Situated at 450 metres altitude, La Turbie is located at the highest point on the Via Julia Augusta, offering breathtaking views over the mountains and countryside. Higher still, from its Tête de Chien at 1,150 metres, you can see the bay of Ventimiglia and Bordighera in Italy and all the way over to the Esterel while taking in Cap Ferrat, Nice, Antibes and even Corsica on a clear day!
Under Roman authority starting in the 1st century BC, La Turbie was ruled directly by the emperor himself. More than 2000 years ago, to celebrate his victory over the Ligurian tribes the emperor Augustus had the Tropaeum Alpium, or Trophy of Augustus, built there.
A stronghold, in the Middle Ages, it fell under the dominion of the Republic of Genoa before becoming part of the Principality of Monaco (We can sadly remember that Princess Grace died in a car accident on the route that leads to the village). In 1860, La Turbie became part of France and at the end of the 19th century, the first tourists of the "Belle Epoque" began to invade the village with several famous people spending time there.
La Turbie has kept the charm of its glorious past almost completely intact with its harmonious mix of classic, medieval and baroque styles. The village was partially built with stones taken from the Trophy of Augustus. Today, the visitor can still see the ramparts from the Middle Ages, the cobblestone streets and arched passageways, a Romanesque fountain and a beautiful baroque church and its square bell tower with a roof of shiny tiles.
The baroque Saint-Michel church was built in 1764. It houses many artworks such as the prestigious Virgin Mary from the 15th century School of Bréa. Frescoes and stucco ornamentation cover the nave and the side chapels with their arches mounted on high pilasters.
But beyond its old quarter, La Turbie is a very animated French village with many shops and businesses in its modern part (which still dates from the 19th century...). Situated on the main route of the Moyenne Corniche, it invites motorists and cyclists for a well-deserved stopover. First of all for something to eat – the village is not lacking in restaurants! - and then even to spend the night: La Turbie has a few hotels to offer, one of which has a Michelin-starred restaurant.