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Via Julia Augusta

The famous Roman road

Farmers, breeders, merchants, conquerors… the Romans were fantastic builders too and specialised in roads. Building roads on land was all about strategy for them as it was vital to their rise to glory. Built after the oldest road in France, the Via Domitia, the Via Julia Augusta ran from Rome to Gaul along the coast. It was founded by the Emperor Augustus in 15BC, has more than one claim to fame and is now one of the region’s most popular roads for tourists.

All roads lead

to Rome

The Via Julia Augusta is a road from La Turbie to Ventimiglia. It was built when Augustus had managed to tame the Alps and inspired by the myth of Hercules wanting to link Spain to Sicily. It’s straighter than the Via Domitia and was far more popular among soldiers and merchants. It’s peppered with huge milestones with markings from Rome and seen as one of the greatest structures from the Roman Empire’s early days.

Did you know?

Roman roads are always named after their founder. Julia for Jullii, Julius Caesar’s family (Emperor Augustus was his adoptive son), and Augusta for Augustus.

Four historical sites

to visit on the Via

Whilst visiting the Menton, Riviera & Merveilles area, make sure you hit this road to explore all its treasures. The route is lined with unmissable places to stop in the four towns it runs through. Four sites that ooze history, four exciting Roman ruins to uncover

Mont des Mules:

a strategic point of view

The Roman road continues to the top of Beausoleil, a highly strategic site given its incredible panoramic views of the Mediterranean coast. The 291m high Mont des Mules has been listed as a Monument Historique since 1939. It has visible traces of a protohistorical oppidum that was there before the road was built. A viewfinder table at the top helps walkers get the most from the view.

Menton Regional Prehistory Museum

This is the last stop in France before you reach Italy. This museum’s many exhibitions introduce milestone events in prehistory, Roman times, between the Iron Age and Late antiquity in Menton, the Alpes-Maritimes and Ventimiglia. These collections capture the Romans’ lifestyle, habitat and funereal customs.