La Turbie was famous in Roman times for the large monument, the Trophy of Augustus, that Augustus made to celebrate his victory over the Ligurian tribes of the area. During the Middle Ages, the village (called then Turbia) was mainly under the dominion of the Republic of Genoa. Dante wrote in his Divina Commedia that Turbia was the western limit of the Italian Liguria.
It was alternatively part of Savoy or the Principality of Monaco, from where the population of Turbia has assimilated the dialect Monegasque, even if the local Ligurian dialect has maintained some characteristics of the nearby Niçois of Nice. Actually the local dialect is nearly extinct, mainly after the 1860 inclusion of the Savoian County of Nice in France.
The commune formerly includes the communes of Beausoleil and Cap d’Ail, which was disestablished at the beginning of the 20th century. Only the old main town, around the remaining structure of the roman Trophy of Augustus, forms the current commune.
The boundaries of La Turbie were formerly more extensive and included the territory now contained in the town of Beausoleil, formerly known as Haut-Monte-Carlo, owing to its proximity to Monaco. The commune of La Turbie retains a smaller, common boundary with part of the Principality.
La Turbie can be reached either from Cap d’Ail on the coast or the Grand Corniche. Within the town is the Trophy of Augustus, also known as the Trophée des Alpes.
A limestone outcrop above La Turbie is called Tête de Chien («head of dog»), a folk etymology deriving from its former name, Testa de camp («head of (military) camp»).
La Turbie is built, partly, with old stones recovered from the ruins of the Trophy of the Alpes (Trophy of Augustus), a Roman monument built by the emperor Augustus to celebrate his victory over the Ligurian tribes which lived in the mountains of the area and attacked the merchants plying the Roman trade routes.