Via del Sale

The ancient road from Colle di Tenda, runs along the border, to then develop between French and Ligurian territory.

Typology Road

Period Before 1380

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

Built at the time of Charlemagne, it is mentioned in documents from 1207 and with its over 800 years of history, the Via de Sale can be considered one of the oldest salt roads in the Peninsula. For years it was a strategic route for the transit of goods and people: here there was always a stop for the change of the quadrupeds and the driver, to then continue towards Colle di Tenda (one of the few connecting roads between the plain and the sea). In the ducal period of the Savoy dynasty, it was named as Via Marenca, which leads to the sea; however, it is simplistic to identify it as a trade route, as its functions were also administrative and political.

Until the 2nd World War, the road had to be maintained and this allowed the conservation of this important route.

Today the road is a high-altitude route that connects the Colle di Tenda to Monesi (a town in the Ligurian hinterland) and which is covered from spring to autumn by bike, motorbike or on foot. It develops halfway up, at altitudes between 1800 and 2000 m above sea level, involving two states, three regions, two provinces, a department and ten municipalities.

Conditions of visit

From the town of Limone Piemonte you can reach, by road, the starting gate of the former Limone-Monesi military road, on Colle di Tenda.
Dirt track.
Access and free visit from spring to autumn, with a €15 ticket per day per car.


Additional information


  • Pier Giorgio Martino, La via del Sale, dal colle di Tenda al mare attraverso le strade ex militari , BBEuropa Edizioni 2016.