Tende, like much of the surrounding territory and neighbouring La Brigue remained Italian until 1947. They were not in fact handed back to France with the rest of the County of Nice in 1860. To this day some local people speak Tendasque, a patois related to the old Ligurian language. In fact, many young people speak Italian as well as French!
Located high up, (816m/2,677ft), in the Roya Valley on the old Route de Sel, this typical Alpine town has shingle roofed houses on steep terraces and is surrounded by mountains, more than 20 of which are higher than 2000m/6562ft. The modern road and rail tunnel of the Col de Tende leading into Italy is only 3km/2m up the road.
Don’t miss: the chapels of the Black and White Penitents or the 15th century Collégiale Notre Dame-de-l’Assumption.
Market day: Wednesday