Today we drive to Vence primarily to see Matisses’ Chapelle du Rosaire. This involved driving through Nice and up into the hills.
Fortunately we had a gps which made it possible to actually get there. Even so, we got lost in Vence and took a while to find the Chapelle. By the time we got there and parked, it was closed until the afternoon. So we drove back into the center of town and parked. It’s a charming town with an old walled town and surrounded by a newer town. We stopped at the tourist bureau and got a map and orientation. Then looked for a store that sold umbrellas. It had rained earlier and we were not prepared for it. Then we walked around the old town some and then back to the main plaza.
It was lunchtime so we found a restaurant to eat. By the time we finished, it was close to the Chapelle opening. We made the 20 minute walk rather than drive just so we could see more of the town.
The Chapelle du Rosaire was designed by the elderly and aging Matisse as thanks to a Dominican sister who had taken care of him several years earlier when he was recovering from a serious illness. It’s a very modest chapel holding a simple series of charcoal black-on-white tile sketches of the fourteen stages of the cross. There are some beautiful yellow, green and blue stained glass which make for a simple yet spiritual space. Matisse designed and supervise the building of the entire place. Unfortunately he never saw the finished work.
We were going to drive up to and village, St Paul, but the road was too winding and I didn’t want to drive it. Too much risk of damaging the rental car. So drove back to downtown Nice to check out a square we spotted the day before and go to a large department store called Galleria Lafayette. Somewhat like Macy’s. We were looking for some specific Opinel knives but they did not have the right size.
The intensity of the trip was beginning to tell on us so we went back to the apartment, ate leftovers from the night before and crashed.