Photo by Tiberio Frascari  –  Link

Aix-en-Provence

France

The birthplace of Paul Cezanne

Chic, elegant and classy, Aix-en-Provence in southern France is the quintessential Provençal town. It's fairly small and famously bedecked with eye-catching fountains and grand Baroque houses, making it the perfect pedestrian paradise. It also has a large student population thanks to the Université d'Aix-Marseille, so there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants.

As the birthplace of impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, Aix-en-Provence has a rich artistic heritage and numerous museums and galleries where you can learn about it. Musee Granet, a former convent in the Mazarin quartier, is home to numerous works by iconic figures like Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne. You can also visit the well preserved Atelier Cézanne, the artist's former studio, for a glimpse at his place of inspiration. And Hotel de Caumont is a beautiful art centre set in a palace with lovely, well-manicured gardens.

What to do in Aix-en-Provence

To sample the spirit of Aix-en-Provence, take a stroll along the picturesque Cours Mirabeau boulevard, which is lined with towering trees. Enjoy a coffee and a croissant at one of the little cafes nearby, and visit the local street market to peruse handcrafted wares and fresh produce. After a walking tour that stops at all the important landmarks in Cézanne’s life, indulge in some wine and cheese at one of the quaint Aix-en-Provence restaurants. Chic alors!

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