Ensemble of the hamlet Piène-Haute

The hamlet occupies a narrow rocky ridge perpendicular to the Roya surrounded by gardens to the south and steep forest to the north. The church and castle, at the end of the hamlet, are based on a steep cliff on the Roya.

Period Before 1380

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The territory of Piène-Haute was attached to the town of Breil in 1947. It includes the historic hamlet and agricultural lands partly to the northwest and partly to the southwest of the rocky ridge.

The hamlet of Piène-Haute (600 m altitude) is characterized by a relative isolation that derives from its military location at the origin (medieval Genoese stronghold). The access via a motorized road was created only after joining France.

It overlooks the Roya river on a 200 m high peak and enjoys a very wide field of vision towards the peaks of Mercantour and the sea.

The whole village is spectacular by its linear configuration, as by the quite preserved homogeneity of its aspect.

The Saint-Marc church, a historical monument, presents baroque Ligurian decorations from the early eighteenth century. The White Penitents Chapel (Historical Monument) preserved its neo-Gothic decorations of the end of the 19th century.

The small houses of the hamlet, as well as its roads, are carefully maintained and flowered by the population. They maintain a pleasant overall unity.

The castle of Piène-Haute (private) is a former Genoese stronghold of medieval origin (XI – XVII), located on a rocky edge at the end of the hamlet, overlooking the Roya.

Conditions of visit

Permanent public access of the hamlet, but the internal slopes and steps in the hamlet make it less accessible to people with reduced mobility.


Additional information


  • Botton Charles, Histoire de Breil et des Breillois, Les Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya, 1996.
  • Iperti Luigi, Histoire de Piène-Haute et Libre, de Barba Gè, des Iperti et Ipert à Penna, Olivetta, Ravaï et Libre, Edizioni REI, 2014.
  • Limon Lorenzo, Penna Vintimili, Olivetta San Michele, SPA, Stabilimento Tipografico Editoriale State, Cuneo, 1962.

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