Of Mountains and Men: How Corsica’s Landscape Shaped its History

H

The Tavignanu Valley in Corsica’s central mountains

Corsica’s terrain is a feature that has had a significant influence on its history and culture. The island is one big mountain range that rises 2,706 metres from the sea at its highest point, Monte Cinto. These are comparatively young, jagged mountains, not yet rounded by erosion. Continue reading

Food and Diet in Corsican History

Pigs in the Niolu, Corsica, one of the main sources of meat

Finding out about the daily lives and concerns of your characters is hard, especially when they aren’t famous historical figures. You don’t want to put all the details of food, dress, housing, etc. into your novel, but you still have to provide a convincing social background to the story. Continue reading

Magic and the Supernatural in Corsica

Menhir at the prehistoric site of Filitosa. Did they invest their statues with supernatural powers?

Menhir at the prehistoric site of Filitosa. Did they invest their statues with supernatural powers?

The Corsican people have always held strong beliefs in the supernatural and magic, which predate the modern Catholic religion by a long way. The spirit world was, Corsicans believed, never very far from ours and the two coincided at certain times.

The dead had to be appeased and bad omens banished with spells to avert mishaps to the living. Corsicans wore amulets, uttered protective charms and called on people with special powers to cure illnesses supposedly caused by supernatural forces. Continue reading

Corsica, Setting for THE HOUSE AT ZARONZA, a Top Destination

Saint-Florent, Corsica

Saint-Florent, Corsica

 

Have you been to Corsica? No? Then get there fast: National Geographic Traveler Magazine recently put Corsica in the no. 1 spot out of its top 20 chosen destinations for 2015.

I’m not surprised. The island has everything: a wonderful landscape with azure seas, jagged mountains and perched hilltop villages, a fascinating culture and a turbulent history.  Continue reading