His star may have reached its greatest heights after his death, but the life of local lad Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) is treasured in Aix. To see where he ate, drank, studied and painted, follow the Circuit de Cézanne (Cézanne Trail), marked by footpath-embedded bronze plaques inscribed with the letter C. An informative English-language guide to the plaques, Cézanne’s Footsteps , is available free from the tourist office.
Though none of his works hang here, Cézanne’s last studio, Atelier Paul Cézanne, 1.5km north of the tourist office on a hilltop, is a must for any Cézanne fan. It’s painstakingly preserved as it was at the time of his death, strewn with his tools and still-life models; his admirers claim this is where Cézanne is most present. Take bus 1 or 20 to the Atelier Cézanne stop, or walk (20 minutes) from the centre.
The other two main Cézanne sights in Aix are the Bastide du Jas de Bouffan (on the western fringes of the city), the former family home where Cézanne started painting as a young man, and the Bibémus quarries, where he did most of his Montagne Ste-Victoire paintings. Head to the tourist office for bookings (required) and information.