"High above Monaco, the Trophee des Alpes" La Turbie by NiceLife
La Turbie Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 16 photos
High above Monaco is the utterly charming village of La Turbie, close to Peille and fourteen kilometres out of Nice The tourist leaflets refer to driving however there is a cheap and convenient bus which will allow you to make the return trip for only 2 euro ( transportation tip)
The town is has numerous friendly cafes and restaurants which serve the visitors stopping to take in the viewpoint high up on the forehead of the Tete du Chien, below Mont Angel. The view towards Italy is truly spectacular from this height, and Monaco always looks much prettier viewed from a distance (as do most of its residents)
From La Turbie, you really can say "Personally, I look down on Monaco".
What remains of the 50 metres high monumental Trophee d'Alpes, dedicated to Emperor Augustus in 13BC to celebrate the suppression of the Ligurian tribes. It marks the highest point on the Roman Way, the Via Julia, which ran all the way from the heart of the Roman Empire to the prized conquest of Gaul and Roman's second homes in Provence. (The Italians have been coming back ever since, nowadays mostly just for holidays or the weekend)
Scene: it is 13 BC. Enter men in togas.
"What is it?"
"Come and look what we've built"
"A Monument. For me? All mine? Oh I love monuments! No really, I do. How do I get it back to Rome - does it pack flat?"
In 700 AD, a party of Monks of Lérins from St Honorat trashed most of the pagan statues, no doubt fired up on Abbey wine. The Trophee continued to attract ill-wishers when Louis IV ordered it blown up in 1705, but the 17-century-old construction largely resisted his efforts.
The stone blocks were purloined to build the Saint-Michel church as well as numerous other constructions around the village. What remains is what you see, restored in the 1920's by a wealthy American, Dr Edward Tuck
Note the scale of the people drawn on this victorian period engraving of how the original Trophee would have looked. The scale is truly massive and probably could have been seen from Italy, or beyond.
The figure on top of this landmark monument is a likeness of Augustus, we presume. The huge inscriptions are probably equally "brown-nosing".
"Mighty Emperor Augustus', whose valour is second only to his wisdom... " blah blah blah. Being fluent in sycophancy was probably a prime survival trait.
What we need is for a dedication rewritten by the Harvard Business School, praising Augustus's approach to "lean management" (executing his rivals), enhanced shareholder value (extracting crippling tithes for Rome) and commitment to market leadership (supress the local populus, Rome rules, thats it)
References: "Effective leadership strategies: winning hearts and minds (with a very sharp sword)" Harvard Press, 2006
- Pros:Rewarding views, charming village, start of further adventures
- Cons:Takes effort to access
- In a nutshell:Well worth the effort
At the highest point of the Eastern Riviera within the Parc de la Grande Corniche, 700 metres above sea level - twice... more travel advice
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