At first I was surprised to run across so many books (both old and new) about Vence. After all, it’s not really that big of a town (about 18,000 currently) and while we do get a fair amount of tourists, it’s not a big tourist destination compared to places like Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and other places along the Côte d’Azur. But, the more I thought about it the less surprised I was. Vence is a special place and people have recognized that for a long time. It has such a rich history and the people who live here love this town dearly. It only makes sense that many of them would write about it.
Books about Vence go back hundreds of years. Of course, the older they are the more expensive and harder they are to find. I keep a constant eye out at bookstores, markets and other places that sell books and I’ve been able to find quite a few cool items over the last couple of years. I hope you enjoy looking at the wide range of books I’ve collected. If you have any questions about any of them, or would like more information, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inscriptions Romaines de Vence
1869 / French
66 pages / Digital
A well-known book from the 1800s that takes a deep look into all the Roman artifacts that can be found in Vence. I found a copy (of a copy) of this in the local library and scanned and digitized it. Actual printed copies are very rare (and expensive).
1914 / French
62 pages / 20cm x 13cm
An early guidebook to Vence published just before World War I. The author is listed only as J.D. and it says that all profits from the book will go to the Church of Vence. Subjects covered include the church, monuments, Saints, Bishops, Priests, treasures, relics and chapels. No pictures or drawings.
Vence – La Cité des Fleurs
1924 / French
96 pages / 16cm x 10cm
What a cool find! I picked this up at the weekly Wednesday antique market here in Vence. A little guide book from the 1920s that has everything. Almost 100 pages of information and photos provide a very comprehensive view of Vence 100 years ago.
Maintenance Ligurienne de Vence
1927 / French
24 pages / 22cm x 13cm
Records from 1926 and 1927 of a Vence organization called “Maintenace Ligurienne,” formed in 1924 and devoted to studying and preserving the language, traditions and origins of Provence.
Vence Et Ses Monuments
1934 / French
226 pages / 30cm x 21cm
1937 (?) / French
88 pages / 21cm x 14cm
A wonderful, thorough guidebook to Vence with lots and lots of information. Lots of black and white photos and some maps as well. Published by the Syndicate d’Initiative de Vence (the old Tourist Office).
1945 / English
201 pages / 29cm x 14cm
The most comprehensive history of Vence written in English. It’s usually fairly easy to find online. Written in the 1920s it’s a fascinating look into Vence’s past, going all the way back to pre-history. You can also download a copy from this website.
Etude sur les Sols de la Région Vençoise
1947 / French
24 pages pages / 22cm x 14cm
A small booklet with information about the soils of the Vence region and advice for farmers. Published by the city of Vence with an introduction by the Deputy Mayor at the time, Emile Hugues.