RSS Feed

Tag Archives: occhiatana

Where to go in Corsica?

  
We had the opportunity to experience Corsica  over 25 years ago when Dave gave a talk in southern Sardinia. We rented a car and drove north through Sardinia and took the 1 hour ferry to Corsica! It was an overwhelming experience we wanted to repeat. 

This spring we did, but we started in the north of Corsica in Bastia and traveled south. Our first stop was Occhiatana located in the north just south of Ill-Rousse. We stayed in a heavenly apartment overlooking Belgodère, the next town over, and the valley in between.

Then we moved down to Sartène for a few days and then to Bonafacio where we had a lucky 24 hours because the sea was too rough for the ferry to cross. Enjoy the views!

 
Leaving the port of Marseille France for Bastia, Corsica which is also France.

 
Bastia, a port in NE Corsica 

  

Occhiatana, a tiny town in the mountains of northern Corsica where we spent 10 days. 

 
  

Montemaggiore, a hill town overshadowed by the HUGE mountain, Montegrosso.

    
Pigna, a town of craftsmen and artists in a newly renovated chocolate box style.
 

Sant ‘Antonino is one of the oldest villages in Corsica 
 
The beach is 10 minutes from Occhiatana 

   

The Citadelle of Calvi, an ancient city which attracts tourists to their upscale style, historical sites, views, climate and beaches.

  

Port of Calvi

  

View of Calvi from Chappelle de Notre -Dame de la Serra

  
The Citadelle of Cortè from Le Belgodère. There is a good historical museum in the Citadelle. The students were demonstrating here, so we could not tour the museum or Citadel, but this view was marvelous!

    

The charming old town center of Cortè 

   
  

 

Speloncato, a town way up in the mountains near Occhiatana. This was an important Roman city. There are many WWI memorials in Corsica.

   
   

The Gulf of Gironalto on the drive south along the west coast. The coastal town of Porto is located in this gulf. We found this to be the most beautiful drive in our trip.

   
   Les Calanches is this rocky red area near Piana. A thrilling drive, though north of here at the Gulf of Gironalto area is more magnificent

  
The view in Piana from Les Roches Rouges Hotel where we stopped for lunch.

   
 

Sarténe is a mystical town in the hills of southern Corsica. It is known as the most Corsican of towns. We stayed at Les Roches Hotel where the views were endless.

   
  

   

We took a short drive from Sarténe to see some of the many ancient megaliths and dolmens. We met a band of goats there and luckily Dave befriended the herding dog who did not like us at first!

   
   

Artifacts from the archeological museum in Sarténe. The blue beads remind me of the Turkish evil eye glass which offers protection from evil spirits.

   
     

Bonifacio is a magnificent coastal town in southern Corsica. It’s a port for the ferries to Sardinia. We spent a night at this charming spot, Hotel Columba. The coast is immense and has many perspectives. The watch towers are ancient.

   
       

This coastline can be seen from many points. The cemetery offers a big picture view. The Port Gene perspective is up close and in your face!

   
  

As we take the car ferry on the short 1 hour trip to Sardinia, we say Au revoir to Corsica! 

What’s to Eat in Corsica?

  
Corsica is a beautiful French island south of Provence in the Mediterranean Sea. We took an overnight ferry/cruise ship there from Marseille. Magnificent mountains and hill towns envelope valleys, bands of goats, olive trees, cork trees, fragrant shrubby plants and vineyards. 

Historically the island indured constant invasions. It was governed by Pisa and Genoa and was finally given to France. Because of the invasions, the people moved to the interior of the island for refuge. Therefore they did not eat seafood! The traditional diet was and still is goats milk cheese, goat, wild boar, beef, pasta, olives, wine, bread and produce. Today there’s great seafood along the coastal towns!

  

 

Le Ranch in Occhiatana has wood fire pizza and roasted meats, typical Corse foods and home made desserts, plus a fantastic view!

 

Typical Corse lunch-goats milk cheese sprinkled with dried mountain thyme, cured wild boar and beef meats and fig jam.

  

Wood fire roasted veal chop covered with melted strong cheese 

   

Wood fire roasted lamb

 

Wood fire thin crust pizza

  

A liver sausage with figs 

 

Corse soup is a split pea like soup with beans and vegetables

   

Traditional wild boar stew with potatoes

 

Grilled beef steak with Roquefort cheese sauce. Much of this cheese is made from Corsican goats milk. The bacteria is added in Roquefort France.

   

Wild boar stew over pasta

  

Wild boar bacon, liver sausage, bread with melted goat cheese and a fried egg, a Corse lunch.

 

A crepe thin omelette with grated cheese and herbs

   

Spaghetti soaked in a rich seafood and meat sauce with gambas, a shrimp like shellfish

  

Calamari braised in a rich paprika sauce and the above spaghetti at L’Escale in Tizzano, on the sea

  

Wild boar in wine sauce with baked tomato 

Cigli or tiny lobsters with onions and baked tomato

  

Risotto with squid ink and lobster bites topped with gambas and a bubbly fish sauce 

  

A white fish over artichoke purée with a gamba and fish sauce 

  

A unique appetizer! Phyllo like rounds rolled around a piece of lobster, then fried and layered with lettuce and a saffron aoli dipping sauce

 

Voilà! Dining at Les Roches Rouges Hotel in Piana

  
U Castillè: A great eatery with a variety of venues in Bonifacio 

 
Sea view 

  
A pot full of mussels with lemon and white wine

 

St Pierre, a white fish with rice and a roasted red pepper sauce

Some fast foods from the patisseries  and delis

 

Sartenès specialty, pastry filled  with liver sausage 

  

Croque Monsieur, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with melted cheese and goat cheese rounds on top

  

A sandwich with prosciutto and sliced cheese on ciabatta 

  
The best pastisserie in Cortè 

  

Soft bread with melted cheese on top, like a mini cheese pizza

  

Ham and cheese melted on a pastry cut in squares

  

Dry cheesecake that is not very sweet

  

The 3 Stars is an award winning pastisserie in Belgedere 

   

Strawberry tart from Belgedere

 
Brioche with local fresh goat cheese

 

  

Semi frozen dessert with strawberry sauce from Bonifacio

  

Dry cheesecake with no crust from Le Ranch in Occhiatano  

 
These  clementines grow all over Corsica. They make jams out of them and also from lemons and limes and sell them at the markets and shops

Corsica is a dramatically beautiful and earthy land. It’s a favorite!