Ca and old road of Tende col (Roya slope)

The Roya side old road of Tende Col develops its laces on the steep southern slope of the ridge.

Period Eighteenth

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The Roya side old col road traces 46 spectacular laces on almost 600 m vertical drop and 7.5 km long. Traced after 1780, its high masonry retaining walls are visible along the route.

The maintenance of this road has always been difficult, and in winter the mule companies of Tende and Limone were in charge of clearing the road. For the travelers who went from Tende to Limone, it was offered go down the road on a sledge on the adapted northern slope. The luggage-loaded mules needed two additional hours to reach the Limone relay.

In 1882, the entry into service of the tunnel, whose entrance is at 1279 m altitude Roya side and 1320 m Vermenagna side, avoided the most difficult passage of the Tende – Limone.

The Ca was built on the Tende side at 1430 m altitude (about 450 m below the col), to serve as a stopover and shelter. It is composed of several buildings forming a U around a central courtyard. There was room and board. The mounts could be sheltered and cared for, and the carriages disassembled to be loaded on the mules to cross the pass in the winter.

Having lost its vocation following the opening of the Tende tunnel in 1882, the Ca was temporarily reassigned to troops parking. It is now inexorably in ruins, its situation (accessibility, climatic conditions) making difficult a reconversion necessary to its conservation.

Conditions of visit

From Tende: the downstream access of the old road is west of the southern entrance to the Tende tunnel (non drivable)

From Limone: Car access to the col is possible in the summer, from E74 road, by a branch of Limonetto road, via the Panice Soprana locality.

Authorized and easy access upstream and downstream the road, nearby parking. The road and the Ca can be discovered on foot.

Permanent opening of the road to the public, possibility of snow in winter. The interior of the Ca is forbidden to the public for security reasons.


Additional information


  • Banaudo José, Règlement des transports au Col de Tende, Magazine Le Haut-Pays N°55, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 2002.
  • Beltrutti Giorgio, Tende et La Brigue, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1988.
  • Ortolani Marc, Souvenirs de voyage sur la route du col de Tende au XVIII° siècle, Magazine Le Haut-Pays N°13, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1988.
  • Ortolani Marc, Tende 1699-1792, Destin d’une autonomie communale, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1994.
  • Collectif, Magazine Le Haut-Pays N° 35, Numéro spécial. Saint Eloi à Tende, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1996.

Useful links