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Via del Sale - the Salt Road

When we seek some coolness on a hot day, we don’t turn left towards the sea, but right towards the mountains. We then drive along the winding roads towards Colle Melosa. When you walk up to the Rifugio there, you arrive at an old military border post. It’s a tough climb, but you have a beautiful view and on a clear day, you can see the sea and sometimes even Corsica. This road is part of a network of spectacular roads and paths over which, as early as the 14th and 15th centuries, salt was transported by mules from French and Italian coastal towns along mountain ridges towards Piedmont.

These are spectacular paths, right along the border between France and Italy, over mountain ridges and past late 19th-century military forts. The area also boasts a great variety of special plants (2,600 species have been recorded in this area). The Ligurian Alps have such great botanical wealth because environmental conditions can vary significantly on different sides of the same mountain. The southern slopes enjoy a Mediterranean climate, while the other slopes have a continental climate.

The vast area can be explored along the road itself or via countless paths that wind between Italy and France, and between the mountains and the sea. This extensive network is suitable for hikers, mountain bikers, and even off-road enthusiasts. The area is open between summer and autumn, after the snow has melted.

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