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The salt road Limone-Monesi


The uncontaminated nature of our territory gives the opportunity to enjoy outdoor sports in every season. Hiking, cycling, riding a horse or a motorbike, skiing, skating… or simply walking under the wonderful old arcades of the town of Cuneo or going down into the underground world through grottoes and caves or, again, getting in the sky on a balloon overlooking villages, rivers, white peaks and green countryside.

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The salt road Limone-Upega.
The most beautiful dirt road in Europe, spanning from the mountains to the sea.

The Limone-Monesi is a wonderful itinerary that winds down an old military road between 5905 and 6889 ft (1800 and 2100 m) high. The unpaved circuit, which connects Limone and Upega, is 24-mile-long (39 km) and open to transit in autumn and summer. The path is accessible to hikers and cycle tourists, and it’s also open to motor vehicles upon payment of a fee. The trail crosses enchanting places, such as the breathtaking lunar landscapes of the Carsene area, the untouched and safeguarded regions of the Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Alps Park, rich in biodiversity, and lastly the magnificent Bosco delle Navette - Navette’s Forest, and the military fortifications dating back to the end of the 19th century. Along their journey, travellers can experience the extraordinary charm of countless and unforgettable scenic spots: it will be impossible for them not to come back to retrace this fascinating path.

L’anello dei forti
Experienced cycle tourists can challenge themselves on this 75-mile-long (120 km) loop, which is also accessible to motorcycles and 4WD quad bikes. At the crossroad for Monesi, which corresponds to the end of the toll section, the circuit continues to the right, towards the Tanarello Pass. Just before the pass, a slight detour takes you to the Redentore Peak, a not-to-be-missed panoramic spot. Coming back from the Tanarello Pass, the road goes on towards Collardente and the Sanson lowlands; turning right from there, it is possible to reach the Notre dame des Fontaines Chapel with its astonishing frescos, and then on to La Brigue, a French town. The journey continues on paved road towards Tenda and then to Casterino; from there it stretches down a dirt road in the direction of the Peyrafica lowlands all the way to the Tenda pass which runs along 19th century forts and casemates.

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The "Roa Marenca" road
The white gold roads from Mondovì to Ormea

Along these roads, salt was transported. Salt was necessary to preserve food, and it was so valuable that sometimes it was traded like gold! Then the fridge, invented in the 20th century, made these roads obsolete, but now we can rediscover them with all the culture, the nature and the tastes they still have! We are talking about a 60 km-long itinerary twisting and turning across woods and mountains, where you can test yourself on dirt-road itineraries through some circular routes.

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