Cezanne celebration in Aix-en-Provence this summer

2006 has shaped into the year of artist celebrations in Europe, with Rembrandt in Holland, Mozart in Vienna, and Picasso in Spain. Not to lose an opportunity to promote one of its great masters, France will be celebrating Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence this summer, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the artist's death.

One of the biggest exhibitions, Cézanne in Provence at the Musée Granet, features 117 of the artist's works and runs from June 9 through September 17. Other key Cezanne sites include The studio at Les Lauves, where the artist's late masterpieces were painted; The Bibémus Quarries, with natural scenery that inspired his cubism-style landscapes; and The Manor of Jas de Bouffan, a residence tied to the artist that's open to the public for the first time. A shuttle bus departing from the tourist office is available to escort visitors between the sites.

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Provence can be pricey and busy in the summer. To help find availability, try the Aix-en-Provence reservations website or the Chamber of Commerce of Marseille-Provence's special offers page, and consider going earlier or later in the season.

Vacation packages can provide significant value. Providers with Provence packages include Air France Holidays, Virgin Vacations, and go-today.com. Just be sure to compare packages with a-la-carte pricing to make sure you're getting the best deal.

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