[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.156) - Aix-en-Provence (France) : The lavender town and the slow, leisurely pace of life


(WorldKings.org) There’s a word in French that sadly – but understandably – lacks an equivalent in English: le flâneur. This quintessentially French character strolls the streets with deliberate aimlessness, savouring the surroundings, always observing and observed.

Though traditionally associated with Paris, you’ll find plenty of flâneurs down in Aix-en-Provence. This southern town blends Provençal warmth with urbane sophistication and self-regard – and has more than its fair share of unhurried amblers and people watchers.

Back in the 15th century, Aix was the capital of the region, and over the next two hundred years, came to be defined by its riches – both cultural and material. That stateliness remains today, visible in the Mazarin district’s mansions, in the regalia of the yearly opera festival, and in the swish of satin scarves as Aix’s flâneurs stroll down Cours Mirabeau.

On this grand provincial boulevard, leafy rows of plane trees shade the café terraces where locals sit and chatter as they watch the world go by. It’s the perfect place to take the pulse of Aix.

Aix is a town that’s best enjoyed at a flâneur’s pace. So cock your hat, slow your step and soak it all in – just as the locals do.

All of Provence is at its best during summer, when the long, warm days invite you to enjoy the open air. For opera buffs, July’s Festival d’Aix-en-Provence combines high art with high temperatures. And if it’s rolling lavender fields you’re after, June is the time to go.

According to booking.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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