Travel in France – Aix-en-Provence

May 12 Aix-en-Provence

After touring Avignon the next stop was  the town of Aix-en-Provence which I had heard described as a little Paris minus the museums.


A street in Aix-en-Provence

Our French tour guide Thibeaut told us that roughly 150,000 people live in Aix and many artists have spent time here, including Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet.

Thibeaut, our French tour guide

I loved the city of Aix with its trees lining the main street, le Cours Mirabeau, and all the activity. These trees are called plain trees and they are the French version of the sycamore in America.

le Cours Mirabeau in Aix

Since today is Saturday the market was open and Thibeaut told us that this is where you can buy things for half the price of what they would cost in shops.

Soaps at market in Aix

I found some wonderfully aromatic French soaps for one euro here. These are the same that I had seen in Eze and Nice for 2.60 and 3 euros so I bought some.

There are over 40 fountains in the city and the most impressive one is the Rotunda Fountain which was built in 1860.

Rotunda Fountain in Aix

I had taken a photo of it on my camera phone and used it as a landmark to navigate back to the bus stop. When I was lost I showed it to a few locals and instantly had directions back to the meeting point.

I was in my glory browsing around and taking photos. I loved all the little shops and the people.

An art shop in Aix

People of Aix

I found the French people to be very friendly and nowhere did I detect any anti-American sentiment. Most spoke a few words of English but were friendly to me even though I spoke no French!

Candy shop in Aix

I found an amazing candy shop which also sold cookies and I bought some here. When I explained that this was my first visit to France the sweet girl working there told me in English that I must make a wish, that it is tradition, so of course I did!

Boulangerie-Patisserie in Aix

After arriving back at the ship by 3:30,the latest time allowed,  it felt good to freshen up and relax a little. That night I decided to eat at one of the specialty restaurants, La Cucina, and it was great. For the additional $10 it was totally worthwhile. I had a glass of pinot grigio from the Venezia region of Italy to go along with fried calamari cooked perfectly (very lightly).

Fried calamari


There was a complimentary antipasto of prosciutto, artichokes, roasted red peppers and polenta which was perfectly seasoned.

Caprese Salad

Next came the caprese salad made with fresh tomato and mozzarella. I knew enough to order only the primi piatti of tortellini with cheese and skipped the main course.

Tortellini with ricotta

This way I could have the ricotta cheesecake and a caffè macchiato.

Ricotta cheesecake

Needless to say it was too much food but it was delicious!

About Margie Miklas

An award-winning author, Margie Miklas writes medical thrillers and travel memoirs about Italy, a place which has captured her passion for travel. She is also the creator and owner of the travel blog, Margie in Italy, and a contributing writer for an Italian-American newspaper. A retired critical-care nurse, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her three cats. Her favorite place is the beach, and she likes learning new computer skills, when she is not writing. A member of the Florida Writers Association, Margie makes her home in Florida.
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3 Responses to Travel in France – Aix-en-Provence

  1. Dan Douglas says:

    Great Blog! As usual your pictures are lovely!


  2. Lori Samarin says:

    Great idea to take a picture of a landmark to use in case one gets lost and needs to retrace one’s steps. Luckily, in the past, I have had enough of a language skills set, not to have evere encountered that challenge, but one never knows…

    In all the years and extended time I have spent in various regions of France, never did I encounter anyone (even in Paris) that had any Anti- American sentiment. I found it’s always been the other way around, and I find that to be a pity. Most French people are charming; Parisians are often misunderstood: they are very formal, pride themselves in being intellectuals, believe that incorporating rules of etiquette in one’s everyday lifestyle is ” de rigueur”, and don’t suffer fools. That does not mean they don’t like Americans.


  3. It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our discussion made here. Venice is definitely the most wonderful destination on earth! The Venice Carnival is extraordinary! The masks and costumes are gorgeous and the scenery is simply wonderful. In Venice, often there is something new to see.


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