Aix-en-Provence, located about 470 miles south of Paris and about 20 north of Marseilles and the Mediterranean coast, has a different look and vibe than Paris. It’s tile roofs, stucco walls and narrow winding streets – any of which are for foot traffic only – announce its Mediterranean roots. The center of Aix clearly caters to tourists, with its many boutiques and high end departments stores. But tucked in to every street and alley, you can find amazing local artisans, restaurants and markets that have interesting and exquisite wares for sale. Every street and plaza has a fountain, statue or tower commemorating a saint, event or great personage. We loved our stay in Aix-en-Provence!
Fun fact: Trash and glass for recycling from our lodging were dropped off at receptacles that looked similar to postal boxes. You opened the door, dropped your bags of trash or bottles in the bin, and when you closed the door, they dropped down a shoot into an underground vault. The collection truck came through about 6 a.m. each morning (noisily) to collect the contents.