Aix-en-Provence, by Ma Cigale est fantastique
Shopping in the footsteps of bloggers
The historic district of this Town of Art sets our cultural and living heritage to music. I am taking you on a journey through time. This is the perfect moment to discover some of the iconic squares and monuments in the town, to relax on a terrace, to fill your shopping basket at the Provencal market, to stock up on local delicacies and shop in some Made in Provence designer boutiques.
16 rue d'Italie, 13100 Aix en Provence
Since 1830, the oldest Calisson maker in Aix en Provence has made the delicious regional treat, Calissons.
We will start with the pretty street called the Rue d’Italie home to the Bremond Confectioners who make the traditional Calissons by hand. Due to a lack of space in the shop the delicacies are no longer made on the premises but are still produced in Aix. The ancestral machine remains on the premises to demonstrate the different steps of the recipe. The Calisson is the house speciality, but you can also enjoy other treats including almond nougat, lavender honey and candied chestnuts.
6 rue de la glacière, 13100 Aix en Provence
A local brand, a family history and a passion for off-the-peg clothes.
Bright and cheerful, a cosy boutique with a warm welcome and where we can also get good advice.
The collections, all original, are Made in France and Made in Provence. I love the refined style, the soft colours and the fabrics of these comfortable, fashionable clothes. The prices reflect the quality and the creativity.
Les macarons de Caroline
12 rue de Montigny, 13100 Aix en Provence
The best macarons on the planet can be found in Aix-en-Provence, a stone’s throw from the Place des 3 Ormeaux!
These "homemade" macarons are made with seasonal and often Provencal ingredients.
Sold directly to the public, they are made by Caroline and Damien in the workshop behind the counter. You won’t find any frozen macarons here, they are all fresh and you can even watch them making the fillings. My favourites: peach-verbena, strawberry-basil, raspberry-rose – with pieces of real fruit.
19 rue Granet, 13100 Aix en Provence
Let’s continue shopping with this surprising fashion-decoration boutique that could be straight out of a fairy-tale.
When you enter the Oiseau Bleu you are entering a world of fantasy.
I find the subdued lighting a little oppressive but I quickly give in to the charm of the beautiful accessories made by the region’s designers. I fell in love with their delicate lingerie creations from a limited series.
Hôtel de ville d’Aix en Provence
Place De l'Hôtel de Ville, 13100 Aix en Provence
The Town Hall, a listed historical monument, symbolises the town’s history and the lives of the Aix people.
The Town Hall is first of all a place where official ceremonies and meetings are held, but it also houses temporary exhibitions, the perfect occasion to discover the beautiful "Salle Pavillon". Check out the town’s agenda to find out the dates of the regularly organised events that are held in the magnificent interior courtyard. The flower market is held three times a week in the square just in front.
La maison du Savon de Marseille
10 rue Gaston de Saporta, 13100 Aix en Provence
This boutique, with all the perfumes of Provence, is open 7 days a week and is ideal for buying scented gifts.
Look no further, it’s here! The approved, original Savon de Marseille cube is still made in a cauldron just like it was in the past. A wall of coloured soaps packed in little retro-style packets greets you at the entrance. The small blocks of solid perfume in organza bags are a fun idea for a gift. You will love the candles made with essential oils, for example lavender and fig.
Le Pavillon Vendôme
13 Rue de la Molle, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
A quiet spot in the shade, right in the centre of town, ideal for a relaxing and/or a cultural break.
This former private mansion, a listed historical monument, is a real jewel. It houses a museum with a permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions. There are regular events in its magnificent French-inspired garden. What a joy to be able to attend concerts or live broadcasts of some of the most famous operas just a short walk from here, at the Archevêche Theatre.
Ma Cigale est Fantastique
Ma Cigale est Fantastique" introduces you to the very best the South of France and Provence have to offer. "Ma Cigale" shares a hand-picked selection of cultural, touristic and gastronomic events and unveils a host of Made in Provence gems, tips and top addresses. A must!
Discover other itineraries
For this weekend tour inspired by contemporary art, start with a visit to the MAC, Marseille's museum of contemporary art. Next, go and soak up the unique atmosphere at the Friche Belle de Mai cultural complex. For lunch, fresh and creative cuisine awaits you at the Grandes Tables de la Friche. Then it's onwards to the FRAC before a visit to the library archives. On day two, make your way to Aix-en-Provence where exploring the Fondation Vasarely will take up most of your morning. At midday, your appetite will be pleasingly sated at La Pioline before you venture off to Arles to visit the Fondation Van Gogh, a gem of an arts institution.
Pays salonais with the family from soap to zoo
Pays Salonais makes a great family day out with plenty of fun and original things to do. After a deliciously simple lunch prepared by the chef at the Table du Roy, follow the road to the ruins of a village destroyed by an earthquake at the turn of the 20th century. In the afternoon, why not head to the zoo? It's the biggest one in the region and runs a programme to protect endangered species. Then make you way to the Marius Fabre Museum to learn all about how genuine Marseille soap is made.
Flavours of Provence
Gourmets and foodies from all over flock to Provence which has assembled all the ingredients for an exciting culinary journey. In this part of the world, the vineyards along the Cassis wine route graze the Mediterranean Sea. In Aix-en-Provence, the almond scent of calisson sweets mingles with the orange blossom of Navettes de Marseille biscuits. Rouille brings colour to bowls of bouillabaisse while olive oil made in the Alpilles is a staple on every table! Not to forget rice and meat from Camargue. A gourmet tour of Provence promises an epicurean feast.
The forerunner of modern art, Cézanne is fittingly celebrated today in his home town of Aix-en-Provence, magnificently portrayed in his work. For the last 40 years, this illustrious painter has been setting the pace for the region's artistic life.
A fertile region with many local products and specialities
It all starts with a crushed clove...
Provencal cuisine simply wouldn't exist without garlic