Aix en Provence: where to live your life
If you ever find yourself in Aix-en-Provence, I suggest that you have a celebratory dance party because this city is a babe and treat yo’self. I’ve compiled a little list below if my absolute favorite places to do just that.
This is a bookstore + café that feels like coming home. It has books in more than twenty different languages lining the small walls, plates of fresh English scones, and about once a week, a very content me. From my seat at a small wooden table in the middle of the shop, I look around and see men sitting with empty espresso cups, noses deep in their novels with furrowed brows. Nestled in the corner, two women sit in discussion over steaming teacups.The ambiance in Book in Bar isn’t something that needs to be explicitly said — these petite, three-chair tables speak for themselves. It’s not the kind of place you’d come to work on a group project, or for that matter, anything needing technology — Book in Bar has no wifi. It’s a place of reconciliation between you and the novel you started 2 months ago. It’s perfect if you like the quiet (I do), and want company who are doing the same thing. Maybe go there with a friend and try a smoothie, or a tea off their handheld chalkboard menu — they have flavors modeled after the four seasons and numerous countries (my favorite is the “France,” cornflower tea) –and get your cozy on.
Papilles by Laurane
This one, on the other hand, is a great place to say cheers to the weekend. I only recently discovered this little spot, and am still kicking myself for not going sooner. (It sits right across the street from my house and is literally a 10 second walk away — and it took me two months to see it? What the HECK.) I’m thankful to still have a month here, which I will now be using to resolutely work my way through the heart of their menu — 50 something varieties of small hot sandwiches for 2 euros each, which you can pair with a salad, soup, dessert, or one of their many fresh smoothies. Grab an table outside if there are any open, and settle in for a nice afternoon with friends and mini eats.
Parc de la Torse
Once again — a gem I found only a few weeks ago. A rushing stream lined with vegetation and a dirt path cuts through this park, which opens up into a vast grassy sloping hill dotted with weeping willows. Pack your picnic backpack with strawberries and bread and settle down to stay for a while. It’s usually populated with families and small children, people walking their adorable dogs, and runners — this park is hands-down the best, most expansive and interesting area to go for a run in Aix! (One thing that’s pretty different from what I’m used to— their view of public exercise. It’s either done in a gym, or a park. You won’t find anyone clocking miles on the main streets of the city — maybe that’s because they’re more of a free for all for both cars/trucks and pedestrians, but I digress.)
Pizza Capri. I don’t want to say that I saved my favorite for last, so I’ll call it an icon instead. The slice — bent in half, wrapped halfway in white paper, handed to you over the counter in exchange for a few coins, has nudged its way into the hearts of me and the rest of the student population (and the entire population of Aix who has any sort of affection for carbohydrates.) I still can’t decide what makes this pizza so good — it might always remain, like the location of my shoe I lost in 2007, a mystery.
Sarah S. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying English Non Fiction Writing & French at University of Pittsburgh.