Word of Mouth: Aix-en-Provence

Cézanne's workshop, a historic old town and some of the world's most magnificent light

A mention of the south of France often conjures visions of Slim Aarons-style grandeur, neatly positioned umbrellas stretching along strips of beach and perhaps a yacht or two. And yet, 30 minutes north of Marseilles (and easily accessible by an inexpensive, frequent bus from the Marseilles airport), Aix-en-Provence appeals more to the quiet aesthete—someone traveling to appreciate centuries-old beauty dressed in summer sun that lingers …