Besides fountains, Aix-en-Provence’s provencal markets are quite impressive. These open-air markets occur at different squares everyday. We took the time this morning to scope out the fruits and vegetable market at Place Richelme. A ten minute walk from our place, we were instantly greeted by the buzz of shoppers at the square and the live music in the background. The brimming colors of produce was a nice sight. We perused hoping to find an organic vendor but saw none. However, we found good-looking arugula at Chez Dulce et Francis Palazza and asked the owner if her produce was organic. She said no, but it comes directly from her garden and that she uses no pesticides. That was plenty good for us and we took her word for it. Another friendly couple who was also shopping vouched for her, and we realized these small local farmers may not always have the financial means to go through the organic certification process. We decided to go for it and purchased a few things for dinner and breakfast. We were happy to finally have real greens other than salad. I know I’ve said it before, but boy, it sure is hard to get greens in France. This is definitely one thing we miss back at home. We didn’t realize we were spoiled then!
In another square over at Hotel de Ville was a flower market. The prices were reasonable for a bouquet of flower, but nothing caught my attention like the sunflowers at the fruit and veggie market. We took a quick gander and saw a little old lady painting nearby. She precariously made squiggles on her drawing, while people watched from behind.
If you’re ever in Aix-en-Provence, visiting one of these markets is a must. It’s a delightful experience to mingle with locals, see what the local farmers and other vendors have to offer — and all while you’re catching some rays in the perfect weather.