Today is a public holiday in France, and I am back from hiking with a friend in the Maritime Alps, mostly on the Italian side of the border. We used a small village called Bagni di Vinadio as our base for day hikes. Great walking, although twice we had to give up on our goals and turn around; there is still a lot of snow above 2000 meters.
From Bagni di Vinadio we drove over the Col de Larche into France and down to Barcelonette. Barcelonette is the perfect base for baby boomer hiking. After a hard day in the mountains you are faced with the hard task of having to choose which restaurant to go to for the four-course French meal you so richly deserve.
Barcelonette should probably be avoided at the height of the tourist season in August and during the winter school vacations. But during spring and fall it is wonderful.