it. Route. 107
descent is therefore somewhat unpleasant, especially at the sharp turnings
on the N. E side of the mountain. During 3—4 monlhs of the year the
road is traversed by sledges only. A violent wind often prevails at] the
summit of the pass, especially in the afternoon, and sometimes seriously
retards the progress of the mules which are used for the journey (generally
six in number, harnessed by twos). — About half way up is the opening of
a tunnel, commenced by the Duchess Anne of Savoy in order to avoid the
highest part of the pass. The works were stopped at the time of the French
occupation in 1792 and have never been resumed. The tunnel, if completed,
would be upwards of 2>|4 M. in length.
The road leads from Nice on the bank of the Paglione, through
the villages of La Trinita- Vittoria, Drappo; beyond the latter it
crosses and quits the river.
133/4 M. Scarena, Fr. Escarine. The road hence to Sospello
traverses a sterile and unattractive district. The barren rocks
which enclose the bleak valley are curiously stratified at some
places. The road ascends to the Col di Braus (3243 ft.). To
the S., on a lofty rock to the r., is seen the castle of Chatillon,
or Castiglione, near Mentone. At the foot of the pass on the
16"/2 M. Sospello, French Sospel (1173 ft.) (Hotel Carenco),
situated in the valley of the Bevera (affluent of the Roja, see
below), in the midst of olive-plantations and surrounded by lofty
mountains. (New road from Sospello to Mentone in course of
construction.) The road now ascends to the Col di Brouis
(2071 ft.). Near the summit of the pass a final view is obtained
of the Mediterranean. District unattractive, mountains bleak and
barren. Then a descent to
15 M. Giandola (1249 ft.) (H6tel des Etrangers; Poste),
grandly situated at the base of lofty slate-rocks. Breglio, a
town with 2500 inhab. and the ruined castle of Trivella, lies
lower down on the r.
The road now ascends the narrow valley of the Roja, which
falls into the sea near Ventimiglia (p. 97). Saorgio, rising in
terraces on a lofty rock on the r. , with the ruins of a castle in
the Oriental style, destroyed by the French in 1792, commands
the road. On the opposite side is a monastery of considerable
extent. The valley contracts, so as barely to leave room for the
river and the road between the perpendicular rocks. Several
small villages are situated at the points where the valley expands.
Beyond Fontana the road crosses the Italian frontier. The
southern character of the vegetation now disappears. Then Borgo
S. Dalmazzo, with 3800 inhab., where an old abbey is fitted up
as a hydropathic establishment, resorted to in summer by some of
the winter residents of Nice.
133/4 M. Tenda (Hotel Royal; Hotel Impe'rial) lies at the S.
base of the Col di Tenda. A few fragments of the castle of
the unfortunate Beatrice di Tenda (comp. p. 147) are picturesquely
situated on a rock here.