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Aix-en-Provence (144000 inhabitants)

City of water, city of art, this is where the painter Paul Cézanne was born, to whom the Aix countryside inspired some of his greatest masterpieces, and where he died and was buried. Founded in 122 BC under the name “Aquae Sextiae”, Aix has been a spa town since antiquity. The beauty of the city can be discovered by strolling through its historic centre to discover its mansions, monuments,  the Cours Mirabeau, its many  squares decorated with fountains, its brasseries and restaurants with their shady terraces and its superb colourful and varied market on TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS and SATURDAYS mornings until 1pm. Below we offer you a short description of 3 cultural places to visit among many others 

The Granet Museum has been open to the public since 1838, it has a permanent collection of 600 paintings and sculptures from antiquity to the 21st century and offers temporary exhibitions of renowned artists. In 2010 the museum receives the priceless collection (300 masterpieces) from the Jean and Suzanne Planque Foundation. A former 17th century chapel (Chapel of the White Penitents) has been renovated to house masterpieces by prestigious painters such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Gauguin, Dubuffet, de Staël, Renoir and many others (admission charge). 

The Hôtel de Caumont is without context one of the most beautiful mansions in the city. It was built in the 18th century between 1715 and 1742. Purchased by the city in 1964, which transformed it into a music conservatory, the hotel was sold in 2010 to a private company which, at great expense and under the direction of the Centre of National Monuments, turned it into a sumptuous cultural site while restoring its former glory. The rooms, carefully furnished with exceptional taste, reveal the daily life of the former time. The garden, redesigned in the original spirit, is also magnificent. High-quality temporary exhibitions are on offer all year round (admission charge). 

A short break between two, at lunchtime, in the Aix countryside for a Provencal picnic. Then return to the centre of Aix-en-Provence to continue the visit.