Salt Road

From Colle of Tenda to Ventimiglia along the former military roads

The route known as Salt Road is the toll highway, which connects the Colle of Tenda to Monesi (village in Liguria).

In the heart of the Ligurian Alps, along the ridge that separates the plain from the sea, it develops one of the tracks of the "Salt Road", so called because of the precious mineral for centuries carried by mule through these mountains. Why "Salt Road"? Remember that salt, staple food and feed, it was for centuries more precious than gold, so that the tracks of salt have formed the great trade routes of antiquity, in Europe as in Asia and Africa.

Even in Limone Piemonte trade in this raw material has taken on great importance because of the geographical position in Piemonte. Surrounded by the Alps for half and the other half without any outlet to the sea. Liguria, once the Republic of Genoa, was always at odds with the House of Savoy, which is why the traffic coming from Turin and Cuneo were generally stop in Limone where it was the change of the beasts of burden and towed and its drivers, and then continue to Colle of Tenda, which since ancient times was one of the few ways of connection between the plain and the sea. Caravans continued then to the Colle of Boaria and, crossing the region of Carsene and Herrenkohlern, continued towards Monesi and the next step of Tanarello.

Before the Second World War, the mountain of The Regiment had the task of maintaining the road in the best road conditions. This allowed the excellent preservation of this important road that winds in the high mountains.

The route, entirely unpaved, is totally built hillside at an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,000 meters above sea level.
Its total length is about 39 km, developed in part on the Italian side and the French side, through the territory of:

  • two countries (France and Italy);
  • three Regions (Liguria, Piemonte e Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur);
  • two provinces (Cuneo and Imperia) and a French Department (Departement des Alpes Maritimes);
  • ten municipalities (Limone Piemonte, Briga Alta, Tende, La Brigue, Triora, Mendatica, Montegrosso Pian Latte, Pornassio, Carpasio, Cosio d'Arroscia).

This road is currently covered by the European Project Transboundary Alcotra, which aims to restore parts of the infrastructure at high risk of degradation, ensuring many more years of life in this beautiful work.

Look online the PDF dedicated to Salt Road - inside historical notes and maps of the trails and paths.
We remind you that the PDf is not downloadable, but you can purchase hard copy at all newsstands of Limone Piemonte.



The Tenda tunnel is regularly open.