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While simply visiting Aix-en-Provence, France is a treat in itself, shopping is like the cherry on top of the whipped cream. It's not every day that you happen upon a small, provincial 100-year-old French bakery. And what will you find at an over 100-year-old French bakery? How about made-fresh-daily French pastries and almond callisons that are worth diet amnesia? The name of the bakery is Bechard, and the pastries are created in its underground kitchen. Bechard is to be found at 12 Cours Mirabeau.
In 2002, France was ranked number 1 in world-wide wine production, producing 5,199,930 metric tons of intoxication a year. It's doubtless that statistic has, or ever will, change. Provence is home to the oldest vineyard in France, and it was here that Greeks first introduced the vine of the fruit in the early 600s. La Bouteillerie du Palais de Papes has thirty labels and tastings are available.
Downtown Marseilles has a multi-level mall with just about everything: shops, cafes, bookstores, electronic equipment, and a department store, the "Nouvelles Galeries," is nearby. Rue St. Ferrol, between Rue de Rome and Rue Breteuil, is a long, pedestrian-filled street that houses clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, shoe shops, and a 24-7 department store called Virgin Megastore.
At Old Port is the
Fish Market, where fresh fish and other edible sea creatures, such as eel and octopus are caught and sold. Have at it!