Intending to visit the Granet Museum in Aix en Provence, it takes some orientation to find the place, but no complaints here, the streets of Aix are so attractive, and thus distracting, that it is easy to forget where you were heading to.
The reasons why the streets are so charming is that the town dates back to 123 BC, went through a longtime development of Roman, Spanish and French influences, came to prosper after the 12th century, and .. all this is still tangible and visible when you walk through this warm ochre-colored environment.
The French know how to preserve all that is beautiful. Aix en Provence became an artistic and educational centre in the 12th century and has remained like that to today. The Impressionist art of Paul Cezanne, who was born here, is still alive, among other art forms like opera and dance. So is Aix an international centre of study, keeping the place young and creative.
Today Aix-en-Provence is everything: a wonderfully quiet yet dynamic town with ultra luxury shops and commercial centre, fine French cafés and restaurants, a university centre, a living art centre, and more. It is the well-preserved historical architecture that holds it all together. Especially in this age of ultra modern, Aix is ultra pretty.
Oh, we discovered the Museum Granet was closed, because it was Monday. No problem, we will be planning another trip soon. Aix en Provence is only 30 km from Marseille, and this region is called PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which has a great train system.