If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Today I’m fantasizing about the beautiful, historical centre of Aix-En-Provence, since the main character in my new novel is hanging out there at the moment. I’m curious to see what’s going to play out there for her so can’t stay on the blog too long …
That’s one of the surprises of writing … you just never know for sure exactly what’s coming next!
I’ve been to Aix a few times and just want to say this. Even though it may not look terribly appealing from your first approach in the post-war urban areas, the heart of this town is a treasure trove of things architectural, cultural and … ah, oui … gastronomique! Plan your day and you won’t be disappointed.
Known for its water source since Roman times (Aquae Sextiae), Aix is also an important cultural, educational and political town. The capital of Provence, it also is home to the Faculties of Law and Letters of the University of Aix-Marseille.
Water is at the heart of the town and its history, channelled and distributed since antiquity and supplied by a wealth of underground springs. Fountains abound along beautiful, tree-lined Cours Mirabeau, where shops, restaurants and frequent visits by sidewalk artists make it easy to while away an afternoon. One of our favourite paintings was purchased from such an artist and I’m easily distracted by it right now as I sit across from it.
Paul Cezanne is the most famous son of Aix. Born there in 1839, he spent much of his life in Aix and the surrounding countryside, for a time working in a studio just off the Cours Mirabeau. A contemporary of Pissaro, Monet, and Renoir, few today are not familiar with his prolific work heralding his beloved Provence, which often featured Mont Sainte Victoire.
Today there are footsteps imprinted in the sidewalks of the town which you can follow to Cezanne’s favourite haunts. When we were there in 2006 a wonderful retrospective exhibition, “Cezanne En Provence” honouring the 100th anniversary of his passing, was being held. This is one of the posters displayed which I loved! It was hanging in the window of a wine shop.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a brief look at Aix. If you are planning to visit the area, it’s well worth a stop. Here’s the link to the wonderful Festival D’Aix-En-Provence in July. Order your tickets early for the renowned music festival as they tend to sell out quickly.
Two weeks ago I shared a poster in French and most of you e-mailed me with perfect translations. Bravo!
(As well as being an inspirational saying, it’s actually a poster used in teaching some of the tenses in French grammar.)
Gotta get back to work! I had so much more to share, my friends, particularly about a wonderful blogger I have gotten to know who lives in Aix. You’re going to want to know her too! I’ll save that for next week and see you here then. Bon weekend!