We thought this time we would be able to explore the Roya Valley up to the Col de Tende pass and use this route to go to Cuneo in Italy. We had already intended to come here in April 2018, but back then, snow had made it impossible. We didn’t know that in October 2020 storm Alex had caused record breaking flooding and devastation to this region. It was the worst for at least 120 years, when records began.
In the Middle Ages, this route through the Roya Valley was an important salt road. The salt was extracted on the coast and then transported on mule tracks over the Col de Tende to Italy.
Today a road and a train line follow the river and a tunnel helps to get to the other side of the mountain pass. But the flood had destroyed bridges and the road in many parts of the valley. Here a link to some pictures, which show the extent of the catastrophe.
We came past many roadworks, until we reached one, where the road was blocked for at least the next 2 hours. We had already read signs, that also the tunnel at Col de Tende is closed for the unforeseeable future, but we hoped to be able to use a route over the mountains. Locals informed us, that it is not possible to go over the pass to Italy, so we finally turned around.
We are now taking a different route to Piemont, where we want to celebrate our anniversary – more on our next post!