We’d picked up a little brochure of local walks from Tourist Information in St-Florent, and this one was just up the road from the spectacular black and white church of San Michele de Murato. It was listed as Balade dans le Nebbiu (stroll in the fog). The Nebbio is the region of Corsica inland from St-Florent, a hinterland enclosed by an amphitheatre of hills, that takes its name from the heavy mists that descend in winter. Today was not sunny, but thankfully we were not enveloped in clouds. Continue reading “A Walk In The Nebbio”
Stuck inside my quarantine cell on a sunny April evening, sheltering from the coronavirus epidemic outside on the streets, sunlight and birdsong streaming through the open window, remembering how freedom of movement was once taken for granted, and how quickly we’ve adapted to our new limited horizons. I tell myself it won’t go on forever and escape into daydreams and memories of last year in Corsica. This was our first view of the church of San Michele just outside the village of Murato. Continue reading “San Michele De Murato”
Earlier last year we were in Corsica again, this time staying in St-Florent. Our house was on the edge of the town, with a view eastward across a field to the ancient cathedral and the hills and mountains beyond. This was the heart of the Roman town, before the Genoese new town developed on the coast. Continue reading “From Saint-Florent”
Oil paintings by Marcel Gatteaux in the window of the Rowley Gallery throughout January, shining their warm colourful light on a cold grey Kensington Church Street. A winter window of summer sun. Continue reading “A Winter Window Of Summer Sun”
This little painting hung on the wall of our house in Calvi. It looked like the campanile of one of the churches we visited yesterday, perhaps in Calenzana or maybe Montemaggiore.
The Genoese… besides tending their gardens, they built churches, so many over the centuries… that the region was called ‘holy Balagne’; today their bell towers charmingly punctuate the landscape like a series of mild exclamation marks.
But when I took it down I found Église d’Avapessa handwritten on the back. Continue reading “Le Chêne Vert”
For one week in May this was our bedroom window, with its view of the Golfe de Calvi and the mountains beyond, with Monte Grosso 1,938 metres and Monte Padro 2,393 metres, two of the highest in Corsica. Every morning their silhouette was gradually illuminated as the sun rose behind them, projecting fast-moving cloud shadows onto their faces, with every morning a different view. Continue reading “La Balagne”
We were staying at the top of the hill, behind the beach and the hotels, looking east over the bay to the mountains beyond. North of us was the Citadel but it only came into view as we descended the zigzag path back down into town. It seemed like a good place to begin exploring. Continue reading “One Day In Calvi”
This magnificent sweet chestnut tree stands in a field beside the main road north from Levie on the outskirts of Zonza in Corsica. It is on private property opposite the Hôtel Le Mouflon d’Or, so this was as close as we got. It is featured as a notable tree in the Guide des Arbres Remarquables de France – Le Châtaignier de Zonza: Sur la commune de Zonza, châtaignier de 14 mètres de circonférence qui est très vigoureux. On their website it is listed as Le châtaignier creux de Zonza (the hollow chestnut of Zonza), propriété privée. The horses were fortunate to get so close. Continue reading “Sweet Chestnuts Of Zonza”
High in the mountains of southern Corsica, on the road above Zonza and the Hippodrome de Viseo, described as Europe’s most elevated racetrack, we came to a hamlet of stone shelters with corrugated iron roofs, a collection of summerhouses and sheepfolds nestled beside the pass. We left the car at the Auberge du Col de Bavella, with the promise of a hearty meal upon our return. Continue reading “The Forest Of Bavella”
We’d tried to visit earlier but been turned away, the site was closed due to the high risk of wildfires. But today, touch wood, the situation appeared safer and we were allowed inside. And maybe because we’d already been denied access once, this second attempt seemed especially privileged, so please excuse me if I go on a bit. This felt like my ideal habitat, the dappled light and the ancient stones, it was a natural sculpture trail, so it’s really no surprise I took far too many photographs. Continue reading “Cucuruzzu & Capula”