Guest Notes for Episode 267: Fall in Love with Corsica

Categories: Corsica, Off the Beaten Track in France

Discussed in this Episode

  • Balagna Area [04:16]
  • Bastia [10:04]
  • In the high or medium season don't try to wing it with the hotels [11:34]
  • Strong regional culture in Corsica [14:10]
  • Prices in Corsica [16:12]
  • Corte and the citadel [17:51]
  • Nonza and La Sassa outdoor restaurant [20:32]
  • Col de Teghime {23:06]
  • Calanques de Piana [24:55]
  • Réserve naturelle de Scandola [25:21]
  • How to visit the calanques [26:12]
  • Hicking in the Haute Corse [28:04]
  • The village of Pigna [29:47]
  • The village of Sant'Antonino [30:23]
  • The gastronomy of Corsica: we mention a lot of local specialties in this segment! [34:05]
  • Is Corsica a vacation for couples or families or adventure seekers? [40:31]
  • How is Corsica different from the rest of France? [42:01]
  • Thank you patrons and donors! [45:05]
  • Annie's new Saint-Germain-des-Prés tour on the VoiceMap App [47:07]
  • A little bit of a health scare [48:03]
  • Quick update about the current strikes in France [50:42]

Thank you for the experience. It was fun. I hope there will be something useful in the interview.)

Bastia—Hotel Napoleon, 43 Boulevard Paoli (There may be more than one with a similar name.) It is popular, well-situated, and reservations should be made.

Rogliano—Hotel U Sant Agnellu (perched village with great view from the dining room and from rooms facing Mediterranean Sea)

Centuri—Hotel Vieux Moulin (overlooks small port and has good restaurant)

Cargèse—Residence Roc E Mare

Porto-Vecchio in the south?

How is this for a start?

Haute-Corse, Upper Corse

I spent a month (September, 2019) in Haute-Corse. Draw a line between the small port of Cargèse on the west coast up to Bastia on the east coast. I spent all my time above that line.

Bastia—3 days; Corte—3 days; Rogliano—2 days; Centuri—1 day; Saint Florent—4 days; L’Île-Rousse—4 days; Calvi—4 days; Porto—3 days; Cargèse—3 days; Bastia—2 days (29 days in all)

Besides the villages and towns mentioned above, I spent some time in the perched villages of Nonza, Sant’Antonino, Pigna, Piana, and Lumio.

I took 2 boat trips along the calanches (calanques) de Piana and the réserve de Scandola. I spent some time in Girolata, too, a small port village that has no roads to it.There is ‘tourist train’ that goes along the coast between L’Île-Rousse and Calvi; I took that as well.
I took a ferry from Marseille to Bastia and returned the same way, Bastia to Marseille.

Topics for Discussion:
1) Planning—I focussed on transportation, restaurants, and tourist attractions, and considered them of equal importance. Location (hotels, etc) was secondary, sort of.

2) Surprises—descriptions of Corsican restaurants that focussed more on the description of the terraces than the food; the extra-ordinary panoramic views; the connection between time and distance on Corsica (the distance between one place and another is short but the time to cover that distance is long); Corsica seems to be one big resort island

3) Fave Places:
Villages—Nonza, Pigna, Sant’Antonino, Rogliano (perched village in transition)
Calanches de Piana, including boat ride, driving the car through them
Réserve de Scandola, boat ride
Centuri (maybe favorite place?)

4) Restaurants
La Sassa (Nonza); A Mandria di Pigna (Pigna); Vieux Moulin (Centuri); Hotel Les Roches Rouges (Piana); Amama (Calvi)—I ate lunch (2-3 courses) in a different restaurant every day and had some good meals, but these restaurants were special for several reasons (food, location, terrace, etc). They are expensive, sort of.

5) Food
Cheese (broccui)—fiadone, omelettes, cannelloni
Charcuterie—figatellu, coppa, lonzu
Wine—Patrimonio AOC
Fish—lots and lots of fish; homard; langouste
Annie Traiteur (Calvi)—Corsican products
Biscuiterie Artisanale (L’Île-Rousse)—cookies

6) Other topics (your choice?)
Music—polyphonic a capella (Spotify—Corsu Mezu Corsu Mezu; Polyphonies Corses; for examples) I mention this because these groups are every where. I heard one—Spartera—in Corte.
Citadel (Calvi, Bastia)
“island” (L’Île-Rousse)
Train between L’Île-Rousse & Calvi—beach tourist train, small gage
Ferry between Marseille & Bastia
Driving on Corsica; drive between Cargèse & Bastia through central Corsica

Col de Teghime—pass between Bastia & Saint Florent; views of east & west from one position; drive there goes through Patrimonio
Beaches, hiking trails—lots of them but I did not take advantage

Learn More: Corsica
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Categories: Corsica, Off the Beaten Track in France