Archive for the ‘Patrimoine’ Category

Thursday 28th:  the Patrouille de France aerobatic team is supposed to be doing a display above Aix tomorrow morning – no time given, so keep a look out….

Friday 29th, Saturday 30th, Sunday 1st: Aix Beach Volley in Les Allees Provencales.

Saturday 30thTown Vide Grenier at Trets

Sunday 1st-4th July: Fete du Cinema.  This is an event that takes place across France.  Entry is 4€ per film.

Sunday 1st July: Festival de la Gastronomie en Provence. Now in its 26th year, this is a meeting between renowned chefs, patissiers, wine-makers and local producers……and hungry diners who can sample the fare from the stalls and pop-up restaurants.  All the details are below….

What a range of activities for the coming weekend in and around Aix!

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It all started on Friday June 15th, when an official inspection revealed that the fish sellers on the quay of the Vieux Port hadn’t advertised their wares in Latin.

What?  I watched the TV news in astonishment. (more…)

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On Saturday, as in many towns locally, the Fete de Saint-Jean will be celebrated in Aix. Very much a Provencal custom, it will culminate in a bonfire into which participants can place little pieces of wood containing a wish.



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Now the summer has finally arrived, and before the schools break up, it’s the perfect time for a trip down to one of Marseille’s southerly beaches, Pointe Rouge. It’s sandy and sheltered and the life-guards are already in place. It was developed in the 60s, and the marina now hosts 1,800 boats.

It’s easily reached from the Vieux Port.  The navettes maritimes leave on the hour and cost just 5€ each way. It’s a thrilling journey through the harbour, out past Fort Saint-Jean, Mucem and the big car ferries and then down the coast. Takes 35-40 mins.

When I visited two year ago, we had lunch at O’Pedalo which was a well-known ‘pieds dans l’eau’ eaterie; but it  has been threatened with closure for some time now, under the Loi Litteral. This legislation was introduced to stop the development of private beach clubs in France in order to safeguard public access to the beaches. This has affected some establishments at Pointe Rouge like La Bonne Franquette which was closed down.  O’Pedalo didn’t look as though it was open when I visited a week ago but I’m not sure of their current status.  Maybe phone ahead if you want to visit?

But there are several simple restaurants lining the sands – they presumably are within the law in that they can be quickly dismantled at the end of the season.  They serve simple menus, salads and pizzas and various formules.

I have read that the beach at Pointe Rouge is absolutely heaving in the school holidays, so maybe now is a good time to hop on a boat down there for a pleasant lunch on the sand?

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Members of the Ballet Preljocaj will be performing on Friday evening at the Musée Granet during their Nocturne Dansée.  A good opportunity to check out the new Picasso-Picabia exhibition whilst enjoying some contemporary dance.  The museum will be open until 22:00, and the dancing will take place at 20 and 21:00hrs, each performance taking 35 minutes. (more…)

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The Bastide Rose is the beautiful honey-coloured home of Poppy Salinger who was married to JFK’s press secretary, journalist and writer Pierre Salinger.  It stands by the translucent river Sorgue and is the setting for an annual sculpture show. (more…)

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Walking up to the Galerie de la Prévoté tucked behind Aix’s Cathedral cloister takes one through the flower market which right now is full of the most beautiful peonies.

Les Pivoines – Jill Steenhuis

And these are the subject of one  of Jill Steenhuis’s colourful oil paintings which are showing at the Galerie.



This family show is an annual event.  Along with Jill’s work, visitors can see the metal work of her husband, and now the sculptures of 2 of her 3 sons.  Husband Serge Ruffato creates lyrical forms from metal pipes while son Sergio has produced attractive installations from steel.  New to the exhibition this year Alexandre Ruffato works with stone, cement, pigments and wood, making Romanesque-inspired sculptures.  And they couldn’t be shown in a more appropriate setting than this 1000-year old space.

The garden with its pure white flowers against the dark green ivies and ever-greens is a delight, a secret space in the centre of Aix.

American-born Jill has been profoundly influenced by French impressionism and above all the work of Cézanne. Do have a  look at her website, not only to enjoy more of her work but also to watch her 5 minute videos which show her producing her oil paintings: https://www.artinprovence.com/

Most of the paintings show scenes from Aix and around. Even the recent rainy weather hasn’t daunted her – see ‘Pluie sur un champs de coquelicots’, ‘Pluie sur le marché aux fleurs’ and ‘Pluie sur la Baie de Cassis’!

Pluie sur un champs de coquelicots

This is a lovely exhibition in a delightful setting – not to be  missed. Open daily until 21st June.  10-12, 14-19:00hrs.

Metal sculpture by Serge Ruffato

Jill looking out at medieval cloister



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