Iconic cliff-clinging coast road
From Menton, the road starts to climb immediately with terrific views out to sea. At Roquebrune, the 10thC Château des Grimaldis is the oldest feudal keep in France, and the pretty village was a popular subject for Sir Winston Churchill’s painting holidays. Directly above Monaco, La Turbie shelters in the lee of the looming Tête de Chien. With the recent opening of a tunnel between the autoroute and the Moyenne Corniche, La Turbie is now a much quieter place. A staging post on the Roman Alpine Route, Via Julia, it was chosen as the site of the massive Trophée des Alpes which commemorates Augustus’ victory over the Ligurian tribes of southern Gaul, Reached by a flight of steps, parts of the walls have been rebuilt to a height of 30 m.
Heading for Nice, the Corniche slices on across the hillside to Col d’Eze, where you could turn off and make a short detour to the village of Eze. Though robbed of atmosphere by its tourist trap status, it is nonetheless one of the most spectacular of the region’s villages perchés set sheer above the sea on a rocky outcrop.
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