Breathtaking Tende…

 Previous:  The Flowers of Tende

After smelling the flowers of Tende, we started our little (re)-exploration of this medieval  mountain town  which used to belong to Italy but joined France in 1947 as part of war reparations.  Hence, it is still very Italianesque…

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Some signages are still in Italian and if you go to their shops or the one and only pharmacy, you will hear Italian spoken for everyone seems to be bilingual.  Not surprising since Italy is just half an hour away!

I love stencils!  A lot of the buildings, like the Hotel de Ville,  are decorated with colourful stencils.

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The railway viaduct and mountains in the background -aren’t they perfect for a film shoot?

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Above the doors of houses are lintels dating between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. They are usually decorated with religious symbols as legend says, it is a form of protection from  devilish incursions…..

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Not only lintels but shrines, too!

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Walk on single file only!

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The Collegiate church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption is a Historic Monument.  Rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 1446, it is only between the 17th and 18th century that it received a baroque setting. The statues of the twelve Apostles around Christ above the door are made of green slate stones derived from the mountains of the Roya .

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The imposing clock tower and tiled dome of the Collegiate church

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The Baroque style altar with several paintings of the  “Our-Lady-of-the Assomption”, testifying to the splendour of Tende during the last centuries.

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We stopped by a boulangerie to buy baguettes….

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and some patisserie for our picnic later…

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And before leaving, we tried to buy our one year supply of cheese but we couldn’t even lift it so we just settled for a photo souvenir!

The Flowers of Tende

Stop of the day for the honeymooners is the charming Italianesque medieval mountain town of Tende.  But first, let’s stop and smell the flowers….

Again, no caption needed as it is enough to look at them and let your imagination do the talking….

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Yellow rose

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Geranium and ivy…

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hortensia

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lavander field

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More geraniums

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tomatoes!

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And of course, the honeymooners amongst the flowers!

Tourists-watching in Nice (Cote d’Azur)

The town we explored next is the capital of the French Riviera, the cosmopolitan city of Nice.  This city is a favorite stopover for everyone trying to find out why this southern region of France attracts the rich and famous.  One actually feels a celebrity already just by being there.  Why?  Because of the aura of the place, the sights and sounds, the colours, the freedom of expression….

But my favorite activity is still People-watching!  Actually, it’s tourists-watching!

Here they are, and boy, they don’t need any caption!

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Ooppss…I thought this is relevant to the subject, after all, everyone needs to relieve himself!

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Airole

 Previous: Collabassa

After Collabassa, we  went to the neighbouring village of Airole, one of our most favorite hangout in the Italian Liguria.

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This ancient borgo of 500 inhabitants is perched on a cliff overlooking the Roya valley and its river, surrounded by olive trees,  Mediterranean vegetation and mountains.  It is practically walking distance to the sea.

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As soon as we parked the car at the entrance of the village, we saw this hullabaloo going on!  It is the inauguration day of their Casa dell’Acqua (Water House),  the purpose of which is to distribute natural water at a low cost by reducing the use of plastic containers.

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And what pure luck we had….. a flea market is also going on!

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They call this piazza the living room of the village as this is where everyone congregate:  sit for a glass of beer, savour a meal for an al fresco dining…

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… or where children go out and play.

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Lucky for those who live above:  people-watching all day long, 365 days a year!

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We sat down for a glass of beer and what a treat to be served these brochetta!  In Italy,  aperitivo time is when you order wine/beer/cocktail before mealtime and the waiter gives you finger foods to accompany your drinks.

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Every now and then, this senor would play his accordion for some Italian folk music, to the delight of everyone!

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But the official music providers are these young villagers, creating a festive atmosphere!

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We sat with our beer till dark, and everyone did, too.  That’s “La Dolce Vita” for you!

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And before leaving, I just got to take this night shot of the village!  Not perfect but you get the feel….Isn’t it lovely!

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Oh, I must tell you what we bought from the flea market: an original Versace glass frame for the new wife, for a mere 10euros

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and a bronze ring holder for 4euros!

Collabassa

 The next stop of our honeymoon tour is a mountain village just few kilometers from Ventimiglia, Italy and its name  Collabassa translates to “low hill” but its location is nothing but high!  We drove on a zigzaggy road that scaled higher and higher that the newly-weds almost suffered from vertigo!

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The village with its welcoming iron cross…

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The rusting clock and belltower of San Clemente church

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The cemetery of Collabassa: its dead watching over the village.

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And this is what we did: a spontaneous photoshoot, for who can resist getting creative behind the camera when you have an ‘oh-so-stunning!’ scenery such as this?