streets of Aix are kept cool by the shade of its handsome honey-coloured buildings and plane trees, as well as the spray from the many fountains.
See the baroque and rococo 17th and 18th-century “hôtels” in the Quartier Mazarin, and stroll along Cours Mirabeau, the boulevard where Camus and Hemingway would have come for lunch when they lived in the city.
Lets explore the best things to do in Aix-en-Provence:
1. Aix Cathedral – triptych
Arriving at this monument on Rue Gaston de Saporta you’ll see right away how Aix Cathedral blends different styles and eras.
To the left is the gothic portal with beautiful sculpture and the Virgin with Child in the centre.
But next door to this is the romanesque entrance from the 1100s, which joins onto a much older Roman wall, believed to have belonged to a temple to Apollo.
The thing you have to see inside above all else is the 15th-century Burning Bush triptych painted by Avignon artist Nicolas Froment.
The middle panel portrays the Virgin and Child, with Moses in the foreground, and on the sides are René of Anjou and Queen Jeanne who commissioned the work.