Sunday, August 21, 2011


Chapters – 011-44-845-700-618;; villa rentals.

L’Atelier du Couteau – 2 Rue Bonaparte; 011-33-4-95-101-652; beautiful and ornate hand-made knives.
Le Chemin des Vignobles – 16 Avenue du Docteur Noël Franchini; 011-33-4-9551-4661;; wineshop.
U Stazzu – 1 Rue Bonaparte; 011-33-4-95-511-080; gourmet foods.
Sights & Sites
I Tre Vaddi – 3 valley series in mountains to east; Napoleon’s birthplace; in 1 village alone (Cuttoli-Corticchiato), people make charcuterie, chestnut flour, jam, traditional knives (with sheeps’ horn handles), pottery, and wine.

BALAGNE (includes Calvi)
Sights & Sites
Strada di l’Artigiani – roadway stretch along which about 30 local bakers, ceramicists, glassblowers, jewelers, olive oil-producers, and winemakers.
Il Convento – Calvi; 011-44-20-7788-7815 (UK);; former convent now built for entertaining, with full staff.

Sights & Sites
Giraglia Island – wildlife.

U Capu Biancu – Route Canetto; 011-33-4-9573-0558;; pool.
Cantina Doria – Rue Doria (Haute Ville); 011-33-4-9573-5049; authentic, Corsican cuisine.
Sights & Sites
Citadel – Old Town (3 routes into Old Town: (1) by foot from marina, via steep Montee Rastello and Montee St-Roch steps (next to Eglise St-Erasme), then through Porte de Genes (Genoa gate) at top (stunning views from Montee St-Roch steps across cliffs and from here impressive Grain de Sable limestone sea stack can be seen); and (2) by vehicle, via Porte de France; and (3) little tourist train runs in summer from marina); irregular street and narrow alleyways, with medieval townhouses 5-6 stories high yet often just 1 room wide; sights include: (1) drawbridge operated by pulley and weights system installed in 1598 CE, still operating; (2) Bastion de L’Etendard: only surviving fortifications part (otherwise destroyed in 1553 siege by French/Turk alliance); (3) Jardin des Vestiges; (4) Rue du Palais-de-Garde: street with enclosed arcades and double-arched windows (oldest houses have no doors on ground floor, occupants instead using ladders pulled up behind them; Emperors Charles V and Napoleon I lodged in houses here in 1541 & 1793, respectively; (5) Escalier du Roi d’Aragon (King Aragon Steps): 187 steps carved into limestone cliff face; (6) Eglise Sainte Marie Majeure: Bonifacio’s main church; dates from 12th Century (Pisean), and restored in 18th Century; built on underground cistern (now used as exhibition room) fed from flying buttresses on town’s roofs; (7) Marine Cemetery (Cimetiere Marin): wonderful views and overly-ornate mausoleums and tombs; (8) Memorial du Passe Bonifacien: museum; and (9) Il Torrione: Rue des Pachas (Citadel); 35-metre lookout tower built in 1195; Tuscan citadel’s only remaining part.

Le Vieux Moulin – Le Port; 011-33-4-95-356-015; seafood.

Hotel Castel Brando – Coast Road; 011-33-4-95-301-030;; ancient palazzo in fishing village; 42 airy, country-style rooms, pool; ask for 2nd-3rd floor suite with sea view.

ILE ROUSSE (includes Speloncato)
Pasquale Paoli – 2 Place Paoli; 011-33-4-9547-6770;; among island’s best restaurants.
I Salti – Moulin de Salti (Speloncato); 011-33-4-9534-3559; run by young couple who combine best of local ingredients with traditional French cooking.

Casa di Lucia – le Village; 011-33-4-9535-9084;; only 3 rooms; lovely views and great hospitality offset lack of refinement and sophistication.
Sights & Sites
Le Boziu – Castagniccia region; valley forested with chestnut trees; prettiest area in Corsica; worth driving through, at minimum.

U Palazzu Serenu – Paganacce; 011-33-4-9538-3939;; grant, 17th Century townhouse; features artwork by contemporary artists from across globe; connoisseur destination.

Sights & Sites
Antoine Arena Winery – Lieu-dit Morta Majo; 011-33-4-95-370-827; ask hotel to book visit.
Orenga de Gaffory – Lieu-dit Morta Majo; 011-33-4-95-374-500;; also shows art exhibits in its cellars.

PONTE-LECCIA (in Asco/Niolo Valleys, includes Tegani)
Ascosa Ecolodge – Center; 011-33-4-9547-6948;; beautiful boutique (don’t be mislead by utilitarian exterior); short drive from some of island’s most beautiful scenery in very un-modern area.
E-Cime – Route D-623 (Asco); 011-33-4-9547-8184;; 4 rooms; rustic; restaurant that serves pizza, etc.
Chez Dede – Route de Calvi (Tegani, about 5 kms outside Ponte-Leccia); 011-33-4-9547-6188;; traditional Corsican food.
E-Cime – (Asco); 011-33-4-9547-8184;; 4 rooms; rustic; restaurant that serves pizza, etc.

Hotel Le Maquis – Porticcio; 011-33-4-95-250-555;; ask for suite, which is actually on beach, with vast terrace, 2 whirlpool baths, and inspiring view; Milan Kundera’s favorite room.

PORTO VECCHIO (includes Bonifacio, Lecci & Solaro)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Anne Marchetti – 15 Trinité; 011-33-6-1353-4532;; macarons.
Palombaggia – among Europe’s most photogenic beaches.
Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa Corsica – Lotissement Cala di Sogno; 011-33-4-95-716-151;; expensive.
Casadelmar – 93 Route de Palombaggia; 011-33-4-9572-3434;; like California beach house; mod and stylish in glass and weathered wood; infinity pool and private beach.
Hotel & Spa des Pecheurs – Corse du Sud, Ile de Cavallo (Bonifacio); 011-33-4-9570-3639;; more Italian than French; only hotel on island; considered molto particolare, very special; jewel.
La Plage Casadelmar – Presquile du Benedettu (Lecci); 011-33-4-9571-0230;; 15 rooms; intimate and small; on narrow beach.
Le Belvedere – 56 Route Plage de Palombaggia; 011-33-4-95-705-413;; waterside restaurant; fossil-studded stone and juniper wood construction; 1 Michelin star chef; try lobster risotto or foie gras; also, bitter orange soufflé for dessert.
Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa Corsica – Lotissement Cala di Sogno; 011-33-4-95-716-151;; expensive but worth visit; pretty setting; try red mullet with eggplant and chocolate cake with wine sorbet for dessert.
Casadelmar – 93 Route de Palombaggia; 011-33-4-9572-3434;; 2 Michelin stars.
Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa Corsica – Lotissement Cala di Sogno (Porto Vecchio); 011-33-4-95-716-151;; spa; book treatment in teak treehouse that overlooks sandy cove.
Carioca Plage – 6 Montée Rastello (Bonifacio); 011-33-4-9525-5806;; Missoni Mare caftans and Eres bikinis.
Carioca Plage – 28 Cours de Napoleon; 011-33-4-9572-2005;; Missoni Mare caftans and Eres bikinis.
Corambe – 8 Cours Napoleon; 011-33-4-9570-2366; trendy Parisian labels.
L’Orriu – 5 Cours Napoleon; 011-33-4-9570-2621; Corsican, gourmet delicacies.
Villa Miramare – Scaffa Rossa (Solaro); 011-44-20-7788-7815 (UK);; all 6 bedrooms look out at sea from private terraces.

Sights & Sites
Clos Nicrosi Vineyard – Lieu-dit Pian Delle Borre; 011-33-4-95-354-117; ask hotel to book visit.

Plage de Roccapina.
Domaine de Murtoli – Murtoli; 011-33-4-9571-6924;; spectacular, with painstakingly reconstructed stone houses; each house has private pool.
Le Hameau de Saparale – 5 Cours Bonaparte; 011-33-4-9577-1552;; 1895 winery now converted to handsome country retreats; outdoor kitchens and private pools.
Auberge Santa Barbara – Alzone; 011-33-4-9577-0906;; elevated Corsican staples.
La Grotte – Murtoli (at Domaine de Murtoli); 011-33-4-9571-6924;
Restaurant de la Plage – Murtoli (at Domaine de Murtoli); 011-33-4-9571-6924;

I TRE VADDI (includes Bastelica & Cuttoli-Corticchiato)
Artemisia – Boccialacce (Bastelica); 011-33-4-9528-1913;; not much to look at from outside but, inside, character and charm; excellent lobby restaurant.
Sights & Sites
Cuttoli-Corticchiato – small village where much artisan, gourmet product available.

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