Maddalena Pass

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Maddalena Pass

Colle della Maddalena-Col de Larche-IMG 1183.JPG

The village Argentera near Maddalena Pass
Elevation 1,996 m (6,549 ft)
Location Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France / Province of Cuneo, Italy
Range Cottian Alps and Maritime Alps
Coordinates 44°25′18″N6°53′55″E / 44.42167°N 6.89861°E / 44.42167; 6.89861 Coordinates: 44°25′18″N6°53′55″E / 44.42167°N 6.89861°E / 44.42167; 6.89861
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Maddalena Pass
Location of Maddalena Pass

The Maddalena Pass (Italian: Colle della Maddalena French: Col de Larche, historically Col de l'Argentière) (elevation 1996 m.) is a high mountain pass between the Cottian Alps and the Maritime Alps, located on the border between Italy and France. It connects Barcelonnette in France with Cuneo in Italy. Its French name Col de Larche refers to the village Larche on its northwestern side.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Mountain pass Route through a mountain range or over a ridge

A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world's mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have played a key role in trade, war, and both human and animal migration throughout Earth's history. At lower elevations it may be called a hill pass. The highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world appears to be Mana Pass, located in the Himalayas on the border between India and Tibet, China.


Under its earlier name, Col de l'Argentière it has historically linked Lyon with Italy; the Col de l'Argentière was in the possession of the house of Savoy from 1388 to 1713, offering an easy route between Piedmont and its outlying valley of Barcelonnette, which came into Savoyard possession in 1388, when Amadeus VI of Savoy purchased it for the sum of 60,000 ecus, [1] it was of such strategic and commercial importance.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

House of Savoy noble family

The House of Savoy is a royal family that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small county in the Alps north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the kingdom of Sicily in 1713 to 1720. Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1946 and, briefly, the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being deposed following the Constitutional Referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed.

Lago della Maddalena Maddalena001.jpg
Lago della Maddalena

A few hundred metres from the pass, on its Italian side, is the Lago della Maddalena, which is the source of the Stura di Demonte, an important tributary of the Tanaro.

Stura di Demonte river in Italy

Stura di Demonte is a 115-kilometre (71 mi) long river in northwestern Italy (Piedmont).

Tanaro river in northwestern Italy

The Tanaro, known as Tanarus in ancient times and Tane or Tani in piedmontese language, is a 276-kilometre (171 mi) long river in northwestern Italy. The river begins in the Ligurian Alps, near the border with France, and is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin, and discharge.

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  1. W. A. B. Coolidge, "The Passages of the Alps in 1518" The English Historical Review30 No. 120 (October 1915:681-691) pp 687-88, 690.