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Aix-en-Provence is the city of art, and the city of light and activity. Aix was the capital of Provence in the 15th century.
Aix-en-Provence is situated in southern France, some 30 km (19 mi) north of Marseille. From Paris it takes about 3 hours to get to Aix by the TGV fast train. You can also fligh to the nearby airport at Marseille. Aix-en-Provence is a relatively small, classically Provencal town, among other things famous for being the hometown of the great painter Cezanne. Aix has always been a rich city. Three universities and several French-language schools for international students produce a very strong student presence.
The center of Aix is the old town, ringed by a circle of boulevards and squares. It is a small enough area to explore by foot, but there is way to much to see in one or two days. The medieval Aix was protected by a wall with 39 towers. Today only the 14th century "Tourreluquo" tower remains, at the northwest corner of the town. Most of the old town is pedestrian, and like in all Provencal towns, the city center consists of narrow streets, lined with interesting buildings from 17th century hotels to paved squares.

Aix is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins, and the three fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau. In the old part of Aix fountains of note are found in the Place d'Albertas and the Place des Trois-Ormeaux. Aix also has several markets. The city market runs multiple days a week, but the largest and most colorful is the Saturday market which includes a flower market at Place de l'Hotel de Ville. The main food market is at Place Richelme.

Aix has an incredible number of restaurants compared to its size. Most of them are gathered in a small area in the old city, between Place des Cardeurs and the Rotonde. Restaurants and bars on the Cours Mirabeau tend to be more expensive, while some might be considered tourist traps, others are amongst the best places to eat in the city.


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