Visit Vence (Provence, France)
Vence is located on the French Riviera, slightly north of the the coastal resort at Cagnes-sur-Mer. It is a very attractive town on a rocky ledge and surrounded by its original fortifications that attracts many visitors during the high season.
The old town (the most interesting part for visitors) is still entered through the original gateways in these ramparts, where you will discover a fascinating (and substantial) historical centre to Vence.
Enter through the Porte du Peyra, near Vence tourist office and next to a 16th century ash tree donated to the town by Francois I. Some of the highlights to discover in Vence historical centre include:
- The Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary in Vence, that dates originally from the 4th century - and includes Roman inscription tablets either side of the doorway and inside a mosaic by Marc Chagall (see photo gallery below).
- the Tower of Saint-Lambert, and the Chapelle des Penitents Blancs.
- several picturesque and shady old squares where you will find a cafe and time to relax and enjoy the setting (a market is held in Place Clemenceau each Tuesday)
Above all though it is simply the ensemble - the attractiveness of the town as a whole, the flower bedecked streets, the views across the countryside - that will stay longer in your memories of the town of Vence than any one of the monuments.
Ask at Vence Tourist office for their informative 'route map' to make sure you see the main features.
Note: Matisse and Chagall, along with many other artists, were attracted here by the town, the surrounding countryside, and the closeness to so many beautiful landscapes. D H Lawrence died in Vence in 1930, and was buried here for a few years before being exhumed and his ashes sent to Mexico.
Matisse Chapel at Vence
About 15 minutes walk from Vence centre, another artistic treat in Vence is at the Chapelle du Rosaire, the Matisse Chapel at Vence. The small 'Matisse' chapel was designed inside and out by Matisse in the years following the end of the second world war - and was among his greatest artistic achievements (albeit not in the traditional 'Matisse' style). The chapel is small yet perfectly formed.
Among the many beautiful places both along the Cote d'Azur and in the surrounding Provencal countryside we particularly recommend that you visit the villages of Saint Paul de Vence a few kilometres south of here, and Tourrettes-sur-Loup, to the west of Vence.
Photos of Vence
Click any picture to start the gallery
Address: Vence, Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence, 6140 || GPS: latitude 43.7236, longitude 7.11417
Map of Vence & places nearby
Highlights close by
Le Bar-sur-Loup 10km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Vence, France
- Baou de Saint-Jeannet - site of natural beauty (4km)
- Le Vallon du Brec - remarkable garden (10km)
- Parc Phœnix - zoo or wildlife park (10km)
- Gourdon - most beautiful village (11km)
- Marineland d'Antibes - aquarium (12km)
- Jardin botanique - remarkable garden (12km)
- Nice - secteur sauvegarde (13km)
- Jardin botanique de la villa Thuret - remarkable garden (16km)
- Grasse - secteur sauvegarde (17km)
- Jardin de la Villa Fort de France - remarkable garden (17km)
Market days in Vence: Regular market(s) are held in Vence each Tuesday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Vence (Francais)