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"Gorbio" Gorbio by thinking

Gorbio Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 23 photos

Gorbio village houses

The village is so charming, that it is easy to see why the 930 people who live here would stay forever. And they do stay.

Gorbio village houses

Bert was born here. She married the boy next door. They had a son, Michel. He became our friend. One day, Michel was so sad because his father was ill. One week later, his father died.
I came to visit his mother, Bert, some months
later. This was my first trip to Gorbio. Now I can never forget Bert,Michel or Gorbio. They are in my mind now and forever.

I thought about Bert and how lucky she was to be married to someone who adored her for 50 years.

As a New Yorker & a lawyer, I noticed that she didn't have to move at all during her life, her friends were all around her in Gorbio & Menton. Her life was rooted, and she would continue to live life just like the village had managed to do as it has survived since 1127.

Americans have no roots. When a husband dies or spouses divorce, normally the house is sold, as the reason for being there evaporates. But for Bert, I could feel her rootedness. It was wonderful. She really has had a life worth living.
And her life with her husband, the boy next door,was here in the Cote'D'Azure. Now that he is dead, she is not alone. She is sad now, but her love for life will pull her through this tragic time.

Gorbio village house

It just makes me happy to be here and to walk around the area.

Gorbio: A medieval village near Menton, France

This is a lovely little medieval village, really isolated from the tourist crowds of the nearby coast. Gorbio is only a 4-km eagle's flight from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Menton and Monaco, but it's more like 12 km by the narrow twisty road up through the Val de Gorbio.

The village perched on a hilltop forested with olive groves, and surrounded by towering rocky mountains. The village center is the main square, with its large and rather atypical fountain. The lovely big tree in the center is an elm (orme) planted in 1713; it measure 5m60 around. The typical little medieval streets going out from the square are narrow and stone paved, with vaulted passages and some very old and picturesque buildings.

The few shops in the village include a Gîte de France and the pottery-art-souvenir shop La Cave de Gorbio.

The tourists here tended to be French and Italian people from this region, here to stroll, sit in the sun, have lunch and relax. The narrow roads filter out the big tourist buses.

First record of Gorbio was in 1157, as a homage to Gênes of the Comte de Vintimille.
Celto-Ligurian: There was originally a Ligurian village here.
In Medieval times,Gorbio was attached to Savoy in 1388, and reattached to France in 1860.

My friend's backyard & her view

This is a wonderful medieval village. Nothing like it exists anywhere else. Gorbio is a treasure.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Remote, safe, peaceful, very french, & fresh air
  • Cons:Often need a car, seasonal.
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful place to forget globalization & live the French way
  • Last visit to Gorbio: Oct 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (16)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    did a google earth on the village- charming ;-)))

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    Cherries in the garden on a summer evening - bliss! Lovely stuff.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Fascinating, lovely read. haven't heard from you in ages and I note you haven't been online for some time. Hope that changes, Merry Xmas.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2007 at 5:43 AM

    What a heart-felt, bittersweet introduction. The photographs back up your personal love of Gorbio...a truly lovely place.

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2007 at 3:54 AM

    VT Insider tips are the BEST ;-)))

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2007 at 3:33 PM

    Loved your account and the photos. We spent a memorable week camping in the village. A wonderful place away from the crowds on the coast. Thanks for bringing back happy memories. Mike

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Charming place here - perfect to share with your friend.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2006 at 10:56 AM

    Hi, Elizabeth! You're right: it IS a treasure! Nice to be there, so tranquil and fresh!

  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2006 at 8:30 AM

    Elizabeth, Loved your story about Bert. I envy her. I am totally rootless now. I am a wanderer. Sometimes I think I would like roots, but I don't know where to put them.

  • Gwynethart's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2006 at 7:38 AM

    Wonderful photos and would never guess from my site that I am such a Francophile - your pages make me so happy! Thank you for the visit, too.


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