Come with me on a photo journey through some of the places and views on Corsica that have inspired my writing during our six visits there. I have taken hundreds of photos on Corsica, but these are among my favourites. I can feel a seventh visit coming on…
The village of Nonza and the Paoline Tower, which commands both the village and the sea far below. This place provided inspiration in so many ways.
The lovely apricot-painted church at Nonza.
Saint-Florent, an atmospheric port at the base of Cap Corse. You can see the peaks of Cap Corse stretching into the distance. Last year, we took a road trip right around the Cape, which is stunningly beautiful.
Corte, the heart of the island, a place we keep returning to. Here Pasquale di Paoli headed the short-lived independent Corsican republic, which collapsed after the Battle of Ponte Nuovo against French forces in May 1769. Genoa had already transferred Corsica to France the previous year.
The Restonica Valley near Corte, followed by the wilder Tavignanu Valley. The two rivers meet at Corte.
Lavender in the maquis, the scrubby vegetation that covers much of the island. Corsicans returning to the island claim they can smell the aromatic scents out at sea as they approach. Bandits and those escaping justice after vendetta incidents ‘took the maquis’, where they lived while evading capture.
Ajaccio, Corsica’s main town today, where Napoleon Bonaparte was born in August 1769. His parents fled from Corte through the maquis after the Battle of Ponte Nuovo, taking the ancient mule track from Corte along the Tavignanu.
The haunting megalithic site at Filitosa in the southwest of the island near the Gulf of Valinco. The purpose of these enigmatic statues is not clear. Some scholars believe that the inhabitants of the site sculpted their foreign enemies as a way of removing their power. Whatever the role of these ancient warriors, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I looked into their faces.
Bonifacio on the southern tip of Corsica. From here, you can see the island of Sardinia across the sea.
The wonderful Pisan church at Murato, made of green and white marble, with a frieze of mythical beasts. A real gem.
Corsica is an endlessly fascinating and inspiring place as well as being blessed with magnificent landscapes. My first novel, The House at Zaronza, is set there as is my forthcoming second novel, The Corsican Widow. A sequel to The House at Zaronza, currently a work in progress set during World War II, will also take place on the island.
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Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2016. All rights reserved.