Vence, the “real” Provence, a cozy town in the French Riviera

Vence, the “real” Provence, a cozy town on the French Riviera

Vence is a beautiful town nestled in the hills of the French Riviera, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of Nice. It has a population of around 18,000 people and is known for its art, history, and stunning views.

What you should see in Vence

Matisse Chapel: Decorated by Henri Matisse in 1951, this chapel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vence.

Church of Notre Dame de la Nativité: This 11th-century church is the oldest building in Vence.

The old town: The old town of Vence is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, lined with shops, cafes and restaurants.

Château de Villeneuve: Built in the 11th century, this château now houses a museum of modern and contemporary art.

The Gardens of the Triennes: These gardens offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

What to experience

Visit the art galleries: Vence is home to a number of art galleries that display works by local and international artists.
Go hiking: There are a number of hiking trails in the hills around Vence, which offer fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
Take a cooking class: Vence is known for its delicious food, so why not take a cooking class and learn how to make some of the local dishes?
Visit the markets: There are a number of markets in Vence selling everything from fresh produce to souvenirs.
Relax in the sunshine: Vence is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.

Where to eat

This is a short list of excellent restaurants.

La Colombe d’Or: This Michelin-star restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in Vence.
La Maison des Oliviers: This restaurant serves traditional Provencal cuisine.
Le Bistrot des Arts: This bistro serves classic French cuisine.
Le Zinc: This cafe is a great place to people-watch and enjoy a coffee or a drink.

Where to stay

Hotel La Colombe d’Or: This luxurious hotel is a great place to stay if you are looking for a special occasion.
Hôtel Le Mas Candille: This 5-star hotel is set in beautiful gardens.
Hôtel Le Saint Paul: This hotel is located in the heart of the old town.
Hôtel Le Vieux Moulin: This hotel is located in a converted mill.

Did Picasso know Vence?

Yes, Pablo Picasso knew and enjoyed Vence. He first visited the city in 1939 after fleeing the Spanish Civil War. He stayed at the Hotel La Colombe d’Or, which became a popular meeting place for artists and writers. Picasso returned to Vence several times over the years, and he created a number of paintings and sculptures there.

One of Picasso’s most famous works, The Weeping Woman, was inspired by his time in Vence. The painting depicts a woman with a distorted face, her eyes filled with tears. It is a powerful and moving image and is considered one of Picasso’s most important works.

Picasso also created a number of other works in Vence, including The Goat, The Tête de Femme and The Bather. These works are all characterized by their bold colors and simplistic shapes. They reflect Picasso’s interest in abstraction and his desire to create new forms of expression.

Picasso’s time in Vence was a productive and creative period. He was surrounded by other artists and writers, and he was inspired by the beauty of the city and the surrounding countryside. His work from this period is some of his best and continues to be admired by art lovers around the world.

What other artists visited Vence

Vence has been a popular destination for artists for centuries. Here are some of the other artists who visited Vence:

Henri Matisse: Matisse lived in this town from 1943 to 1949 and he created some of his most famous works there, including the Chapelle du Rosaaire.

Marc Chagall: Chagall lived in Vence from 1949 to 1966 and he created a series of stained glass windows, murals and paintings there.
Pierre Bonnard: Bonnard lived in Vence from 1946 until his death in 1947. He created a series of paintings and pastels of the city and the surrounding landscape.

Jean Cocteau: Cocteau visited Vence in the early 1950s and he created a number of drawings and paintings there.

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