…….firstly the Canebiere will be pedestrianised, as it will be on the last Sunday of each month; and secondly, the town’s first ‘Quartier des Arts’, for street art, will be inaugurated. Continue Reading »


If you haven’t visited Saint-Maximin, this Sunday  (29th January)  is an excellent time to do so as it is the Fete de la Saint Vincent, when the local vignerons celebrate their patron saint.  Sixty-five of them will gather to thank their saint for the last harvest and implore his protection for the coming year. Continue Reading »

Network Provence has been created by Rebecca Ronane to bring women together in a relaxed ambiance to further contacts and share experiences. These meetings take place at different venues around Provence – the next in Aix will be on Tuesday 7th February.  If you have a business, a blog, an idea for action, or simply want to get some inspiration, this is for you!


thumbs_4-199x170x35-cm-bdThis delightful gallery celebrates local artists who are very often new to me and so a visit is quite an adventure of discovery.

The latest expo is dedicated to designer, painter and sculptor Quirin Mayer (1927 – ) whose work is balanced, colourful and full of what they describe as optimisme et joie de vivre’.  I think we all need a good dose of both right now so look forward to a visit.

There are 30 canvases, 15 collages and over 30 sculptures on show until 4th thumbs_87-hd-225x278x38-cm-bdJune.  His themes are varied and include: “World Circus”, “Mystery Box”, “Constructions”, “Wondering Eyes”, “Love”, “Happy life” and “Mediterranean Garden”.

Mayer was born in Switzerland and was a business man until the age of 60.  He now follows his artistic career, based in Monaco.


At the same time you can see the work of David Dellepiane who I reviewed a couple of months ago: https://aixcentric.com/2016/10/11/marseille-art-news-dellepiane-exhibition/

dellapianeAn interesting double bill.

marchThis is in line with global support for American feminists….read about it here: http://www.leplanning13.org/Women-s-March-Marseille.html

When? Tomorrow 21 January, 11:30

Where? Vieux Port at the Ombriere.



A Visit to Gardanne…

I have to confess driving round/past/through Gardanne several times but never stopping to have a look round.  We did, this week, and found  it interesting.  It wasn’t a good start as the tourist office was shut.  We had checked the opening hours on the website but when we got there, they had one of those completely infuriating ‘Fermeture exceptionelle’ signs stuck on the door…there were staff inside but clearly not available to help.  Happily the lady in the mairie gave us a map and off we set.

It’s typical of Provence in that there is an old town with the usual cobbled climb and maisons de village, next to a

Digital Photo File Name: DT1941.tif Online Publications Edited By Steven Paneccasio for TOAH 07-12-2016

from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

spacious 19th century area of shops, bars and seating areas.  This is where Cézanne came to live for a year in 1885-6. His house at 27 cours Forbin is still there but privately owned.  The family settled in apparently happily with little Paul at the local school while his father produced 10 canvases. It was the only Provencal village he ever painted.

Our map helped us locate the Colline des Freres which was one of his favourite painting spots.  They have installed what is described as a ‘musée de plein-air’ in the woods up there, with benches and boards showing the paintings he produced, most of which are now in the US.

img_2572As you can see in my photo, the view is a little different today, as Gardanne is surrounded by industry, providing much-needed employment but rather altering the view!

But the tourist office have wisely decided to build on this heritage and are offering (in season), tours of:

  1. Mining in Biver
  2. The Alteo plant (aluminium)
  3. The Wastewater Treatment Plant
  4. The Morandat Mining Shaft (one of the most modern in Europe and very deep)……and finally,
  5. A workshop at the Riederer Chocolaterie.  Sounds wonderful!

All these guided tours can be booked via the tourist office (http://www.tourisme-gardanne.fr/en/tourism-gardanne)couverture and they have a good guide-book which can be downloaded here: http://www.tourisme-gardanne.fr/en/download.

My recommendation to them though is this: if you are closed, it’s very helpful for visitors if you display a map in the window or on the door to help them get the most out of your town!

PS:  The markets in Gardanne are renowned, especially the one on Sunday which I want to try!


178 today….here is one of his paintings which is new to me.  It’s called ‘Mont Saint-Victoire and Hamlet near Gardanne’ and it can be found in a very interesting and topical place.cezanne_-_mont_sainte-victoire_and_hamlet_near_gardanne

Continue Reading »