Cezanne’s elegant hometown, filled with fountains and beautiful mansions, works of art and excellent restaurants. The ‘Florence of France’.
Recommended place to stay:
Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France|www.hotel-cardinal-aix.com|
Official star rating:
This is as rare as a penguin in Provence: a thoroughly charming hotel in easy walking distance of Aix’s centre, for the same price as a faceless chain hotel in the suburbs.
Set on a quiet side street, the Cardinal is not only housed in a historic 18th-century building, but its decor wonderfully evokes the era of Cezanne, in his own hometown – but with lots of essential mod-cons, including a lift and wi-fi.
The friendly owners are keen to preserve its old-fashioned authenticity, and high-ceilinged rooms come furnished with marble fireplaces, antiques and chandeliers.
The location, only a few minutes from the beautiful Cours Mirabeau, is ideal for exploring the city. The Granet Museum and the Place des Quatre Dauphins, with Aix’s pretty fountain, are a stone’s throw away; the restaurants, bars and shops of the historic centre are a 5-10 minute walk.
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Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.