The concerts selected for the Music and Markets tour will be drawn from the abundant musical offerings in the area, such as La Roque d'Anthéron Piano Festival and the Château of Lourmarin Summer Music Series. The intriguing venues include Lourmarin’s Renaissance chateau, the cloister of the 10th century Abbey of Silvacane, the atmospheric gardens of the former Bishop’s palace of Aix, the wooded grounds of the Château de Florans, and even a picturesque old quarry. The schedules are finalized in May, after which we will determine the weekly schedule for Music and Markets, which will be sent to registered participants.
Day 1, Saturday: We’ll meet you at Aix-en-Provence TGV (fast train) station, or Marseilles airport and transport you to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence. Later, we'll take a slow introductory stroll through historic Aix followed by a welcome and orientation dinner (included).
Day 2, Sunday: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Breakfast on the road, and plan for the day. We'll get an early start to the fabulous open-air antique and vintage market of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Wait 'til you see the hundreds of vendors that come each Sunday, spreading out their treasures for us to ogle. We have several cherished finds from previous visits to this world-renowned market. Enjoy a typical French lunch (included) at a charming waterside brasserie in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue before our return to Aix, where you'll have a free hour or two before an early concert, followed by a light supper (included).
Day 3, Monday: Cadenet
Breakfast and plan for the day.The little village of Cadenet, with its traditional Monday market, is our destination this morning, after which we’ll relax in the garden or the pool at Madame and Monsieur Motte's home in Charleval. The Mottes will prepare a bountiful Grand Aïoli, a typical provençal fish and vegetable feast (included). An evening concert and light supper will round out the day.
Day 4, Tuesday: Aix
Breakfast and plan for the day. The Aix market awaits, packed with marvelous treasures, from flowers, to produce, to artisanal soaps and honeys, to striking clothing. After choosing our fill of goods, we will assemble a lunch from the market bounty, and enjoy a picnic together. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner and an evening concert will complete the day.
Day 5, Wednesday: St. Remy
Breakfast and plan for the day. The lovely medieval village of St. Remy awaits us today, with its lively Wednesday market - more treasures to discover. Down one lane an accomplished watercolor artist often sets up a display, offering charming mementos of picturesque Provence. Then a leisurely, abundant, and delicious lunch (included) at one of our favorite country inns - the Bistro du Paradou, after which we'll head for the striking hilltop fortress-town of Les Baux. Nearby, an extraordinary multi-media spectacle in the quarries of Les Baux celebrates the 100th anniversary of Cezanne - this is our musical event of the day. Dinner and a free evening on your own in Aix.
Day 6, Thursday: Rousillon and Bonnieux. Breakfast and plan for the day. We'll take a break from markets today, first exploring the fascinating villages of Rousillon and Bonnieux. Then we’ll arrive at hilltop Ménerbes in time for lunch (included), and return to Aix before enjoying an evening concert.
Day 7, Friday: Lourmarin
Breakfast and plan for the day. It's market day in the up-scale village of Lourmarin - our last chance to find one more provençal memento to fit in a suitcase: perhaps a couple of lavender sachets – a fragrant reminder of beautiful Provence. Lourmarin offers a variety of interesting places for lunch – find a spot and enjoy! After an early concert, we’ll complete the week with a memorable dinner (included).
Day 8, Saturday: Breakfast, then au revoirs to new-found friends before transport to Aix TGV station or the Marseilles airport before noon.
Note: Schedule subject to program to be finalized in June.
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