Lonely Planet review for Vieil Aix
Art, culture and architecture abound in Aix and is a stroller’s paradise, especially the mostly pedestrian old city, Vieil Aix.
The graceful cours Mirabeau is the heart of Aix. Cafés spill onto the sidewalks on the sunny northern side. The southern side shelters a string of elegant Renaissance hôtels particuliers (private mansions). The mossy fontaine d’Eau Thermale, at the intersection of cours Mirabeau and rue du 4 Septembre, spouts 34°C water, a pleasant hint of what awaits at the Thermes Sextius.
South of cours Mirabeau, Quartier Mazarin was laid out in the 17th century, and is home to some of Aix’ finest buildings. Further south still is the peaceful parc Jourdan, dominated by Aix’ largest fountain and home to the town’s Boulodrome Municipal, where locals gather beneath plane trees to play pétanque.