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A mix of Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque


Situated at the southern end of the Upper Valley of the Roya, (See my Roya Itinerary in Nice's Best) Breil is only a short distance from the Italian border giving it an Italian feel and appearance. The town loops around a spur of rock, creating a very pleasant setting. The Roya, damned at this point, provides a pleasant lake for water sports and fishing.

French Since 1860

Breil belonged to the Lascaris-Vintimille family during the Middle Ages before passing to the House of Savoy in 1388. Although some hamlets to the south remained in Italian hands till 1947, Breil-sur-Roya itself was ceded to France in 1860 along with the rest of the County of Nice.

A Blend of Historical Periods

The old town is an interesting mix of the Medieval, the Renaissance and the Baroque. Ramparts and archways from the Middle Ages combine with the Renaissance Chapelle Ste-Catherine and the Baroque Sancta-Maria-in-Albis.

Market Day: Tuesday morning. Place Biancheri

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33(0)4 93 04 99 76

Nice Beyond (L'Arrière Pays Niçois)

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Paul Shawcross