Posted by: Brad Nixon | December 5, 2016

Return to Vence, France: A Second Look

I wrote previously about the city of Vence, France, but I’ve decided it merits a second post, to savor more of the character of the Medieval city.

Vence Brad Nixon 6950 (640x513)

With about 20,000 residents, Vence is in the Alpes Maritimes department of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. It’s in rugged hills about 20 km (12-1/2 mi.) from Nice, and easy to reach by car or bus. The setting is part of its charm, occupying a prominent hilltop surrounded by steep ravines. Click on photos for larger view and captions.

The Romans built a town there, Vintium, which evolved into “Vence.” Most of what exists in the old city center today is the walled and gated city that developed in the Middle Ages, but portions of the original Roman paving have survived.

Vence Brad Nixon 6926 (640x450)

The town, built mostly of local stone, has a compelling allure, almost no vestiges of the original rectilinear Roman plan, and provides a fascinating opportunity to wander its narrow streets.

In the previous post, I included a photo of the well preserved 13th Century house in Place Godeau. A closeup shows the use of local native stone, typical of the town’s construction.

Vence 13C house Brad Nixon 6932 (480x640)

Here are some additional street level views. Click on the first and follow the arrows to see larger images and captions.

Vence attracts its share of tourists. We were there in early August, and the place was lively, but not thronged with visitors. One advantage of visiting a tourist destination is that there are plenty of dining options, although one does need to select with care to be assured of having local fare, and not food re-engineered to appeal to foreigners (like you). Here’s a look at outdoor dining, which was our choice that lovely day, so I can’t attest to the nature of any of the restaurant interiors. Click for larger images.

To read the initial post with more facts about the town, CLICK HERE. Here’s a last look at Place Godeau, tucked behind the cathedral.


Have you been to Vence? Anything to add? Or have you been to nearby St. Paul de Vence? Leave a comment.

© Brad Nixon 2016, 2017


  1. Great photos!


  2. Well, you’ve really opened a can of worms this time! Which means, further explanation and research is warranted.

    So, there’s Vence, and then there’s nearby St. Paul-de-Vence. Why the two similar village names of places in such proximity? Were the natives deliberately trying to confuse tourists? And why did you choose one (famous for Matisse) over the other (famous for Chagall)? Of course, you couldn’t go wrong with either.


  3. ah yes vence. in summer, land of the middle aged american tourist sporting birkenstock with bare feet despite hideously mangled toes and yellowing nails. but i digress. great blog! cheers


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