Col de Montgenèvre

The Col de Montgenèvre (Italian: Passo del Monginevro; elevation 1854 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Cottian Alps, in France 2 kilometres away from Italy.

Col de Montgenèvre
Colle del Monginevro.JPG
The obelisk celebrating Napoleon Bonaparte was erected in September 1804, two months before the First Consul had himself promoted and crowned as emperor.
Elevation1,854 m (6,083 ft)
Traversed byRoute nationale 94 (France)
LocationHautes-Alpes, France
RangeCottian Alps
Coordinates44°55′51″N 6°43′24″E / 44.93083°N 6.72333°E / 44.93083; 6.72333Coordinates: 44°55′51″N 6°43′24″E / 44.93083°N 6.72333°E / 44.93083; 6.72333
Col de Montgenèvre is located in Alps
Col de Montgenèvre
Col de Montgenèvre
Location of Col de Montgenèvre


The pass takes its name from the village Montgenèvre (Hautes-Alpes), which lies in the vicinity. It links Briançon in the upper Durance valley with the Susa Valley and its communes of Cesana Torinese and Susa in the Metropolitan City of Turin, Piedmont.

The Col de Montgenèvre is an important road connection, and is kept open in winter. Its importance has always lain in the fact that it is the lowest of the principal crossings of the main range of the Alps between France and Italy.


It was known to the Romans before 118 BC, when Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus started construction of the Via Domitia road, which terminated at the pass.[1] Pompey used it on his campaign to Spain in 77 BC and claimed to have opened up a more favorable route. It was later used by Julius Caesar in travelling to Gaul and then became the main route for travel between Roman Italy and southern Gaul or Spain.

The Col de Montgenèvre is considered a possible route for Hannibal's famous passage through the Alps on his journey from the Rhône river valley to Italy.[2]

Through this pass, Charles VIII of France led his army in September 1494 on his way to capture the Kingdom of Naples, which would spark 65 years of intermittent warfare up and down the Italian Peninsula, later known as the Italian Wars.[3]

The strategic importance of the pass, the lowest over this part of the Alps, caused several forts to be built, such as Briançon and Fort Janus.

Tour de FranceEdit

The Col de Montgenèvre has appeared on the Tour de France 10 times. The first person over the summit on each occasion was:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cicero, pro Font. 8
  2. ^ Hannibal's War: A Military History of the Second Punic War, p. 182,John Francis Lazenby University of Oklahoma Press, 1998
  3. ^ Francesco Guicciardini, Storia d'Italia, Book 1 chapter 9.

External linksEdit