Giant of Provence
Aix-en-Provence is famous for its outdoor markets and handsome pedestrian lanes, as well as its cultivated residents and their ability to embrace the good life. Nowhere else in France is l’art de vivre (the art of living) so well on display. It was that way when the French king made the town his administrative capital of Provence, and it’s that way today. For a tourist, Aix-en-Provence is happily free of any obligatory turnstiles — there’s not a single ancient site to see. It’s just a wealthy town filled with 140,000 smartly dressed people, including 40,000 students who give the city a year-round youthful energy. And Aix’s numerous squares, lined with cafés and fine shops, allow everyone a comfortable place to pose.