Aix-en-Provence is often referred to as ‘la ville aux mille fontaines’, or ‘the city of a thousand fountains’. Expats living in Provence may like to wander through the pretty streets soaking up the Southern French culture and seeking out some of these thousands of fountains to sit by. Some of the most well-known fountains are to be found on the central ‘Cours Mirabeau’ boulevard, which is lined with plane trees and cafés, in true French style. Life in the south of France certainly has a Mediterranean feel, in part due to the café culture and climate, and expats in Aix-en-Provence looking to while away some time over a café-au-lait can find other expats to socialize and connect with at InterNations. Aix, as it’s known, is also famous for its music festivals in the summer months. Expatriates in Aix-en-Provence with a penchant for opera can enjoy the ‘Festival d’Aix-en-Provence’; an internationally renowned opera festival founded in 1948, whereas those with a more eclectic taste can take in ‘Musique dans le Rue’; a week of classical, jazz and pop concerts held on the streets and in the courtyards of the city.
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Aix-en-Provence has attracted many a famous face in its time, with Paul Cezanne, Emile Zola and Ernest Hemingway all having spent time among the fountains. Expats following in their footsteps can find advice on everything from housing and apartments, to neighborhoods and storage, from expats living in Aix-en-Provence on the forums and discussion groups at InterNations. Many expats moving to Aix-en-Provence will decide to live south of the Cours Mirabeau, for example in the residential district, Quartier Mazarin. The Cours Mirabeau effectively follows the old city wall, dividing the city into two sections; the new town to the south and west, and the old town to the north. Expats in Aix-en-Provence may be drawn to the ancient French charm of the old town with its narrow streets and old mansions dating as far back as the 16th century.
Aix-en-Provence was built on a number of different industries including milling, and manufacturing of iron-ware, hats, matches and the famous Aix confectionery ‘calissons’. Calissons are iced biscuits made from almonds and have been made in Aix-en-Provence since the 17th century. Expats living in Aix-en-Provence can join the town in celebrating them every September. More recently, entertainment, research and software have played a part in growing the Aix economy, with tourism, olive oil extraction and viticulture also benefiting from the Mediterranean climate. Expats moving to Aix-en-Provence for work can use the discussion groups and forums on InterNations to network with other global minds, and find information on jobs and opportunities.