An August 2003 trip
to Aix-en-Provence by eliza0214
Quote: I spent a semester living in Aix-en-Provence, and had many adventures along the way.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2004
1, Rue Fabrot
Aix-en-Provence, France 13100
04 42 38 55 43
Attraction | "Provencal Flea Markets - Good, Bad, and Ugly"
Flea market #1: This is a once-a-year flea market in a northern suburb of Aix-en-Provence, recommended by an impatient woman at the Aix tourist office. My father and I were expecting miracles, but instead found a parking lot filled with piles and piles of what was basically trash, old things that people didn't want anymore. It was like a Salvation Army spread out on blankets in the hot sun. This was no different from any garage sale that you might find stateside. We did the circuit once, in about 25 minutes, and left. Verdict: Not worth the drive.Flea market #2: L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the holy grail of Provence flea markets. Except that they know it, so everything is astronomically priced. True, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue veterans come early in the morning to get the real bargains, if there are any. Unless you are a professional antiquer, you will be had. Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful things, but take, for example, the exquisite green-patterned china I found (which was not antique, I imagine, since it was microwavable and dishwasher-safe). I decided not to buy them because they were just too expensive at €12 a plate. Imagine my surprise when I found the same exact china at Flea Market #3: the flea market in my own home base of Aix-en-Provence, which is there several days a week. What do you know - the same plates for half the price! This market had most of the typical fare: antique books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, random clothing, etc. The man who sold my plates was very helpful, and when he ran out of saucers (I was buying a set of six), he told me to come back next time, as everyone was always in the same place. Of course, the next time I came back, his stall wasn't there, and the next time the stall was there but not him. But that's just France for you. All in all, do not go to France expecting to be a great amateur antique-hunter. The antique markets are extremely fun to browse, and maybe you will find something cute that you don't mind overpaying for. But with your expectations too high, you will either fail miserably or be pathetically swindled. Or both.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 31, 2005
Provencal Flea Market
Upper Brookville, New York