On Saturday October 4th 2014 we went to Bardonecchia, Italy with one intention – to visit La Tur d’Amun. This is a wonderful castle that is completely free to visit at any time although if you want to see inside the main tower you will need to go with a guided tour.
What is the the Tour d’Amont – or La Tur d’Amun?
La Tur d’Amun is located above the old town of Bardonecchia and probably dates to the second half of the twelfth century. It was built for military functions, then became the residence of the lords of the place: the De Bardonnèche de Jouffrey before and after (in the 17th Century).
Due to its strategic location, the castle controlled the outlets of the two valleys of Frejus and Rho was visually in communication with the castle of Bramafam.
The whole area was purchased in 1998 by the municipality of Bardonecchia. The excavation of La Tur d’Amun took place between April 1999 and December 2001.
An archaeological park was made with funding from EEC and sponsored by the town of Bardonecchia. Before this only the remains of the tower known locally as Tur Amun, was visible, this is just the corner of what can now be seen as rather complex castle.
You can visit the tower, where the first two floors have been recovered, small parts of the eastern tower, portions of the walls that enclosed the whole structure, the circular towers on the south side and some service rooms.
Where to park
If you are taking your motorhome into Bardonecchia you can stay at this free car park/layby. It was the beginning of October when we went so there was only a handful of cars parked there. There was also a large Hymer motorhome parked there that looked like it had been there all night, there are certainly no signs saying that you cannot do this so that might be an option for a spot of wild camping. This is the actual street call Via Tur d’Amun. From here you can just walk up a short footpath that comes out at the south side of the castle.
Where to stay
There are a lot of camp sites around this area, but the one we like is Bokki Camping which you will as you drive out Bardonecchia on the Strada Provinciale 216. This is on the road that leads up to the gorgeous mountain pass called the Col de l’Echelle which goes up over the border into France to fairly modest altitude of 1762m and then finally meets the main road in Nevache, France. Despite being an incredibly beautiful drive, this isn’t a journey you would want to do every day, but if you are staying over in France it is very easy just to nip over the Col de l’Echelle for a day out at Bardonecchia.
Here is my youngest daughter Rosie doing her guided tour of La Tur d’Amun. Not the most informative of videos, but you can see that we had a fun day out!