Time: 7.25h. Up: 1450m. Down: 670m.
Distance: 15.5km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 71: Belvédère (820m) to Col de Turini (1607m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

A walk in the woods today. You cross a shoulder then drop down through the village of La Bollène-Vésubie almost to the Vésubie River before climbing over 1000m through the forest of Turini to the eponymous village where you'll spend the night.

Note the Italian names (Belvédère, Turini). This area has been fought over since the demise of Burgundy as an independent state at the end of the Middle Ages (at the hands of the French, but largely due to the fact that the last Burgundy king, Charles the Bold, made the mistake of charging a formation of Swiss pikemen and was killed before fathering an heir).

It was not so long ago that both it and the neighboring Italian region of Piedmont ("foot-hill") both belonged to the House of Savoy (whose territories outside of Italy were also taken over by Switzerland and France, but who as a sort of consolation prize gained the throne of newly united Italy). And that is just the tiniest little bit of European history....

Today the area is generally peaceful, except for one day each year in late January when it is invaded by 60 screaming cars -- and thousands of screaming spectators -- as it plays host to the world-famous Monte Carlo rally. You are getting close....

Today's hike is identical with the GR52A and the Via Alpina . Start by descending southeast from Belvédère, cross the Pont du Véséou (681m), and go over a low ridge to la Bollène-Vésubie (690m). You then drop down southwest into the valley of the Vésubie before turning east again to climb a steep zigzag trail which eventually turns into a forest road that takes you to Col de Turini.

Alternatives: it is possible to get into or out of a taxi at la Bollène-Vésubie (for taxi contact information, see here).
Map: IGN-3741OT Vallée de la Vésubie.

The House to House blog... stage 71.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic, because you get to la Bollène-Vésubie too early for lunch.
Dinner and overnight: there are several places to stay and eat at in Col de Turini (for a partial list at the official site, see here, and for a more complete list at an unofficial site, see here).

Getting There and Back
Belvédère: from Nice, where there is a railway station and a major airport, there are twice daily buses to Roquebillière (around 1.25h), from which you can either walk (1h uphill) or take a taxi to Belvédère (for taxi contact information, see here, for the bus schedule, see here, and for the train, see the SNCF). You can also get here from Sospel via Col de Turini (see below).
Col de Turini: from Sospel, where there is a railway station, you can take a taxi the 10km to Col de Turini (for taxi contact information, see here).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Belvédère, centered on Col de Turini.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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