visit Vence or just St Paul de Vence?

Sep 7th, 2007, 12:59 PM
  #1  
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visit Vence or just St Paul de Vence?

Unfortunately we have only 3 days in Nice (end of September). I know we'll want to spend much time in the city itself, but I also know I'd like to visit Eze and St Paul de Vence. I'm wondering whether to include Vence as well (on the day we go to St Paul). I remember that decades ago, one of our friends (since gone to her reward) loved Vence as much as almost any place in France, but I can't remember why.
poss is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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St Paul de Vence and Vence are pretty much next to each other so you could easily do them at the same time. St Paul de Vence is very crowded with tourists but is quite charming. The Fondation Maight just outside of St Paul de Vence is one of the finest small contemporary art museums in the world.
Vence is more like a "real" town. The old town area is very nice and the farmers' market is a good one. The main tourist attraction in Vence is the Matisse Chapel which is pretty much a "must-see".
Eze is on the other side of Nice between Villefranche and Monte Carlo. It is similar to St Paul de Vence in that it's a perched village. It is also usually filled with tourists but also quite beautiful.
sequess is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Are you a fan of Chagall? I am. I hope you intend to visit the Chagall Biblical Museum in Nice--my kids finally "got it" when they saw it. The man endured so much and decided to embrace life.

Anyway, in the central church of Vence is the Chagall baptismal font. It's nothing really big--it just has his sense of joy. And what matched it when we visited was a simple bulletin board opposite with pinned-on pics of the most recent infants to be baptized. I felt Chagall would have loved that.
josephina is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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By all means visit Vence. The old town there is quite pleasant and less filled with tourists than St-Paul. If you plan to visit the Matisse chapel, check on opening days--it's often closed for religious holidays.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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Thanks for replies. We'll be traveling by bus from Nice. Is the bus connection between St Paul and Vence simple? We're oldsters, and also don't speak French. Have gotten to the point where we like things fairly simple. (Ah, for the good old days of back-packing with thumb out.)
By the way, if we had time to do see either Cap Ferrat or Cap d'Ail (walk to Monaco?), which would you recommend.

Continued thanks.
poss is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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ttt
Byrd is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat would be my pick in a heart beat--beautiful and lush, with terrific views of the two bays. There's a nice walk around the peninsula, and you might have lunch at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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We also only traveled by bus. Connection is simple; you have to be alert, though, for your stop from Vence to St Paul de Vence (which seems a tad odd when one has never BEEN to St. Paul de Vence before).
josephina is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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We just stayed in Vence last September for three nights. We enjoyed the town very much. The old town is great as others have mentioned. Restaurant suggestion for old town Vence is L'Armoise. Great seafood and wonderful to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere. The apple tartin with cinnamon ice cream definitely not bad. The owners are very nice.

On the way to the Matisse Chapel, crossing a bridge, you get a nice view of the old town. This gives another perspective after walking around inside of it.

We did not venture out to St. Paul de Vence since this was our last stop. We wanted to chill out before heading home.

Have a fabulous time.
Lauricelli is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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I used the bus from Nice to "the Vences" this summer. (Based in Villefranche)I combined the two and it was easy- St Paul is the next to last stop and Vence the last. The art was my focus- the Fondation Maeght was unbelievable and a highlight of the entire trip- you also get the spectacular views there. It was an uphill but not strenuous 15- 20 minute walk from the bus stop, which is just at the door to the Colombe d'Or, where I stupidly waited until two weeks prior to make lunch reservations and couldn't get it. The town of St. Paul itself had lots of shops but didn't interest me much- the inset stones in patterns on the twisty lanes are very cute and everything was "just so". To get to Vence you just go back to where you were dropped off in St. Paul and get back on the bus- I was surprised to have to pay full fare to ride just one more stop.
Vence felt much more real. The bus was a little confusing, because it stops well outside the old town- but is only about a ten- fifteen minute walk (ask someone if you are direction -challenged, like me!). I found a shortcut to the Matisse Chapel, which was exquisite. We caught the last bus back to Nice, although it was late and that was a little stressful. It is easy to combine the two as a day trip- I would suggest a nice long lunch in either town, as a break between the two.
I also did both the walks you are considering. You can't go wrong! The Rothschild gardens were unbelievable and the views even better, and we ate at a cafe at the Cap Ferrat. It is a lovely mostly level paved path- we walked from Villefranche. You could take the bus or train to the town just past Villefranche (name escapes me). The walk to Monaco was also beautiful and totally level. But then you would be only almost to Monaco and not go? The walk took about an hour and a half, but it was very hot (summer) and we dawdled. If you are not going to Monaco, maybe Cap Ferrat would be the better choice.
sglass is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #11  
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Thanks for all these terrific responses-- very helpful indeed!
poss is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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The bus from Nice stops on the road below the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild, which I found a very enjoyable stop. And I loved the Fondation Maeght, one of the best museums I've ever been too.

However, with only 3 days in Nice and Eze in one direction, the "Vences" in another
Mimar is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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The bus from Nice stops on the road below the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild, which I found a very enjoyable stop. And I loved the Fondation Maeght, one of the best museums I've ever been too.

However, with only 3 days in Nice and Eze in one direction, the "Vences" in another, I doubt you'll have time for Cap Ferrat also -- unless you make it a priority.
Mimar is offline  

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