Before starting work on the current Tunnel, several construction sites tried to drill the mountain to allow easier transit between the Vermenagna and Roya valleys.
The first round of work dates back to 1614 on the impulse of the Duke of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel I and was interrupted after 40 metres of progress due to the inadequacy of the available technical means and the lack of funds. In 1780 the government of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia promoted a new work campaign that after about 10 years of work was abandoned. Under the Napoleonic rule, in 1802, a third attempt at the tunnel was also abandoned due to technical and economic difficulties.
The tunnel stops after a hundred meters; by observing the colour and appearance of the debris inside, it is possible to identify the three rounds of work that between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries saw the attempt to open the first tunnel connecting Italy and France.