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 email@example.com.
1952 / French
76 pages / 24cm x 19cm
A very interesting book with a 15 page introduction about Vence and then lots of photographs from the early 1950s. It’s a limited edition (I have #6, though it’s unclear what the total was) printed on special paper. My copy is signed by the author who wrote the introduction.
Vence – France – Côte d’Azur
1953 (?) / French
36 pages / 16cm x 11cm
I suspect this little book dates from the early 1950s because it lists the Chapelle du Rosaire (which was finished in 1951). A wonderful little guide to Vence with sites, hikes, hotels, restaurants, and more.
You can download this book in PDF format, in French or an English translation I have created.
Histoire et Légendes de Vence
1954 / French & English
16 pages / 18cm x 14cm
This booklet from 1954 (with both French and English sections) recounts a bit of the history of Vence, including stories about Saint Veran, Charlemagne, Queen Jeanne and Bishop Godeau. It’s pretty short, but includes a cool fold-out map of the town.
You can download this book and map in PDF format.
Vence – Une Commune, Un Évêché
1954 / French
184 pages / 19cm x 14cm
A book dedicated to an in-depth history of the Catholic religion in Vence when it was a bishopric (a district under a bishop’s control). Covering the periods from 374 to the late 1700s.
1er Festival International de Pétanque
1959 / French
12 pages / 24cm x 16cm
A program for the First International Festival of Pêtanque held in Vence in 1959. Information about the rules, schedules of play, prizes and more for the festival.
You can download this book in PDF format, in the original French.
Terre de Provence – Vence – St-Paul-de-Vence
1964 / French
110 pages / 19cm x 14cm
A nice book with stories, histories, legends, festivals, landmarks and more about Vence and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Some interesting black and white photographs from the 1960s
Dans la Fontaine du Peyra
1969 / French
83 pages / 21cm x 15cm
A book of legends, stories, myths and more from in and around Vence. Several nice watercolor paintings included. A limited, numbered edition of which this is #1148.
Histoire de Vence
1969 / French & English
40 pages / 19cm x 14cm
This is a reprint of the same booklet from 1954 (they changed the title slightly). It has the exact same content except it does not contain the little fold-out map of Vence. The printing is much bigger, so it’s over twice the number of pages as the earlier version.