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We begin the third day of our Corsica tour at 10:30am with a visit to the citadel of Saint-Florent. From the area in front of it, the view extends over the harbor and the mountains. In the old town, we stroll with pleasure through the tortuous streets bordered with small squares flowered of pink oleanders. At 1 km towards Poggio-d’Oletta, the church Santa Maria Assunta is the former Romanic cathedral of Nebbio (1140). It presents the relics of St Flor, a roman soldier who was martyred in the 3rd century.
Continuing the route westwards, we go along the odorous maquis of the Agriates desert. The desert landscapes evolve over the kilometers, from the most mineral to the greenest. The road then joins the seaside and makes us enjoy a splendid view on the cliffs which overhang the sea
When we arrived in Ile Rousse, an exceptional wind of 100km/h unleashed the sea. We benefit from this stopover to stroll on the place of the market hall and to taste (and buy!) some local honey pots. Detour by the Pauli place decorated with its majestic palm trees that surround the bust of the famous conqueror of the seas, Pascal Paoli. We choose the U Libecciu restaurant for a small lunch break. The decor is very original (including the restroom) and the meals excellent: grilled fish with zucchini, potatoes and polenta, lasagna with brocciu (Corsican fresh cheese) and chocolate desserts.
Despite the wind always maintained, we venture on the Pietra island whose rise leads us to the lighthouse. The view is beautiful and the colors of the rock blend with the vegetation with a stunning charm, not to mention the sea around us.
Back on the road, we reach the village of Pigna where artisans present their local products. It is a pleasure to browse Pigna from alley to alley to discover these very pretty buildings that look like Ali Baba’s Caves : the canistrelli (Corsican biscuits), chestnuts jams and liquors, wine, sausages and mix of spices from the maquis (myrtle, thyme, bay leaf) delight the senses.
On the road to Calvi, we pass along the mausoleums, the family tombs that look like a cluster of small chapels set up in the mountains. We stop in one of the most beautiful villages in France, Sant’Antonio, where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Balagne. Then we plant the tent in Calvi, sheltered from the wind, at Camping Paduella (contact info).
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