Living in Nice makes it possible to explore and do a variety of things, all within a day. Recently we drove from Nice to Monaco to walk around and have breakfast. From there we continued on to Ventemiglia in Italy to do some shopping for parmesan cheese, ham, limoncello and vegetables as it is so much less expensive there.
From there we headed north following the Fiume Roja river on highway SR20. We took the SP73 turnoff that took us up into Sospel. Sospel is a wonderful town whose medieval aspects have been well preserved but not overly done like so many other similar towns that are closer to the coast. The La Bevera river runs through it with a lovely medieval bridge pedestrian bridge crossing it. Be sure to wander through the Medieval streets of the town.
The town dates back to the 5th century when it served as an important staging post on the royal road from Nice to Turin. The old toll bridge was built in the 13th century. It was bombed by the Germans during World War II to prevent contact between the French Resistance (“The Maquis”) and the Italians, as was much of the town. Ruins of a tower, part of a château belonging to the counts of Provence are all that remain of the 14th century city walls. But there is still plenty to explore and enjoy.
We had a superb lunch at Le Pecoun, which is on the main road (Blvd. de Verdun), just past the bridge and across from the park and large parking lot that are on the other side of the river. One of the best pizzas I’ve had, along with a bottle of the 2014 Beaujolais, which had just been released that day. Nicely decorated, good service and the wood-burning stove really adds to the flavor of the pizzas, cooked right in front of you.
We took the D2204 back to Nice. A very windy road that climbs up and over the mountain range between Sospel and Nice, but that provides some amazing scenery, especially if you take it in the fall.
We left at 9AM and we back home by 4PM – easy!