Fort Central à TendeFort Central à Tende
©Fort Central à Tende |Drone De Regard

Italian fortifications

Italian fortifications, a forgotten border

Tension between France and Italy in the late 19th century saw the latter cover its peaks with several military structures. The region was still Italian at the time as King Victor Emmanuel II had managed to hold onto Tende and La Brigue when the county of Nice ended in 1860.

Col de Tende fortified sites,

jam-packed with history

If you love history, the great outdoors and jaw-dropping views then you’re really going to love these stone fortresses whose loopholes look onto an idyllic landscape.

A masterpiece: Central Fort. The border ridge is teeming with military constructions some of which have fascinating architecture. The Central Fort is one of them. It’s surrounded by 5 other rectangular forts. The Italian military genius built them between 1800 and 1900 surrounded by deep ditches which you’d take a drawbridge over to reach. Seriously spooky when it’s foggy!


Did you know?

A 3.2km cable car line was built in 1900 to link the mountain pass (no road access in winter) to the shops below.


forts attacking the peaks


among the forts

Nature has reclaimed the sites and the abandoned fortresses are yours to explore on a hike or mountain bike trail. Enjoy incredible unobstructed views on a loop between Col de Tende, Central Fort and Tabourde Fort.

Tende : des forts à l'assaut des cimes
Tende : des forts à l'assaut des cimes
Tende : des forts à l'assaut des cimes
To reach the Roya Valley
  • Roya Valley Access

    Storm Alex hit our area hard on 2nd October in 2020. Please note that access to some Roya Valley towns and villages has been seriously affected.

    To ensure you have a great time, whether at mid or high altitude, we strongly recommend contacting the Tende Tourist Information service prior to your visit: +33 4 83 93 98 82 or

    Roya Valley Access