Less than an hour’s drive from Nice Riviera International Airport, the visitor can follow the Valley of the River Var out of Nice and enter the narrow, mineral doorway called the Mescla Gorges to the confluent Tinée Valley. This tranquil river valley is still preserved from the effects of mass tourism.
Just past the old “Pont de la Lune” bridge that spans the Tinée River, the visitor can turn off and climb the seven kilometers that lead to the hilltop village of La Tour, whose history goes back to Roman times. Or he or she could follow the valley road and catch a glimpse of the Roman-era Gabre Bridge and end up in the open pasture lands of Roussillon, which is a fast-growing village today.
He or she will be charmed by monuments and a wealth of ancient, preserved patrimonial elements. There are mills for grinding flour and making olive oil, chapels and churches, notably the Baroque jewel which is Saint Martin’s Church in La Tour.
The sound of running water is the rhythm of life in the mountain countryside near Nice and animates life in our villages. The canal, still a babbling open-air duct in some places, brings the precious resource to the picturesque Montjoie to feed the washing basins, numerous fountains and gardens, all the while providing running water to the inhabitants.
Mediterranean vegetation meets the forest of the southernmost Alps; indeed the altitude in our villages takes us from the valley floor at 200 meters, culminating at 1800 meters at the Granges de la Brasque. Our villages reserve the surprise of mysterious spots to be discovered: now-abandoned ghost hamlets like Saint Jean and Ripert and outlying farms left fallow where nature has taken back the land.
So close to the French Riviera and yet right on the border of the Mercantour National Mountain Park, the narrow streets, village squares and unexpected views over the mountains and the valleys have already attracted more than one professional looking for the perfect decor for an original shoot. We can cite a video clip for French pop singer Liane Foly in 2004, an episode of a French TV series with Pierre Vaneck, as well as numerous ads and commercials.
The local businesses of La Tour and Roussillon (restaurants, vacation properties for rental and local farmers providing fresh produce) will all reserve a warm welcome to any newcomers who wish to work in our privileged environment, discovering the charm and authenticity of the “High Country” on the outskirts of the city of Nice.