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A Masterpiece of Nature risen out of the Mediterranean ...
Praised to the skies by some, discredited by others.
From back in the mists of time, there comes a saying which haunts me : "A country without a language is a country without order". We do have our own language, but we have disorder too.
Civilisations and invaders took over this privileged land. The most visible remains are Genoese.
Here it is impossible to escape from history.
Do not believe a word of these jumbled ideas. Erase them all. Form your own opinion.
You will discover that Corsica is better than they say, better than its legend.
Islands are paradoxical, and this one is no exception,
masterful at contradiction.
The real Corsica is not just coastline guarded peacefully
by the Genoese towers.
To think that laughter once echoed from the granite walls
of these houses, now abandoned.
The fate of islands is not that enviable; most are tough-skinned.
Cinarca, Balagne, Agriates, Cap Corse, Castagniccia, Casinca, Fiunorbo, a mental flight clockwise over these regions will pass over landscapes separated down the centre by the mountain ridge.
Anyone who wants to reduce Corsica to a picture postcard has not looked hard or far enough.
It is impossible to see everything, even if you refer to a guidebook which gives star ratings to the outstanding places of interest. It's definitely impossible to see everything.
Nevertheless, soak up the spirit of Corte, this metaphor for power, and push on as far as Tralonca. Gaze far out to sea from the Capo Rosso. Once you get to Cap Corse, this footbridge floating over the sea, you can meditate like the wise old men who sit on the low walls and like philosophizing for the sheer pleasure of thinking.
Go and see Centuri, Sant'Antonino in the Balagne region, where the olive groves grow, and Bonifacio, where the land ends... and Sartene, Porto-Vecchio, Girolata, the scattered Romanesque chapels, the protruding needles of Bavella, and the unspoilt beach of Arone, near Piana...
There I shall end my whistle-stop tour. I could write an entire anthology just to fully explore this imaginary museum of which I carry every stone and every tree within me .
Travel the length and breadth of this island, as far as
you can go.
Jérôme Camilly Journalist-writer
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