Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Corsica III: Hill towns

Along with the coastal fishing villages, Corsica is also covered in a scattering of hill towns.  A few hundred people cluster together in a dense ancient settlement, largely surrounded by forest.  In Pigna, the thing to be is a luthier, although potters, music-box-makers and other artists and craftspeople are popular choices too.  There is also at least one good cook, as our al fresco lunch featuring wild mushrooms showed.
The lower hillslopes also have vineyards, including about 20 small family wineries in the Patrimonio region.  We did a quick tour one afternoon, then had a picnic of wine, cheese and bread on the pier in St. Florent.

We spent one night in one of the higher towns, Speluncato, which wraps itself around a rocky outcrop, surrounded by bigger mountains.  It was a cool autumn late afternoon when we got up the long, winding and narrow road to the town, with the clouds hanging on the nearby peaks.  Kids were playing "spy" in the piazza, complete with walkie-talkies, and were delighted that a foreigner showed up and engaged in clearly suspicious behaviour involving a notebook and something cleverly designed to look like a watercolour kit and brushes.

The next morning was brilliantly sunny, perfect for hanging out in all the little nooks and crannies in the centuries-old laneways.  It's a pretty quiet place - passersby were two cats, and one old dog who also thought I was suspicious, until he decided that he was more sleepy than suspicious and had a nap at my feet.

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