Saint-Paul de Vence

Saint-Paul de Vence is located atop a hill a few kilometers from the ocean between Nice and Antibes. As you enter this medieval village you will be transported to another century, surrounded by stone towers and walls, narrow streets, medieval buildings and spectacular views.

Though small, the village has no shortage of cultural tourism. The Local History Museum illustratively exhibits the village's historical periods, and the town's eighteen art galleries symbolize its long romance with art. Saint-Paul de Vence has hosted numerous film artists including Orson Welles, Michael Caine, Kirk Douglas, Gene Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Donald Pleasance, and Tony Curtis. Also part of the artistic realm is the hotel La Colombe d'Or, which has long served as reunion point for many artists including Picasso, Miró, Matisse, Marc Chagall, Modigliani, Braque, and Fernand Léger. The hotel currently exhibits their works of art.

Another notable art institution in Saint-Paul de Vence is the Maeght Foundation. Designed by renowned Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert, the foundation was conceived by art enthusiasts Aimé and Marguerite Maeght as an artists' refuge for creating, exhibiting and interchanging work and ideas. Its rooms, gardens, and natural spaces exhibit one of the largest collections of contemporary art of the 20th century in Europe. To dive deeper into the history of local art and culture, visit the Saint-Paul Museum.

The Grande Fontaine square on Rue Grande is perfect for a short break. This square dates back to the 17th century, and besides historically being used for clothes washing and local markets, it's also been used as a film set and a subject for numerous works of art. As you leave the village by car or bus, take a last look from a short distance away. It's one of the best views you'll get of the village, as beautifully delicate as it is imposing, with its medieval bastion that watches all that occurs below.

Map of routes and landmarks in Saint-Paul de Vence:

Route Descriptions

1. Arriving at La Colombe d'Or:

Time15 min. walking

When you get off at the bus stop on Route de Vence, go down the hill a bit towards the village entrance and pass the Hotel La Colombe d'Or to the left and then the Café de la Place patio to the right. There the Rue de la Tour will take you into the interior of the village, passing the defense walls at the Port de Vence.

2. Walk along the Rue Grande:

Time~ 20 min. walking

This route starts at the Port de Vence (the tunnel under the medieval walled tower) and heads towards the center of the village on the main street Rue Grande. You will pass several shops and art galleries before reaching the Grande-Fontaine, Le Pontis (a 15th century bridge), La Placette and finally the southern wall where the cemetery and Marc Chagall's tomb are.

Rue Grande, St. Paul de Vence, France

Rue Grande

Olive tree in stone patio, St. Paul de Vence, France

Olive tree in a stone patio

La Placette, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

La Placette

Art gallery, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
1. Gateway to Vence
2. Maeght Foundation
3. La Grande Fontaine square
4. Penitents Blancs Chapel
5. Hotel La Colombe d'Or
6. Oil mill
What's most popular in St. Paul de Vence 

The coat of arms of Saint Paul de Vence and the flag of Provence-Maritime Alps-Côte d'Azur

Important Facts

Population

Saint-Paul de Vence: 3,477

Nearby towns and cities
Cagnes-sur-mer  (5 km / 3 mi)
Vence  (7 km / 4 mi)
Antibes  (17 km / 11 mi)
Nice  (20 km / 12 mi)
Grasse  (22 km / 14 mi)
Cannes  (27 km / 17 mi)
Monaco  (40 km / 25 mi)
Transportation
The village can only be accessed by secondary highway by bus or car. To reach St. Paul de Vence from Nice, take the bus number 400, which leaves from the Albert I Park near Massena.
 
View from Rue Grande, Saint-Paul de Vence

View from Rue Grande

Underground art gallery on Rue Grande

Hotel La Colombe d'Or, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

Hotel La Colombe d'Or

Gallery

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