Route de Sel

The Salt Road

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The main area of salt production in the region is the Camargue where Salines have produced salt since Roman times. It was transported by sea from here to Nice and Ventimiglia in modern Italy.

Two routes

In fact, Emperor Augustus created the route from Ventimiglia up the Roya Valley and over the Col de Tende. The other road went from Nice up the Valley of the Vésubie to St-Martin-Vésubie and beyond. These routes avoided the main roads and consequently the bandits who patrolled them. Both passed through some of the settlements featured in my Vésubie route such as Utelle and St-Martin-Vésubie and Sospel, Breil, Saorge and Tende in my Roya route.

The Dark Ages and after

Despite difficult times after the Romans left, salt merchants still followed these routes. By the Middle Ages the Counts of Ventimiglia, and later the Counts of Provence, had a monopoly over the trade, maintaining the routes to raise revenue. Later the Dukes of Savoy took control and imposed ‘La Gabelle du Sel de Nice’ which remained till 1790.

At A Glance

La Bollene Vésubie

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