Itinerary through Corsica - by its Rail, Carriage & Forest Roads
by Charles Bertram Black
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Transcriber's note:

The printed book carried two kinds of headnote: keyword and mileage.

"Keyword" headers, noting the places and subjects mentioned on the page, have been placed before the most appropriate paragraph.

Each itinerary gives the "miles from" {starting point} and "miles to" {ending point}, with the numbers themselves printed in the left and right corners of each paragraph. For this e-text the numbers are shown in braces before the beginning of each paragraph; the place names are given at the beginning of the itinerary, and repeated as needed. Paragraphs describing side exursions do not have mileage information.

Additional transcriber's notes are at the end of the book.


[Map: Sketch Map of the Riviera and Corsica]

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New Editions of Guide-Books for France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the Channel Islands.

Copiously Illustrated with Maps and Plans.

NORTH-FRANCE—From the North Sea to the Loire, exclusive of Paris, and from the Bay of Biscay to the Rhine. 19 Maps and 21 Plans 7/6

SOUTH-FRANCE—From the Loire to the Mediterranean, and from the Bay of Biscay to the rivers Arno and Po. The island of Corsica. 40 Maps and 27 Plans 7/6

Published also in separate Parts.

North-France, WEST-HALF, or NORMANDY, BRITTANY and TOURAINE. 14 Maps and 16 Plans. Eighth Edition 5/

NORMANDY: Its CASTLES and CHURCHES. Second Edition. 5 Maps and 9 Plans 2/6

North-France, EAST-HALF, or PICARDY, CHAMPAGNE, LORRAINE, ALSACE and part of BURGUNDY. 5 Plans and 5 Maps. Third Edition 2/6



THE RIVIERA, or the MEDITERRANEAN from MARSEILLES to LEGHORN, including the inland towns of PISA, LUCCA, CARRARA and FLORENCE, and Excursions into the MARITIME ALPS. Fourth Edition. 10 Plans and 13 Maps 2/6

CORSICA, its Rail, Carriage and Forest Roads, with 6 Maps from the latest authorities. Second Edition 1/

BELGIUM, its CHURCHES, CHIMES and BATTLEFIELDS. 9 Plans and 4 Maps 2/6

NORTH-FRANCE (East-Half) and BELGIUM in One Volume, including a part of HOLLAND. Convenient for those going to Aix-la-Chapelle, Spa, Vittel, Contrexeville, or any of the Bathing Stations on the North Sea 5/

HANDBOOK for the CAR-TOURIST in the pleasant Islands of JERSEY, GUERNSEY and ALDERNEY. Maps and Plans. Second Edition 1/

SPAIN and PORTUGAL. (O'SHEA.) Seventh Edition. Edited by JOHN LOMAS. Crown 8vo. Maps and Plans 15/

From "Scotsman," June 2, 1884.

"C. B. Black's Guide-books have a character of their own; and that character is a good one. Their author has made himself personally acquainted with the localities with which he deals in a manner in which only a man of leisure, a lover of travel, and an intelligent observer of Continental life could afford to do. He does not 'get up' the places as a mere hack guide-book writer is often, by the necessity of the case, compelled to do. Hence he is able to correct common mistakes, and to supply information on minute points of much interest apt to be overlooked by the hurried observer."

* * * * *


by Its Rail, Carriage & Forest Roads



Illustrated by Five Maps and One Plan

Edinburgh Adam and Charles Black 1888


[Transcriber's Note: The four pages consisting of the Contents and List of Illustrations appeared twice in the original text, first as pgs. v-viii, then as pgs. xv-xviii. (The intervening pages are absent.) The text and layout are identical except that the first group is headed "Contents", the second "Corsica." The repeated text has been omitted here.]


Corsica. —Position —Extent —Population —Highest Mountains —Forests —Vegetation —Aspect —Climate —Steamboats 1

Ajaccio. —Hotels —Cabs —Napoleon's Birthplace —Memorial Chapel —Chapel of San Antonio —Chapelle Greco —Fontaine du Salario —Family Sepulchral Chapels —Climate —Fair of St. Pancras —Water Carriers —Curiosities 3

Ajaccio to Bastia by Corte. —This road traverses the centre of the island diagonally, exhibits every characteristic of Corsica, crosses the longest rivers, passes through one of the greatest forests and by some of the highest mountains, and connects the three principal towns. Rail between Corte and Bastia 7

From Vivario, p. 8, a road leads to the mineral water establishment of Pietrapola. From Corte, p. 8, the ascent is made of Mt. Rotondo. From the Ponte Francardo, p. 9, the most important of the Forest roads extends S.W. to Porto by Albertacce and Evisa. From Albertacce the ascent is made of Mt. Cinto.

The great highway traversing the island from Prunete to Calvi passes through Ponte alla Leccia, p. 9. From Bastia, p. 10, are trains or diligences to every part of the east coast, and steamers to Leghorn, Genoa, Nice and Marseilles.

Bastia to Rogliano and Morsaglia, skirting the east coast of the long peninsula called Cap Corse. This road follows more or less the level of the sea till it reaches Macinaggio, whence it ascends to Morsaglia. The highway on the western side of Cap Corse is cut along the flanks of the mountains, generally at a considerable height above the sea 11

Bastia to Calvi by St. Florent and the Ile Rousse 14

Calvi to Ajaccio, by Galeria, Porto and Sagona. From Galeria and Porto great Forest roads penetrate into the interior 16

GALERIA to the FORESTS of FILOSORMA. —Tourists should not explore any of the great Forest roads without being provided with letters to the dwellers in the maisons forestieres and in those of the Cantonniers; see p. 41 and map, p. 20 16

PORTO to the PONTE FRANCARDO. —The most important of all the Forest roads. It passes through Evisa and by several good "maisons forestieres." From the Col Vergio is seen Mt. Tafanato, with its natural tunnel, and from Albertacce is commenced the ascent of Mt. Cinto. Several mule-paths ramify from this forest road, the most important being to Lake Nino and Corte, and to Asco: whence Mt. Cinto is also ascended. The most famous part of the road itself is the Scala di Santa Regina 18

Calvi to Corte or to BASTIA by PONTE ALLA LECCIA. —This road traverses a most picturesque country, and the region of the finest olive trees in the island 20

BELGODERE to the FOREST of TARTAGINE. —This forest contains few old trees, and is not of easy access 21

Ajaccio to Evisa, VICO and the BATHS of GUAGNO 22

Ajaccio to Sartene, by CAURO, APA, OLMETO and PROPRIANO. See S.W. end of general map 23

CAURO to BASTELICA. —Bastelica is the common name of a group of hamlets, in one of which Sampiero was born. From this the ascent is made of Mt. Renoso 24

AJACCIO and APA to ZICAVO and the BATHS of GUITERA, by Santa-Maria-Siche, Frasseto and Zecavo. S. Maria-Siche is the birthplace of the fair and gentle Vanina. From Zicavo the ascent is made of Mt. Incudine; whence is beheld the finest view in Corsica. See maps on fly-leaf and fronting p. 27 24

PROPRIANO to SOLENZARA, from the S.W. to the S.E. of the island. This Route Forestiere is better treated on p. 36, as Solenzara to Sartene 26

Sartene to Corte by Vivario. —This is the great central highway, of which the wildest and most difficult part is given on map, p. 27. It leads to some fine forests, of which the best is the Verde forest. At the most desolate portion are tolerably comfortable maisons forestieres. Vehicles should be hired either at Sartene or Vivario, 20 to 25 frs. per day 27

GHISONI to GHISONACCIA, by the route forestiere, extending from the central main road to the Ghisonaccia railway station on the east coast. The most dangerous part of the road is the "Passage" Inzecca. See map, p. 27 29


Bonifacio to Bastia by the fertile plains and insalubrious lakes of the east coast 31

Aleria to Corte by a picturesque road following the course of the Tavignano. Coach every other day 33

Prunete to Castagneto or ALESANI, by coach daily. Castagneto is one of the villages in the Castagniccia or Chestnut country. The road ascends all the way. It, as well as most of the roads into the interior, should not be taken till the chestnut trees are in leaf 33

FOLELLI to STAZZONA by coach daily. Stazzona is the village nearest to the Spa of Orezza. The road extends to Ponte alla Leccia 33

VESCOVATO STATION to PORTA, by coach daily, passing Vescovato, Venzolasca and Silvareccio. In summer the coach goes on to Piedicroce 34

PONTE ALLA LECCIA to PIEDICROCE by "Courrier" daily 34

Piedicroce to Prunete-Railway Station, the finest part of the road being between Piedicroce and Castagneto. Coach from Castagneto to Prunete by Cervione. From Castagneto or Alesani to Prunete see Prunete to Alesani, on p. 33 35

SOLENZARA, on the S.E. coast, to SARTENE, 46 m. S.W., by a forest road with much fine scenery 36

HISTORY, HABITS, AGRICULTURE and HOUSES OF REFUGE, called "Maison" in the index 37



Sketch Map of the Riviera and Corsica, showing the relative position of their principal towns; as also the ports connected with each other by steamboat Fly-leaf

General Map of Corsica 1

Plan of Ajaccio. —The town is built on rising ground 3

Environs of Ajaccio 6

The Western Central Region. —This is the least known and the most difficult portion of the island to traverse. Yet easy and picturesque short excursions may be made from Porto, Evisa and Galeria, into the forests of evergreen oaks, etc 20

Central Corsica, or the most troublesome part of the grand highway, which traverses Corsica from south to north, from Sartene to Ponte alla Leccia, whence it ramifies eastward to Bastia and westward to Calvi and Ile Rousse. It joins the railway and the road between Ajaccio and Corte near Vivario 27


Is situated 54 miles W. from Leghorn, 98 m. S. from Genoa, and 106 m. S.E. from Nice. It is 116 m. long, 52 m. broad, and contains an area of 3376 square miles; divided into 5 arrondissements, subdivided into 62 cantons, and these again into 363 communes, with a population of 275,000. The surface, of which little more than a tenth is under cultivation, is composed of lofty and rugged granite mountain chains, diverging in all directions from the culminating peaks of Mounts Cinto, 8892 ft.; Rotondo, 8613 ft.; Pagliorba, 8278 ft.; Padro, 7846 ft.; and Oro, 8829 ft. On the western and southern sides of the island these ranges terminate abruptly on the shore, or run out into the sea; while, on the eastern side, a great undulating plain intervenes between their termination and the coast, in summer troubled with malaria, but in a less degree than formerly.

Corsica is the central region of the great plant system of the Mediterranean. Among the many fine forests which cover the mountains, the most important are those of Valdoniello, Filosorma, Vizzavona Verde, Zonza, Bavella, Ometa and Calenzana. They contain noble specimens of pines, oaks, beech, chestnut, walnut and olive trees. The cork oak forms woods, chiefly in the south of the island. The chestnut trees are as large and fruitful as the best on the Apennines, and the nuts form the staple article of food for man and beast during the winter months. Indeed, these glorious chestnut and beech forests, when in full foliage, are the grand features of Corsican scenery, which therefore cannot be seen to advantage till towards the end of May, and if to this we add the splendid bloom of the oleanders, not till July. "I at any rate know of no such combination of sea and mountains, of the sylvan beauty of the north with the rich colours of the south; no region where within so small a space nature takes so many sublime and exquisite aspects as she does in Corsica. Palms, orange groves, olives, vines, maize and chestnuts; the most picturesque beech forests, the noblest pine woods in Europe; granite peaks, snows and frozen lakes—all these are brought into the compass of a day's journey. Everything is as novel to the Alpine climber as if, in place of being on a fragment of the Alps, severed only by 100 miles from their nearest snows, he was in a different continent."—D. W. Freshfield, Alpine Club.

[Map: Corsica]

[Headnote: VEGETATION.]

The prickly pear, the American aloe, the castor-oil plant and the fig-tree, grow wild along the coast; while a little farther upwards, on the slopes and plateaus, the arbutus, cistus, oleander, myrtle and various kinds of heaths, form a dense coppice, called in the island maqui, supplying an excellent covert for various kinds of game and numerous blackbirds. When the arbutus and myrtle berries are ripe the blackbirds are eagerly hunted, as at that time they are plump and make very savoury and delicate eating.

There are few cows on the island, the greater part of the milk supply being procured from goats. It is excellent, and has no rank flavour.

The only remarkable creature is the mouflon, a species of sheep, resembling that almost extinct animal the bouquetin or ibex of the Alps. It inhabits the highest mountains, and though very wild is easily tamed.

The best red wines are grown about Ajaccio, Tallano, Cervione and Sartene, and the best white wines in Sari and in the valleys of Cape Corso. They improve up to twenty years, and even up to fifty.

The temperature of the climate of Corsica varies according to the elevation. Along the coast the sun is warm even in January. After January the temperature rises rapidly. The climate of the zone 2000 ft. above the sea is considerably colder and snow generally appears there in December. The olive ripens its fruit up to an elevation of 2000 ft. and the chestnut to 3000, where it gives place to oaks, box trees, junipers, firs and beeches. The greater part of the population inhabits the region of the chestnut trees, in villages scattered over the mountain slopes, valleys and tablelands.

[Headnote: STEAMBOATS.]

Steamers to Corsica.—For invalids the easiest way is by the large weekly Tunis steamer of the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 12 R. de la Republique, which on its way from and to Marseilles, touches at Ajaccio, 211 m. S., in 16 to 19 hrs., fare including meals, 38 frs. The Compagnie Insulaire, 29 R. Cannebiere, have boats every week for Ajaccio and Propriano, 38 frs., Calvi and Ile Rousse, 28 frs., Bastia and Leghorn, 32 frs., and Nice, Bastia and Leghorn. Weekly steamers between Genoa, Leghorn and Bastia. The boats of the Compagnie Insulaire being smaller, come within a few yards of the mole. The luggage is landed from the steamers by the company free of expense and is delivered at the custom-house to the proprietor on presentation of the bulletin de baggage. Passengers are taken ashore and to their hotels for 2 frs. each.

The Navigazione Generale Italiana, Piazza Marini, Genoa, have a steamer every week for Portotorres, at the north-west extremity of Sicily, calling at Bastia. Also from Leghorn to Bastia. Distance 72 miles, fare 20 frs., time 7 hrs.

Small steamer between Ajaccio and Propriano twice weekly.


Hotels.—On an eminence, in its own grounds, rising gently from the sea, is the *Grand Hotel, with sea and fresh water baths and every convenience; opened at the end of the present year. A skilled English physician on the premises.

There are besides three good family hotels, charging from 8 to 12 frs.; in the Course Grandval, the H. Continental, wine 1-1/2 fr., carpeted brick floors, garden; near it, with south exposure and full view of the bay, the *H. Suisse or Schweizerhof, wine 1 fr., smooth wood floors, partially carpeted, garden; at the top of the Course Grandval, the H. Bellevue, wine 1-1/4 fr., partially carpeted wood floors, garden.

These prices include coffee or tea in the morning, meat breakfast and dinner and service, but neither candles nor wine, of which the lowest price per bottle is given above. In the Place Bonaparte is the H. de France, a good French hotel, pension 8 to 12 frs.

Bankers and Money-changers.—The bank Bozzo-Costa and the bank Lanzi, both near each other in the Boulevard Roi Jerome.

The office of the Compagnie Transatlantique is in the same Boulevard; the office of the Compagnie Insulaire is in the Place du Marche.

Cabs.—The course 1-1/2 fr., the hour 2 frs., the day 25 frs.

Tariff of return drives, with 2 frs. extra for every hour of repose.

West from Ajaccio: Scudo, 5 frs.; Vignola 1114 ft., 15 frs.; Vignola village, 10 frs.; Lisa, 15 frs.; Iles Sanguinaires, 10 frs.; St. Antoine, 5 frs.; Salario, 5 frs. North from Ajaccio: Castelluccio, 4 frs.; Mezzavia, 5 frs.; Alata and Col Carbinica, 25 frs.; Afa, 20 frs.

East from Ajaccio: the Campo dell' Oro, or the plain at the mouth of the Gravona, 5 frs.; the Baths of Caldaniccia, 5 frs.; Bastelicaccia, 5 frs.; Pisciatella, 6 frs. Three frs. gratuity for a whole day. The horses cover on an average about thirty miles a day.

AJACCIO, pop. 19,050, the capital of Corsica, is situated on the extremity of a small gulf 677 miles from Paris and 15 to 20 hours' sail from Marseilles. Founded in 1492 by the Bank of St. George of Genoa, a commercial association similar to the East India Company, it was raised in 1811 through the influence of Madame Letitia and Cardinal Fesch to the dignity of capital of the island, and became accordingly the residence of the Prefet and the seat of the civil and ecclesiastical Courts. Ajaccio has a handsome Episcopal chapel built by Miss Campbell, of Moniack Castle, Scotland, an accomplished lady, the authoress of a work on the island in French and English.

In the Cours Napoleon is a small French mission, whose worthy pastor, besides conducting the regular Sunday services, gives two lectures (conferences) every week, which are attended by from 80 to 100 people.

The houses in Ajaccio, as well as those throughout the island, are generally built in large square blocks of from 3 to 5 stories, each story forming a separate dwelling.

[Map: Ajaccio]


The mole at which passengers land from the steamers is at the foot of the Place du Marche. In the centre of this "Place" is a fountain ornamented with lions and a white marble statue of Napoleon I. by Laboureur. To the left of the statue is the Hotel de Ville, the markets, and the commencement of the Rue Fesch, in which is the edifice containing the public library, the museum, and the memorial chapel (p. 5); while to the right is the Rue Napoleon, in which the first opening right leads into the Place Letitia. A little beyond this opening is No. 17, the house of the Pozzo di Borgo family, of whom Charles Andre, 1768-1842, was the great upholder of Paoli and the bitter enemy of Napoleon I. Napoleon's house, though not equal to that of the Borgo family, was one of the best in Ajaccio. It is well built, of three stories of six windows each, and all the rooms have a more or less handsome marble chimney-piece. Over the door is inscribed on white marble "Napoleon est ne dans cette maison le XV Aovt MDCCLXIX". A good staircase, bordered by a wrought-iron railing, leads to the top. The rooms shown are on the first floor. The first is the parlour, with a small table, a few chairs, and a piano said to have belonged to Mme. Letitia. Then after having passed through a small chamber we enter the room in which Napoleon was born, into which Madame was brought hurriedly from the church in the sedan chair kept in the end room. Over the chimney-piece are portraits of the father and mother. Then follows the dining-room, and after it the drawing-room, with inlaid wood floor and six windows on both sides. The floors of all the other rooms are of glazed tiles. In the next room is the sedan chair. Fee for party 1 fr.

This now silent and empty house was once enlivened and brightened by the fair Letitia and her large family of children, just like other men's children; schoolboys toiling at their Plutarch or Caesar, and their three young sisters growing up careless and rather wild, like their neighbours' daughters, in the half-barbarous island town. There is Joseph, the eldest, then Napoleon, the second born, then Lucien, Louis, and Jerome; then Caroline, Eliza, and Pauline, the children of a notary of moderate income, who is incessantly and vainly carrying on law-suits with the Jesuits of Ajaccio to gain a contested estate which is necessary to his numerous family. Their future fills him with anxiety; what will they be in the world and how will they secure a comfortable subsistence? And behold! these same children, one after the other, take to themselves the mightiest crowns of the earth—tear them from the heads of the most unapproachable kings of Europe and wear them in the sight of all the world; and they, the sons of an Ajaccio lawyer, cause themselves to be embraced as brothers and brothers-in-law by emperors and kings. Napoleon is European Emperor; Joseph King of Spain; Louis King of Holland; Jerome King of Westphalia; Caroline Queen of Naples and Pauline and Eliza Princesses of Italy. In 1793, after the flight of Madame Letitia and her children to her country residence, the Casone, the house was pillaged by the Corsicans opposed to the French Republic.

[Headnote: CATHEDRAL.]

Near the Place Letitia is the cathedral built in the 16th century by Pope Gregory. It contains the font at which Napoleon I. was baptized on the 21st July 1771.


In the Rue Fesch is the College founded in 1822. In one wing of the edifice is the public library, with 33,000 volumes, founded by Lucien Bonaparte, and the museum and picture gallery, with 900 paintings, mostly copies; and in the other the memorial chapel built by Napoleon III., lined with beautiful marble. In the crypt under the transept, left hand, is the tomb of Marie Letitia Ramolino, died at Rome in 1836; and right hand, that of Napoleon's uncle, Cardinal Fesch, died at Rome in 1839. Both bodies were brought to this, their present resting-place, in 1851. There are, besides, the tombs of Prince Charles and of Zenaida his daughter. Napoleon's father died in 1785 and is buried at Montpellier. Madame was only 35 at his death and had already borne him 13 children, 5 of whom were dead, and Jerome was an infant in the cradle.

Parallel with the Rue Fesch is the Cours Napoleon, by which all the diligences enter and leave the town. The continuation round the bay is bordered with plane trees. At the commencement is a bronze statue of "E. C. Abbatucci ne a Zicavo le 12 Novembre 1770, mort pour la patrie le 2 Decembre 1796." Near it is the railway station.

At the western end of the Cours Napoleon is the Place Bonaparte or Diamant, bordered with trees and ornamented with a complicate bronze monument on a granite pedestal by Violet le Duc, "a la memoire de Napoleon I. et de ses freres Joseph, Lucien, Louis, Jerome." All are life-size statues; Napoleon is on horseback, the others on foot, marching solemnly towards the sea.

[Headnote: WALKS.]


From the port, 11 m. W., is the chapel S. Antonio, 850 ft. The road passes the penitentiary of S. Antonio, 331 ft. North from it, under the peak of La Barrage, 1476 feet, is the Castelluccio penitentiary. Westward by the Hospice Eugenie and the Batterie de Maestrello, a pleasant road leads along the coast to the orange gardens of Barbicaja, passing by the Chapelle de Greco and the cemetery. About 4 m. farther is the Tete Parata, 199 ft., opposite the Iles Sanguinaires.

A beautiful road, the continuation of the Cours Grandval, ascends 2-1/2 m. to the Fontaine du Salario, 760 ft., commanding enchanting views. This road traverses the Place Casone, 144 ft., occupying the site of the Casone, the country house of the Bonapartes, destroyed in 1878. Close by is the "grotte Napoleon," composed of blocks of granite, to which, it is said, the youthful Napoleon used to retire.

About 6 m. N. from Ajaccio is the village of Alata, 1312 ft. Within an easy walking distance north from Ajaccio is the pleasant estate of Carrosaccia, on the canal which supplies the town with water from the Gravona. 5-1/2 m. N. from Ajaccio are the sulphurous springs of Caldaniccia.

[Headnote: FAMILY TOMBS.]

In the neighbourhood of Ajaccio and of the other Corsican towns and villages are numerous family sepulchral chapels enclosed within walls. A more pleasing characteristic feature, probably inherited from the Moors, are the numerous fountains in the villages and by the road side, whence flow streams of cold, sparkling water of exquisite purity.

[Headnote: CLIMATE.]

Climate.—For convalescent invalids, Ajaccio forms a delightful change from the Riviera, as it is so rural, and has such pleasant air and good water. The hotels are comfortable and their charges moderate. As, too, the road metal used around Ajaccio is that disintegrating granite which so readily solidifies by the combined action of the rain and traffic, there is very little dust in the neighbourhood (p. 9).

The principal winds are the Libeccio or S.W. wind, the Sirocco or S.E. wind, and the Mistral or N.W. wind.

On the 12th, 13th and 14th of May the fair of St. Pancras is held, which affords a good opportunity for purchasing Corsican horses. They are from 10 to 14 hands high and of great endurance. It is wonderful to behold the energy these small slim creatures display in dragging heavy lumbering diligences up long, steep, winding roads.

But more wonderful still is it to see the peasant women and girls as young as thirteen carrying on their heads up and down the mountain paths big pails, or the more elegant two-handled brass jars of classic form, containing about two gallons of water, without ever stumbling on any of the many stones. The pails are made of copper lined with tin, weighing when full of water from 55 lbs. to 65 lbs.

Among the curiosities of Ajaccio are gourds made into bottles, of various shapes and sizes and mounted with silver, and the pretty baskets made of straw by the girls of Alata.

[Map: Environs of Ajaccio]

Ajaccio to Bastia.

Ajaccio to Bocognano by rail, thence by diligence to Corte; Corte to Bastia by rail 47 m., or 44 by road. The road from Ajaccio ascends the valley of the Gravona to its source at the Col Vizzavona. On the N. side of the Col it follows the course of the Vecchio. The most picturesque part of this route is between Vizzavona and Vivario.

miles from AJACCIO miles to BASTIA

{ }{95} AJACCIO. Start from the station in the Cours Napoleon. The road, after traversing the fertile plain of Campo dell Oro, crosses the Col Sudricchio, 804 ft., and then the bridge of Ucciani, 948 ft., built in the reign of Louis XIV., 17-1/2 m. from Ajaccio and 2 m. from the village of Ucciani. Use general map, and map, p. 27.

[Headnote: BOCOGNANO.]

{25}{70} BOCOGNANO, pop. 2000, and 2120 ft. above the sea. Inn: Univers. Picturesquely situated in a plantation of chestnut trees, surrounded by high mountain peaks. Near Bocognano commences the Vizzavona tunnel, 4375 yards through the mountain. Diligence now to Corte. The road, having crossed the Sellola bridge, 2843 ft., winds its way up by the Col de Pinzalone, 3370 ft., and the Maison and Pont de Lavatoggio 3615 ft. to the top of the ridge. See map, p. 27.

[Headnote: VIZZAVONA.]

[Headnote: PINES.]

{31}{64} LE FORT DE VIZZAVONA, on the summit of the Pass, 3813 ft. above the sea, with the Gendarmerie and a few houses of refuge. A few miles northwards is Monte d'Oro, 7845 ft., and southwards Monte Renoso, 7733 ft. The diligence, in its descent to Vivario, traverses the forest of Vizzavona, consisting mainly of beeches and larches, frequently 150 ft. high. Of this tree there are two varieties, the Pinus pinaster or cluster pine, the Pin maritime of the French, which grows best on deep loose soils and flourishes even on the drifting sands of the sea shore. They supply large quantities of resin. Their wood being soft, coarse and perishable, is usually converted into charcoal and lamp black. The other is the Pinus laricio, which thrives on the high lands of Corsica, Spain, south of France, Greece and Cyprus. Their growth is rapid, the trunk straight and from 100 to 150 ft. high, the branches are in regular whorls, forming in large trees a pyramidal head, and the leaves are slender, from 4 to 7 inches long, and of a dark green tint. The timber is good and durable, though less strong than that of the Pinus silvestris. Between the 51st and 53d kilometre stones are passed the "Maison de Refuge d'Alzarella," and the "Maison de refuge Omellina," 2832 ft.

After crossing the Col de Campo di Lupo, 2684 ft., 35 m. from Ajaccio, the road descends into the ravine of the Vecchio, above which is

[Headnote: VIVARIO.]

{38}{57} VIVARIO, pop. 1500, and 2152 ft. Inn: H. Voyageurs a three-storied house. Junction with road to Zicavo, 37 m. S. (pp. 27,29). Although Vivario be a poor village, yet it has a terrace and fountain ornamented with a statue of Diana. The breeding of pigs fed in the adjoining chestnut forest, and the manufacture of hams, sausages and bacon, are the most important industries of the inhabitants.

From Vivario a forest road extends 27 m. S.E. to the hamlet of Vadina, by Muracciole 2022 ft., 1-1/2 m., the Col Erbajo 3018 ft., 7 m.; Pietroso 10-1/2 m., Saparelli 12-1/2 m., and Quinzena 18 m. From Vadina a good carriage road leads 6 m. to the Baths of Pietrapola, which are supplied by most copious springs of hot, saline, sulphurous water. The season is from May 1 to June 30; or September 1 to November 30. The situation is beautiful and the bathing-establishment and lodging accommodation comfortable, and much frequented.

The road from Vivario to Serraggio passes along the top of the rocky gorge of the foaming Vecchio. The best view of the gorge is from the Pont du Vecchio 40 m. from Ajaccio and 280 ft. above the bed. From Serraggio, 1890 ft., Mt d'Oro is well seen. See map, p. 20.

The road now passes Lugo, 1980 ft.; S. Pietro, 2496 ft.; the Col. S. Nicolo, 2473 ft.; and Casanova, 2136 ft., to

[Headnote: CORTE.]

miles from AJACCIO miles to BASTIA

{51}{44} CORTE, 1329 ft., pop. 5500. Hotels: *Paoli, 8 to 10 frs., Europe. Is situated at the junction of the Tavignano with the Restonico, in the midst of majestic mountains of the most varied form. The citadel or chateau, built in the early part of the 15th century, stands on precipitous and jagged rocks rising from the Tavignano, commanding from the top a magnificent view of the wild surrounding scenery. In the "Place" is a statue of Paoli, the Corsican patriot, born at Stretta in 1726, and to the right of the statue the post and telegraph office. In the immediate neighbourhood stands a large house, a Franciscan convent, in which the Corsican parliament assembled in Paoli's time. Near Corte, by the left side of the Restonico, is a quarry of marble of a bluish tint with reddish white veins. To take the walk up the gorge of the Restonico, descend by first road left up the main street from the hotels and cross only the Tavignano bridge. The mountain appearing to close the valley is Mte. Rotondo. See map, p. 20.

Coach to Aleria, 31 m. S.E. (p. 33), by a beautiful road.

Just outside Corte the rail traverses the Torretta tunnel, 1531 yards.

[Headnote: MTE. ROTONDO.]

From Corte the ascent of Monte Rotondo is most easily effected. It is 8613 feet above the sea-level, or 7284 feet above Corte. Cabins inhabited by the herdsmen are scattered over the declivities of the mountain up to within 3000 feet of the top. Time 2 days. Guide with mule 25 frs. Ascend by the road up the picturesque valley of the Restonico to the Timozzo bridge, 3590 feet, and 2-1/2 hours from Corte. From this the path extends 1-1/2 hour up the wild ravine of the Timozzo to the shepherds' huts; whence the rest must be done on foot. Now the hard work commences. Block lies above block, towering upwards and upwards in such endless masses of monotonous gray that the heart quails with the sight and the foot trembles to go farther. After about 2 hours' scramble over these colossal steps the traveller reaches the fontaine de Triggione, about 2200 feet below the summit and in full view of it, an incomplete circle of steep jagged cliffs. About 330 feet higher is a little dark lake, the Lago di Monte Rotondo, encircled by gentle green slopes, where the night is generally spent. Snow-field extend from the lake to the summit, which, although apparently near, requires 2 full hours' climbing to reach, often on hands and feet, over sharp fragments of rock, or up steep beds of slippery frozen snow. The extreme peak is a rugged obelisk of gray rock ending in a pinnacle. A way leads down by the S. side in 6 hours, to Guagno by lake Bettianella, 3419 ft., then W. by the road over the Col de Manganella, 5874 ft. See map, p. 20.

[Headnote: GRANITE.]

"The view from Monte Rotondo did not impress me. The central uplands, which form a large portion of it, are bare and arid, while the great ridge of Monte Cinto stretches across the northern horizon like a long screen. Comparatively little of the coast is seen in any direction, but most towards the west. It was curious to notice how completely the tops of the mountains between us and the Cinto ridge were flattened down, while the crest on which we stood was a set of bristling teeth. There are two kinds of granite in Corsica, one friable and unable to resist the action of the air, the other hard and defiant of the elements. Of this latter consist the Cinto range, Monte Rotondo and the rocks in the forest of Bavella."—D. W. Freshfield, Alpine Club.

The road now from Corte to Bastia traverses the Quilico Col, 1932 ft., passes Soveria, 1843 ft., and Caporalino, 8 m. from Corte, 36 from Bastia and 1 m. from Omessa. About 1-1/2 m. farther it crosses the Golo by the Francardo bridge, 856 ft., where it meets the great Forest Road from Porto, 50 m. S.W. by Evisa and the Col de Vergio, p. 18, and map, p. 20.

[Headnote: PONTE LECCIA.]

miles from AJACCIO miles to BASTIA

{66}{29} PONTE ALLA LECCIA, 624 ft. Village, and coach and railway station. Inn: Cyrnoz. Diligence to Calvi by the beautiful northern continuation of the road from Prunete by Cervione and Piedicroce, p. 20. "Courrier" daily to Piedicroce, 18 m. S.E. by Morosaglia, see p. 34. During the summer heats Ponte alla Leccia is considered insalubrious.

[Headnote: PONTE NOVO.]

{71}{24} PONTE NOVO. The site of the disastrous battle fought on the 9th of May 1769, when the Corsicans lost their independence and became subject to France. The two small houses on the right bank, a little farther down the river, were Paoli's headquarters. One month afterwards he, with some other Corsican refugees, sailed from Porto Vecchio in a British vessel for England (p. 39).

[Headnote: BORGO.]

{85}{10} BORGO, pop. 820. On the Mariana hills, rising from Lake Biguglia, one of the many lagoons on the eastern coast, separated from the sea by narrow sandbanks. Along this coast extend the only large plains in Corsica. Unfortunately, in summer they are subject to malaria, which, however, a judicious system of drainage is gradually abating. They are cultivated by Italian labourers who visit the island periodically. Between Borgo and Bastia is Bevinco, with valuable marble quarries. Southward from Borgo on the coast is Mariana, the site of the colony founded by Marius (p. 34).

[Headnote: BASTIA.]

{95} BASTIA, pop. 21,000. Hotels: *France; Europe; Lingenieur; Croix de Malte over the post and telegraph office, all in the Boul. du Palais, 8 to 10 frs. Theatre; Public Library with 65,000 volumes. Steamers twice a week to Marseilles, time 18 hours, touching once a week at Nice, 12 hours distant. Fare direct to Marseilles, including food, 28 frs. To Nice, without food, 30 frs. Rubattino's steamers leave three times a week for Leghorn; time 6 hours. These same steamers proceed afterwards to Genoa. Railway to Corte. Rail also to Aleria, whence diligence to Bonifacio, Sartene and Ajaccio.

Diligences daily from Bastia to Cap Corse, 7 hours, 6 or 5 frs.; and also to Calvi, 12 hours, 13 or 10 frs.

[Headnote: BRANDO.]

Carriages to visit the stalactite cave at Brando, 10 frs. Admission 2 frs. each. It is 7 m. from Bastia, above Erbalunga, on the face of a mountain; and was discovered in 1841 by M. Ferdinandi. A steep path leads up to it. Keeper near cave. See p. 12.

Bastia, the most important city of Corsica, is built on ground rising gently from the sea. Facing the sea and the principal harbour is the Place St. Nicholas, adorned with a marble statue of Napoleon I., by Bartolini, looking towards the island of Elba. In this "Place", the promenade of the town, are the offices of the Messageries Maritimes and of the Compagnie Insulaire. Fraissinet's office is at the old harbour; whence also their steamers sail.

From the Place St. Nicholas ascends the principal street, the Boulevard du Palais, to the Palais de Justice. In this Boulevard are the post and telegraph offices (whence most of the diligences start), the hotels, cafes and the best shops, and from it ramify the streets of the town. At the top of the B. du Palais commences, right hand, the Boul. Cardo, one of the best roads to take for views of the town and neighbourhood. A flight of steps leads from the quay up to the cathedral, a handsome building in the Italian style. The markets are held in the "Place" fronting the cathedral. Most of the houses are built in large blocks from 5 to 6 stories high and from 6 to 9 windows broad, each story forming a separate residence.

Bastia owes its name to the bastion built here by the Genoese in the 14th century. From the hills behind Bastia the view embraces the islands of Gorgona, Capraja, Elba, and Monte-Christo, seen best from the top of the Serra di Pigno, 3640 feet. Refer to map on fly-leaf.

[Headnote: STEAMERS.]

The most beautiful part of Corsica, and the most easily visited, is the eastern side, including the Castagniccia or the chestnut country, and the whole region up in the mountains, which border this coast. The wealthiest, most industrious and most enterprising of the people are those who inhabit that long narrow tongue of land called Cap Corse. Although boats are constantly sailing from Marseilles and Leghorn to Bastia, invalids visiting Corsica with the intention of wintering in Ajaccio should, if possible, sail from Marseilles or Nice direct to Ajaccio; but on leaving the island, when winter is over, Bastia is perhaps the best port to sail from, as it affords an excellent opportunity for visiting the most beautiful parts of Corsica and the most important towns in Italy. On arriving at Leghorn (see Black's South France) it is best to proceed at once to the railway station, and start for Pisa, only 30 minutes distant. There are numerous trains. At the station and in the kiosques in the "Piazzas" of Leghorn, is sold an excellent little book with all the railway Time-tables, L'Indicatore Ufficiale, price 50 c.

[Headnote: CAP CORSE.—WINE.]


Bastia to Rogliano and Morsaglia.

See General Map, p. 1.

By diligence, fare to Rogliano, 4 frs. and 3 frs., distance 27-1/2 m., 6 hrs. To Morsaglia, 5-1/2 and 4-1/2 frs., distance 37-1/2 m., 8 hrs. By the road skirting the eastern side of the peninsula of Cap Corse, the best cultivated part of the island, and containing the tidiest villages. The best Cap Corse wine, mostly white, is produced around Luri and Rogliano. The quality used as table wine is drunk the first year. It improves till the fifth year, the better qualities till the tenth and twentieth year. Cap Corse is traversed by a rugged mountain range or serra, of which the culminating peaks are Mount Alticcione, 4230 feet; Mount Stello, 4536 feet; and the Serra de Pigno, 3640 feet. From the east side of this rugged serra little fertile valleys extend to the sea.

[Headnote: PINO.—LURI.]

Mr. Freshfield thus describes the "Cap":—"Down a promontory 8 to 10 m. wide runs a range 3000 to 4000 ft. high, with the crest towards the western coast and the valleys towards the eastern. Hence the western Cornice road is a terrace along an always steep, sometimes sheer, mountain side, while the eastern crosses a succession of low maquis-covered spurs, which beyond Cap Sagro flatten and become monotonous. Pino is one of the most beautiful sites on the western coast. It is also important as the spot where the cross-road through the vale of Luri, under Seneca's tower, falls into the western Cornice. Half-way on this road the village of Luri groups itself in the most picturesque way imaginable on a hill-side broken by a deep ravine. Down on the seashore above the little Marina or port is a large convent; a church occupies a projecting brow 200 ft. above it; higher still, and right and left, every vantage-ground is occupied by groups of well-built villas and sepulchral chapels. The slopes are terraced into orchards of citron, lemon, peach and almond trees, olive groves and vineyards, sheltered from the gales of winter by high palisades."

Farther south, 5-1/4 m., is Nonza, with inn, 479 ft., pop. 550. Coach to St. Florent. This is one of the most curious villages of the island. It stands like an eagle's nest, perched above the sea on a black rock on the mountain side. Its houses, built level with the edge of the cliffs, formed in olden days a sufficient rampart against marauders.

The diligence having passed Lavasina 4-1/2 m. from Bastia, Brando 7 m., and Erbalunga 6-1/4 m., halts at Sisco-port 9-1/4 m. To visit the cave of Brando take the steep narrow path left, near a mill, just before arriving at Erbalunga. Seats in shady places are placed here and there. The keeper's house is close to the entrance. The diligence then proceeds by Pietracorbara 11-1/2 m., and the Torre all'Osse 13 m.; one of the best remaining specimens of the 85 towers built by the Pisans and Genoese to ward off the attacks of the Saracens. From the Torre the diligence proceeds other 2 m. to Perticciolo, where it halts.

[Headnote: SENECA'S TOWER.]

Two miles farther is S. Severa, where the horses are changed and the passengers breakfast. From S. Severa, a road ramifies 10 m. W. to Pino on the other side of the peninsula by the valley of the Luri, with vineyards and orange groves, passing the village of Luri 3-1/2 m., with good inn, the Col de S. Lucie 7 m., 1363 ft., and Saronese 9-3/4 m. From the Santa Severa inn, Seneca's tower is distinctly seen, at the head of the valley, on the summit of a precipitous peak, rising from the S. side of the Col, 1355 ft., from which a steep, stony path leads up to it, by a forsaken Franciscan convent. The view is grand. To this tower, one of the many watch-towers built in the 12th cent., Seneca could never have been sent, but to the Roman colony of Mariana, then used as a place of banishment for political offenders.

[Headnote: SENECA.]

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was born at Cordova in Spain, just before the commencement of the Christian era. His eldest brother was A. Seneca Novatus, which name was altered afterwards to that of his adopted father, Junius Gallio. This brother was the proconsul of Achaia, before whom St. Paul was arraigned (Acts xviii. 12). While Seneca was still a child he was brought by his aunt to Rome, where he had for teachers Sotion, Papirius Fabianus and Attalus the Stoic. Although weak in body he was a most diligent student, which, joined to his powerful memory, enabled him to obtain at an early age important offices. Before his banishment, A.D. 41, he had already served as quaestor. Having irritated Caligula, he would have been put to death, had not one of the mistresses of the emperor assured him that it was not worth while, as Seneca was so consumptive he would soon die a natural death.

In the first year of the reign of Claudius, his wife Messalina having become jealous of the influence his niece Julia, daughter of Germanicus, had over Claudius her husband, succeeded in getting rid of her by imputing to her improper intimacy with Seneca, then a married man. For that reason Seneca was banished to Corsica A.D. 41.

During his exile he wrote his consolatory letter to his mother Helvia, as well as a panegyric on Messalina and a consolatory letter to Polybius, ostensibly to condole with him on the loss of his brother; but in reality to get that powerful freedman to exert his influence with the emperor, to recall his sentence of exile. This letter is full of fulsome flattery and expressions unworthy of an honest man.

After the death of Messalina, Claudius married his niece Agrippina, sister of Julia and mother of Nero by a former husband. Through her influence Seneca was recalled A.D. 49 and appointed a praetor and tutor to Nero, then 11 years old. In A.D. 51 Agrippina poisoned her husband.


From S. Severa, the diligence, resuming its journey, passes Meria 20-1/2 m., and halts again at the port of Macinaggio 2-1/2 m. more. From this commences the steep ascent up to Rogliano 1300 ft., a town built in groups on the side of the mountain, among vineyards and olive and chestnut trees, the inn being in the second highest group, near the post-office. After Rogliano the diligence crosses the Cols S. Anne, Cappiaja and S. Nicholas, and arrives at Botticella 31 m., and then proceeds to Ersa with inn, near the top of the Col de Serra 1182 ft., commanding a good view of Cap Corse. Shortly afterwards the diligence arrives at Morsaglia, called also Pecorile, a village composed of groups of houses like Rogliano on the side of a hill. The conductor of the diligence will show the hotel. Six miles S. from Morsaglia is Pino, see p. 12.

[Headnote: BOTTICELLA.]

From Botticella a road leads 4-1/2 m. N. to Barcaggio, opposite the island of Giraglia, on which is a first-class lighthouse, 269 feet above the sea, seen within a radius of 14 m.

From Morsaglia the road is continued 31 m. farther to the Col S. Bernardino on the Bastia and St. Florent road, passing Pino, 25 m. from the Col S. Bernardino; Minerbio, 21-1/2 m.; Marinca, 16 m.; Nonza, 9 m.; Farinole, 2-1/2 m.; Pont du Patrimonio, 1-1/4 m.; and joins the Bastia road at the Col S. Bernardino, 11-1/4 m. W. from Bastia.

Bastia to Calvi.

57 miles west; time 12 hours; fare 13 and 10 frs.

[Headnote: COL TEGHIME.]

miles from BASTIA miles to CALVI

{ }{57} BASTIA. The road traverses a mountainous country, with scanty vegetation. As far as St. Florent the prevailing rocks are micaceous and beyond granitic. Immediately after leaving Bastia the diligence commences the ascent of the Col de Teghime (1785 feet) in the Serra di Pigno, discovering as it winds its way upwards, an ever-extending panorama over the great eastern plain, including Lake Biguglia, and the Mediterranean with the islands of Elba, Gorgona and Monte Christo. As the road descends towards the western shore, the enchanting panorama of the blue gulf of St. Florent, encircled by low reddish rocks, gradually unfolds itself. It was at this road, made by Count Marboeuf, at which, it is said, King Bernadotte worked among the other labourers. It passes the hamlets of Barbaggio and Patrimonio, the Col St. Bernardino 11-1/4 m. from Bastia, and the Pont des Strette, and enters the valley of Nebbio, partly watered by the sluggish Aliso, flowing through a marsh crowded with oleanders.

[Headnote: ST. FLORENT.]

{14-1/4}{42-3/4} ST. FLORENT, pop. 760. Hotel de l'Europe, where a hurried breakfast can be had while the horses are being changed. Close to the village is the site of the ancient town of Nebbio, occupied now by a few poor houses and a small church, now a ruin, built in the 12th century. Napoleon said, "St. Florent has one of the finest situations I have ever seen. It lies most favourably for commerce, its landing places are safe and its roads can accommodate large fleets. I should have built there a large and beautiful city." It was one of the first places to give adherence to the Bank of Genoa.

The road now for some distance leaves the shore and ascends a range of barren hills containing slate, limestone and granite. Hardy trees become more abundant than the chestnut, and the mountains higher and more imposing, as we approach the little port of

[Headnote: L'ILE ROUSSE.]

{42}{15} L'ILE ROUSSE, pop. 1610; Hotel Europe. The diligence stops in the "Place" near the monument to Pascal Paoli, and remains a sufficient time to enable the traveller to cast a glance over the main features of this port, founded by Paoli in 1759. The street beyond the "Place" leads by the market to the harbour and to the long jagged tongue of red sandstone rocks projecting into the sea, bearing on the extreme point a lighthouse of the fourth order. Steamer every alternate week to Marseilles. There is a charming view from the eminence St. Reparata, crowned with a church, now abandoned.

Inland from L'Ile Rousse is the fertile valley of Balagna, famous for the size and fertility of its olive trees (p. 20).

{47}{10} ALGAJOLA, pop. 200. The block of granite which forms the pedestal of the column in the Place Vendome came from the quarries of this place. Pillars 65 feet long can be procured from this quarry.

[Headnote: LUMIO.]

{51}{6} LUMIO, pop. 1100, among orange groves and high cactus hedges. From the hills here there is a beautiful view of the valley and gulf of Calvi. Junction here with road to Corte, 55-1/2 miles, south-east, passing through a charming and picturesque country (see p. 20).

[Headnote: CALVI.]

{57} CALVI, pop. 2200. Inns: H. France, in the high town; *Colombani, in the low town, near the dil. office and the wharf. Steamer for Marseilles every alternate week. This, the nearest port to France, is composed of the Citadel or Haute Ville and the Port or Basse Ville. The former, although the residence of the public functionaries, has a dilapidated and forsaken appearance. A rough road, paved with blocks of granite, leads up to it and to the ramparts, commanding beautiful and extensive views. The houses, shops and streets of the Basse Ville are much better and more cheerful than those in the Citadel. Both are defended by Fort Mozzello, rising behind the harbour. On the Punta-Revellata is a lighthouse of the first order, with a fixed light seen 20 miles off. Eight miles S.E. from Calvi is Calenzana, pop. 2900, with the chapel of S. Restituta, visited by pilgrims.

Calvi to Ajaccio.

miles from CALVI miles to AJACCIO

{ }{102} Distance 102 miles S.E. The road skirts the coast the greater part of the way. The first village is Galeria, pop. 500—Inn: Seta, 21 miles S. from Calvi. From Galeria the Route Forestiere, No. 8, extends 16 miles eastwards to the Col Capronale, 4495 feet, in the forest of Ometa. Six miles from Galeria is the entrance to the forest of evergreen oaks of Treccio, as well as the commencement of the road, 4-1/2 m. long, to the forest of Perticato by the Col Erbajo, 3-1/2 m., 2090 ft., and the Bocca Melza, 4-1/2 m. 2500 ft.

Galeria to the Forests of Filosorma.

Grand scenery. Guide necessary. Map, p. 20.

This, the forest road No. 8, has two ramifications. The main line follows the course of the Fango the whole way, and only becomes a mule-path when near the Maison de Cantonniers d'Ometa, 14 m. E.

3-3/4 m. from Galeria a mule-path ramifies from the road to the hamlets of Tuarelli, Prunicciole and Chiorna. 3 m. farther is the ramification, 4-1/2 m. S., through the forest of Perticato by the Col d'Erbajo, 2090 ft., 3-1/2 m. S., and the Bocca Melza, 2500 ft., 4-1/2 m. S. From the Bocca Melza a very bad path leads 2 m. S. to the hamlet of Pinito. At the beginning of the above ramification the main road enters the Ilex forest of Treccio, and leaves it nearly 2 m. afterwards.

8-3/4 m. from Galeria is a roadside inn, and 3-1/4 m. farther the entrance into the Ilex forest of Ometa.

11-1/4 m. from Galeria and about 2 m. from the almost unknown valley of the Lonca, an affluent of the Porto, is the Pont de Lancone, 1083 ft., across the Rocce. From this bridge there is a good view of Mt. Tafonato, 7687 ft., to the N. E., with its singularly perforated peak.

13-1/4 m. is the Grand Cassis d'Ometa, 1680 ft. A little farther the road becomes a bridle-path, and ascends from 1677 ft. to the Maison de Cantonniers d'Ometa, 2274 ft., and 1 m. farther is the end of the forest of Ometa.

15 m. from Galeria is the Grand Cassis de Giargione, 1163 ft., and about 2 m. farther the summit of Col Capronale, 4495 ft. A little way beyond, at the Capo Guagnerola, is a beautiful semicircle of reddish rocks covered with trees at the base. Farther E. by the Golo this forest road joins the forest road No. 9 to Francardo (p. 18).

Having crossed the Col de Castellaccio, 850 feet, and passed through the villages of Partinello and Vitriccia, 20 m. from Galeria, we arrive at

miles from CALVI miles to AJACCIO

{51}{51} PORTO (Inn: H. Padoram), occupying a pleasant and sheltered situation at the head of a fine gulf, with a climate rivalling that of Ajaccio. Most of the timber from the forests of Valdoniello and Perticato is shipped here. For Porto to Ponte Francardo, see p. 18.

The road from Porto to La Piana (map, p. 20) affords a delightful drive, and exhibits good engineering. It is cut for a considerable distance through the rocks and cliffs and tall jagged peaks, like cypresses turned into stone, standing on the edge of this savage coast, parts of which are truly splendid. As the ascent is slowly continued, charming views disclose themselves, and on each side of the road the eye discerns some new beauty to dwell upon. At the Col Geneparo, to the right are the ruins of the castle of the Colonnas di Leca, rising boldly above the sea and surrounded and protected by magnificent natural battlements and pinnacles. Six miles from Porto, after having passed the Cols of Geneparo and Mezzano, both about 1250 feet, the traveller reaches

[Headnote: LA PIANA.]

miles from CALVI miles to AJACCIO

{58}{44} LA PIANA, 1587 feet, pop. 1280. Inn: H. France. Delightfully situated, with a fine sea-view. From the Col San Martino, 1 m. from La Piana and 1630 feet above the sea, the landscape undergoes a rapid change. The magnificent rocks become parched and arid and the grass as yellow as the soil where it tries to grow.

[Headnote: CARGESE.]

{70}{32} CARGESE, pop. 1100. Inn: H. de Voyageurs. A large village at the foot of a hill which slopes down to the sea. It was founded by a colony of 730 Greeks, who, fleeing from the oppression of the Turks, arrived and settled here, by the permission of the Genoese, in March 1676. For having refused to aid Paoli in 1755 against the Genoese their villages were burnt to the ground, and they themselves had to seek refuge in Ajaccio. After the cession of Corsica to the French in 1769 M. de Marboeuf had the village and church of Cargese built for the colonists, when they all returned. Greek is still spoken in the village, and it has a Greek as well as a Romanist priest.

[Headnote: SAGONA.]

{79}{23} SAGONA, pop. 100. The port of Vico. It contains a few houses, one of which is the inn, where beds, bread, eggs, coffee and wine can be had. On the beach are generally large logs brought down from the forests for shipment. Junction with road to Vico 9-1/4 miles E. (see p. 23), and also with the road extending 19 miles E. to the forest of Aitone, passing by the Col Vico, 7-1/2 m., 1607 ft.; Poggio, 12-1/2 m.; the Col Sevi, 3612 ft., 13-1/4 m.; Cristinacce, 16-1/2 m.; and the Col Lacciola, 3040 ft. in the forest. Five and a half miles from Sagona are the cold sulphurous springs of Caldanella; efficacious as a tonic.

{87-1/2}{14-1/2} CALCATOGGIO, pop. 670. A poor village on a hill above the road. From this the diligence shortly after commences the ascent of the Col Sebastien, 1344 feet, 12 miles from Ajaccio. After the Col Sebastien, the road having passed over the Col Staggiola, 930 feet, within a short distance of Appietto, situated on a hill; reaches

AJACCIO, 102 miles south-west from Calvi.

Porto to the Ponte Francardo.

50 miles north-east. Map, p. 20.

This important forest road traverses the region of the highest mountains and of the greatest forests, passes through Albertacce, and by the other villages of the Canton of Calacuccia, and then proceeds to Francardo by the defile of the Golo.

Porto to Evisa, 13-3/4 m., by an excellent carriage road wending through most picturesque mountain scenery. The road, after following the course of the Porto, crosses the stream Onda, ascends the ravine of the Cario, which it crosses 3 m. from Porto under the Capo Polmonaccia, 5627 ft. It now winds its way round little valleys into the narrow gorge of the Porto between dark red cliffs crowned with pinnacles. Nine m. from Porto is the ramification of the mule-path to Chidazzo, and 1/2 m. farther the ramification to Marignano. The road, after passing the chapelle S. Cyprien, enters Evisa, pop. 1000; Inn: *H. Carrara; 2770 ft., on a high promontory projecting in the centre of a mountain-girt basin from the central range between two deep gulfs hollowed out to a depth of 2000 ft. Behind it rise pine forests to a broad mountain crest, the pass of the Niolo.

Evisa is admirably situated for excursions. A difficult winding path leads in 2-1/2 hours down to the great walls of the dark granite ravine called the Spelunca, at the confluence of the Aitone with the Porto. Rambles and drives into the forest of Aitone, from which unfortunately the old stately pines have disappeared.

Evisa to Albertacce, 18 m. E. The road traverses the forest of Aitone with its vigorous beeches and young pines (Pinus laricio), whose stems are clear of branches from 80 to 100 ft. It is watered by the Porto and numerous brawling streams; which rush down steep ravines covered with moss and ferns. In the forest, 3 m. from Evisa, by this road, is the Maison forestiere d'Aitone, where those provided with introductions, see p. 41, will find pleasant headquarters for grand excursions and fishing and botanical expeditions. 1-1/4 m. farther is the house of the road menders (Cantonniers) of Tagnone; where lodging can also be had.

The road having made several detours to get round the heads of ravines, ascends the Col de Vergio 4803 ft. on the great mountain chain separating the valley of the Golo from the valley of the Porto. About 230 ft. above the Col on the Cricche ridge, a little to the W., is an admirable view of Mt. Tafonato, 7687 ft., almost due N., with a strange natural tunnel through the summit. From Mt. Cuculla, 6733 ft., nearly 1-3/4 hours W. from the Col is a still better view of Tafonato, and besides a sight of Mt. Cinto, the valley of the Golo and the mountain range of Monte Rotondo. A little beyond the summit of the Col is the Maison de Cantonniers de Castellaccio, whence there is a good view of the forest of Valdoniello, 11,483 acres, containing besides many large pines very fine specimens of beeches, birches and alders. The felling of the trees in this forest commenced in 1863.

After arriving at the Maison forestiere de Sciattarina 10-1/2 m. from Evisa, the road passes by some of the finest trees, and descends into the valley of the Golo; which has its source in a ravine between Mts. Tafonato and Paglia-Orba.

Four and a half miles farther is the Maison forestiere de Popaja, 3468 ft., 15 m. from Evisa and 3 m. from Albertacce. Either this house or the former, make good quarters for exploring the forest.

Two miles farther is the Ponte Alto, 2740 ft.; where the road crosses the Golo and enters the pastoral country of the Niolo; now called the canton of Calacuccia, comprehending the villages of Albertacce, Calacuccia, Corscia, Lozzi, and Casamaccioli.

From near the bridge a mule path of 1-3/4 m. ascends to Casamaccioli, 2780 ft., pop. 550; whence the continuation leads in 7 hours to Corte by the Bocca la Croce, the Melo forest, and the valley of the Tavignano.


Albertacce, 18 m. from Evisa, 2845 ft., pop. 1000, a dirty village amidst chestnut and walnut trees; where a good deal of coarse linen and Corsican cloth is woven. It is one of the places whence the ascent is made of Monte Cinto, 8892 ft., in 7 hours, and in about 6 for the descent. The path ascends by Calasima, 3610 ft., to the height of 5251 ft. After this the course extends almost horizontally in a western direction across ridges, ascending by gradations more or less fatiguing.

When about 7720 ft., and having climbed nearly 6 hours, a cave is passed where shelter can be had. The remainder of the ascent is comparatively easy. The view is grand, Monte Falo, 8363 ft., being the most prominent object. The ascent cannot be made till the beginning of summer on account of the snow.

[Headnote: LAKE NINO.]

To Lake Nino, 5598 ft., the source of the Tavignano in 5 hours. From the lake a mule path chiefly by the left bank of the Tavignano, leads in 6-1/2 hours to Corte, through magnificent forests.

Around the lake are some shepherds huts; where rest and refreshment can be had, but no further supply of food can be counted on between the lake and Corte. The lake, full of fish, lies in a hollow between high mountains, the highest being Mt. Retto, 6592 at the western end.

Albertacce to Ponte Francardo, 18 m. N.E. The road follows the Golo. To the left, a road 1-1/4 m., leads up to Lozzi, pop. 1050. 2-1/2 m. from Albertacce is Calacuccia, 2779 ft. pop. 860, and 2 m. farther, another byeroad ascends to Corscia, 2913 ft., pop. 1000, about 5 hours walk S. from Asco, whence also Mt. Cinto may be ascended by the valley of the Asco called also Stranciacone. Asco is 5 hours from Olmi Capella by the Stranciacone, its affluent the Tassinella, and the Col de Petrella, 6440 ft., to the S. of Mt. Corona, 7032 ft.

Near the chapel of S. Pancrazio, 2786 ft., 4 m. from Albertacce is the commencement of the Scala di Santa Regina, as this part of road is called, cut in the face of perpendicular cliffs rising from the bed of the Golo. About half way are the small chapel and inn of Santa Regina, and the cave which in former times used to be the stronghold of robbers.

Thirteen miles from Albertacce is the Pont du Diable, 1083 ft., where four roads meet. The road southwards or to the right leads to Corte, 7 m. S. by Castirla and Soveria, and the Col of Oninanda, 2155 ft., between cliffs rising 1720 ft. above it.

[Headnote: ASCO.]

The road leading northwards extends to the beautiful highway between Ponte alla Leccia and Calvi; by Castiglione 3-1/4 m., pop. 550, at the foot of Mt. Traunato, 7186 ft., Popolasca, 7 m., pop. 200, with beautiful red granite pinnacles, and Moltifao 12 m., pop. 1050, with Inn, consisting of a group of villages, clustered on the slopes of the ridge which separate the valley of the Tartagine from the Asco. The byeroad S.W. from Moltifao leads up the highly picturesque valley of the Asco, with magnificent forest trees, to the village of Asco, pop. 950, a group of hamlets seldom visited, although one of the best points from which to make the ascent of Mt. Cinto.


The road leading 5 m. N.E. by the Golo extends to the Ponte Francardo, where the rail may be taken. See p. 9 and General Map.

Calvi to Corte or to Bastia.

See General Map.

By Ponte alla Leccia. The finest part of the road is between Calvi and the Col Colombano. "If I were to permit myself to dwell in detail on the exquisite variety and charm of the drive, especially after quitting the route forestiere a little E. of the hamlet of Palasca, I should wander far from the main purpose of this paper. Valery, Gregorovius, Lear and others have done justice to its wonderful beauty, and the last truly remarks that 'those who visit Corsica without going through upper Balagne remain ignorant of one of its finest divisions,' adding, 'no description can exaggerate the beauty of this remarkable tract of mountain background and deep valley, which for richness of foreground, cheerful fertility and elegance of distance may compete with most Italian landscapes.' The district is densely peopled—at least twelve large villages are situated on the road itself between Belgodere and Lumio, a distance of 21 miles—and picturesque hamlets with lofty campanili perch high up on the mountain slopes or crown the summits of the lower hills, whilst everywhere there is the richest culture and most varied produce, and the charm of the picture is completed by continually varying views over 'bowery hollows crowned with summer sea.'"—F. F. Tuckett, Alpine Club.

[Headnote: THE OLIVE TREE.]

miles from CALVI miles to CORTE

{ }{61} CALVI. The road skirts the coast as far as Lumio, 6 m. from Calvi, whence it commences to ascend gradually by an admirably engineered road round the undulations of olive-clad mountains, disclosing at every turn a different view of the fertile valley of Balagna, extending from the distant mountains to the blue waters of the Mediterranean. It is said that there is no district throughout the whole of Italy where the olive attains such a size as in this valley. Of the tree there are three varieties, the Sabine (Sabinacci), the Saracen (Saraceni), and the Genoese (Genovesi), the most common of all, and is ascribed to the Genoese, who during the government of Agostino Doria compelled the Corsicans to plant olives in great numbers.

[Map: Corsica Western Central Region]

After passing the picturesquely situated village of Lavatoggio, 9 m.; the Col Cesario, 1200 ft., 10-1/2 m.; the villages of Feliceto, inn, pop. 640, 16-1/4 m.; Castor, 24 m.; Speloncato; Ville di Paraso, pop. 750; Occhiatana, and many more perched on the surrounding mountain tops, or nestling in nooks among olive and chestnut trees, the diligence arrives at

[Headnote: BELGODERE.]

{26-3/4}{34-1/4} BELGODERE, 1017 feet, pop. 950, commanding the finest view of this beautiful valley, its orchards, fields and mountains undulating towards the blue sea. The diligence just remains long enough to give time to run through the gate and up the narrow dirty street to the top of the rock on which the houses are clustered, and there to take a rapid glance at the lovely scene around and underneath. After the gate, the diligence halts at the post-office, and then moves on a few yards towards the stables, where the horses are changed.



From Belgodere, Route Forestiere, No. 3, leads down to the small port of Losari, 6 miles N. from Belgodere and 4-1/2 E. from the Ile Rousse. A continuation of the same route southward extends to the bridge across the Tartagine, 2355 feet, 25 miles from the Ile Rousse, in the great forest of Tartagine. It passes the Bocca Campana, 2782 feet, 3-1/4 miles from Belgodere; the Bocca Croce, 3045 feet, the culminating part of the road, 7 miles from Belgodere; and 2-1/2 miles farther, the hamlets of Olmi and Capella, 9 miles from Speloncato; with ever-varying mountain and village scenes among great forests; 20 m. from Belgodere is the Pont Tartagine in the forest of that name. The forest of Tartagine, enclosed within the high crests of the Capo Dente 6667 ft. on the west, and of Mt. Padro on the east, measures 7166 acres, and contains principally the Pinus laricio and the P. pinaster, intermingled with ilexes or evergreen oaks (p. 41).

"Olmi-Capella 2723 ft. is in an open airy situation, commanding fine views of the mountains to the S. and S.W., and protected to some extent on the N. and N.W. by the ridge which sweeps round to the head of the Tartagine valley. This ridge, though in the neighbourhood of the village only about 1000 ft. above the sloping plateau on which it is built, rises to the W. into the peaks of Monte Tolo 4370 ft., Monte San Parteo 5512 ft., Monte Cineraggia 5286 ft., Monte Grosso 6227 ft., Punta Radiche 6595 ft., Capo al Dente 6667 ft., and Monte Corona 7031 ft. The N. slope of this ridge is very steep, and commands most magnificent views of the Haute Balagne and the sea beyond, whilst it is traversed by numerous passes which afford charming scenery. Besides the route forestiere, which crosses the Col de Bocca Croce 3048 ft., and by which the timber of the forest of Tartagine is conveyed to Ile Rousse for shipment, several mule-paths connect Olmi Capella much more directly with Ville and Speloncato by the Bocca Battaglia 3550 ft., and Bocca Croce d'Ovo 3629 feet; with Feliceto by the Bocca Pianile 5033 ft.; with Zilia and Calvi by the Bocca di Cineraggia 4698 ft.; with Calenzana by the Bocca Bianca 6155 ft., with Calenzana or the Val Ficarella by the Bocca di Tartagine 6093 ft.; and with the head of the valley of Asco by the Bocca de l'Ondella 6086 ft."—F. F. Tuckett, Alpine Club.

[Headnote: PALASCA.]

miles from CALVI miles to CORTE

{28-3/4}{32-1/4} PALASCA, pop. 550. Situated lower down than the high road and the last village on this side of the

{31-1/2}{29-1/2} COL DE SAN COLOMBANO, 2625 feet above the sea. The view though more vast is less distinct, presenting a succession of mountain-tops, between which are dimly seen valleys with the sea in the distance. The diligence now descends into the narrow, rocky vale of the Navaccia, an affluent of the Tartagine, which enters the Golo a little above the important bridge called the


{46-3/4}{14-1/4} PONTE ALLA LECCIA. Inn at station. Here take rail for Corte (see p. 8) or for Bastia, 29 miles N.E. (see p. 10). The Ponte Nuovo is distinctly seen from the station. The two small houses near the railway bridge, on the S. side of the Golo, were Paoli's headquarters during the battle (see pp. 9 and 39).

{61} CORTE, see page 8.

Ajaccio to Vico and Evisa.

33 miles north; time 7 to 8 hours; fare 4 frs.

miles from AJACCIO miles to VICO

{ }{33} AJACCIO. At about two miles from the town the diligence commences the ascent of the low Col of Stileto, passing the aqueduct for the Gravona water. On the left hand are the granite quarries whence the large slabs were taken for the monument to Napoleon in the Place d'Armes, as well as the long blocks for the pillars of the Marseilles cathedral. To the right are the village of Appietto, pop. 700, on a hill and the great cliff Monte Gozzi, 656 feet high.

{12}{21} Summit of the COL ST. SEBASTIEN, 1344 feet above the sea, commanding a lovely prospect of the Bays of Liscia, Sagona and Cargese, and of the valley of Cinarca, with its villages and vineyards. At the foot of the Col is a small inn called Le Repos des Voyageurs, where bread and wine and capital sea-urchins can be had. They are eaten raw, and taken out of the shell by cutting it in two horizontally.

{23}{10} SAGONA, junction with road to Calvi, 79 miles N. (see p. 17).

{31}{2} Summit of the COL ST. ANTOINE, 1488 feet. Near the top, at some distance to the left, is the village of Balogna, pop. 600, while in front is seen the splendid range of the Monte Rotondo, among which the most conspicuous is La Sposata, at the head of wooded valleys.

The road to the left or N. leads to Evisa, 18 miles from Vico, pop. 1000, and 2770 feet above the sea. Hotel: Carrara, a comfortable house, where vehicles may be hired. Evisa is charmingly situated on the confines of the forest of Aitone, containing 3,749 acres. Beyond Aitone, or 11 miles from Evisa, is the large forest of Valdoniello, 11,483 acres. These forests, instead of extending monotonously on large plains, plunge into deep valleys, or creep up the sides of high mountains.

From Evisa descend to Porto (see p. 18).

[Headnote: VICO.]

miles from AJACCIO miles to VICO

{33} VICO, pop. 2020. Inns: France, where the diligence stops; Voyageurs; Univers. Most picturesquely situated in the valley of the Liamone, surrounded by steep mountains covered with apple, peach, chestnut, walnut, olive and oak trees. On the opposite side of the valley is the large whitewashed convent of St. Francis, with terraced garden shaded by tall magnolias, beautifully placed on a thickly-wooded bank, above which is seen the small hamlet of Nessa. It is a favourite summer resort of the elite of Ajaccio, who revel here on carpets of cyclamen, violets, and a profusion of other wild flowers, in the shade of the dense foliage of the chestnut groves around.

[Headnote: BATHS OF GUAGNO.]

Seven and a half miles from Vico up the wooded vale of the Liamone and by the Bridges of Silvani and Belfiori, the village of Murzo and the Col de Sorro, are the Baths of Guagno, with hot, sulphurous springs, resembling in their properties those of Bareges in the Pyrenees (see Black's South France). From May to September they are much frequented, when a coach runs between Vico and Guagno. Time, 2 hours; fare, 3 frs. Coaches can be hired at Vico for Evisa. Charge, 10 frs.

Ajaccio to Sartene.

53 m. S. by diligence, over a hilly road; 13 hrs.

miles from AJACCIO miles to SARTENE

{ }{53} AJACCIO. The most comfortable way to go to Sartene is to take the steamer to Propriano, only 8 miles N. from Sartene, and there to await the daily coach. The diligence from Ajaccio, after having crossed the rivers Gravona, Prunelli, Agnone, Vergajolo and Margone, and the pass of Campolaccio, 843 feet, arrives at

[Headnote: CAURO.]

{12-1/2}{40-1/2} CAURO or CAVRO, 1180 ft. Inn. Coach to Bastelica. Pop. 700. A straggling mountain village, commanding extensive views.

Cauro to Bastelica.

12 m. northwards by "Courrier" by a charming forest road, which after crossing the Else at the Pont Zipitoli, 7 m. from Cauro, enters the defile of the Prunelli at the Col de Menta, about 2 m. from Bastelica.

The road from Cauro crosses the Col Torro, 1394 ft., 1-1/2 m. Four miles, the col and bridge S. Alberto, 1710 ft. whence a road ramifies 7-1/2 m. S. to S. Maria-Siche and Grossetto. On the right side of the road a waterfall descends from the crest of the Usciolo. Large oaks and chestnut trees with ilexes and pines are now seen. 7 m. here a short branch road leads to a maison forestiere surrounded by large trees, at the foot of Mt. Mantelluccio, 5515 ft. A little farther a road ramifies 4-1/2 m. by the wild and beautiful valley of the Else into the forest of Ponteniello, and where it ends a mule path commences to Frasseto, pop. 750, on the coach road between Ajaccio and the baths of Guitera. 7-1/2 m. the Zipitoli bridge across the Else, a short way above its junction with the Prunelli. On the right side of the river is the Maison de Cantonniers of Zipitoli.

8 m. The Col Crichetto, 2380 ft., and nearly 3 m. farther the Col Menta, 2458 ft., from which the road descends to the Prunelli and continues by its banks to

[Headnote: DOMINICACCI.]

Bastelica, pop. 4000, inn, 2400 ft., consisting of a group of hamlets, none of which bears the name of Bastelica. Sampiero was born in the one called Dominicacci, between Stazzona and Costa, at the end of the 15th cent., and killed by the Ornanos in the defile of the Prunelli on the 17th January 1567. The house which stands on the site of the one he lived in bears an epitaph to his memory, placed by "William Wyse, Irish Roman Catholic, nephew of Napoleon the Great."

[Headnote: MT. RENOSO.]

Among the many pleasant excursions is the ascent of Mt. Renoso, 7733 ft., 5-1/2 hrs. N.E.

In summer men go up every day with mules for frozen snow. There are lakes on the south and east sides of the mountain, and some fine velvety swards. Map, p. 27.

Five miles beyond Cauro, the Sartene road attains the summit of the Col St. Georges, 2500 ft., commanding a fine prospect of the surrounding country, and afterwards descends to the valley of Ornano, the native land of Vanina, traversed by the Taravo.

miles from AJACCIO miles to SARTENE

{20}{33} APA, whence a Route Departamentale extends 18 m. N.E. to the baths of Guitera and Zicavo. Maps, pp. 1 and 27.



8-1/4 hrs. by coach and 39 m. from Ajaccio by the Apa mill, 1841 ft., then by the slopes of the Punta del Castello, 2674 ft., through a charming country, to S. Maria-Siche, 2 m. from Apa, inn where coach stops, pop. 800. An old lofty building here of granite, with the remains of towers blackened by age, was the birthplace of the unfortunate Vanina, strangled by Sampiero, p. 39. The ruins of the chateau he built for himself in 1554, after his house had been destroyed, are seen on a hill to the left of the road. Coaches for Ajaccio, Guitera, Zicavo, and Propriano. 4-1/2 m. from Apa at Campo, pop. 390, the road describes a great circuit to get round the head of the defile of the torrent of Frasseto, an affluent of the Taravo. 1-1/4 m. farther is Frasseto, pop. 740. When about 2770 feet high there is, through an opening, a superb view extending to the sea by the valley of the Frasseto. 8 m. from Apa is the Col de Granace, 2713 ft., with a splendid view. Zecavo, 10 m., 2238 ft., pop. 510, on an affluent of the Taravo. Then rounding the buttresses of the Sposata, 3288 ft., enter the village of Corrano, 12 m., pop. 470, in a lovely situation. 14-1/2 m. from Apa and 34-1/2 from Ajaccio are the hot sulphurous springs of Guitera, with hotel, 1437 ft., on the right bank of the Taravo, an excellent trout stream. Coach to and from Ajaccio during the season, from May to September. Pleasantly situated among cork oaks and banks covered with the Osmunda fern. The road from the Baths of Guitera up to Zicavo, 3-1/2 m., follows for about 1 m. the Taravo till its union with the torrent from Mt. Coscione, whence it climbs up through the gorge to


Zicavo, pop. 1500, hotel, 2385 ft., charmingly situated, overlooking the valley of the Taravo, 38 m. by coach from Ajaccio. From Zicavo the ascent is made of Monte Incudine, 7008 ft., in 6 hrs. Mules can be employed to within 1/2 hr. of summit. Although not difficult, guide and mule are advisable, if for nothing else than to assist in fording the streams. After having passed the chapel of S. Roch, ascend a steep mule path, right, among the largest and best formed chestnut trees in the island, then rounding Mt. Buchino, 3623 ft., among ilexes, and Mt. Occhiato, 5749 ft., covered with beech trees, ascend southwards by a wooded ravine between great rocks. Between 2 and 3 hrs. the Pastures of the plain of Coscione, with many shepherds' huts, are reached, whence Mt. Incudine is seen. After leaving this the path becomes very bad, over loose stones and across troublesome torrents. These are succeeded by an annoying thick coppice of alders, and then the Col de Cheralba, 6345 ft., is ascended, in about 5-1/2 hrs. from starting. The mules are left here, and the ascent is made by the western flank, taking care to make the guide understand that the highest peak is wanted, and not the Rocher de l'Incudine. "The view is probably the most beautiful in Corsica—a vast panorama full of variety. Steep pine clad hills sink abruptly into the eastern sea; glens open southward on a rich glowing valley; the blue depths of the bays are fringed with an edging of white sand and green water. The great granite aiguilles of the forest of Bavella, a strange array of horns and pinnacles, run across the foreground; to the left the long fiord of Porto Vecchio stretches far into the land; while in the centre of the picture are spread out the broad Straits of Bonifacio, studded with pale isles and islets. On the left is Caprera, the home of the liberator of the Two Sicilies. [Headnote: NELSON.] The one beside it, Maddalena, is linked with even greater memories—Nelson and Napoleon. Under its lee, in a bay which Nelson christened 'Agincourt Sound,' the British fleet lay for months before the battle of the Nile, watching for the French squadron sheltered behind the guns of Toulon. Two silver candlesticks on the altar of the village church record Nelson's gratitude for the friendly services of the inhabitants. It was in attacking this same village that Napoleon, in 1793, first saw fire. For mountain views the Alpine clubman is spoilt, but for sea views, and they are not less beautiful, he must go far, perhaps as far as Greece, to find such another."—D. F. Freshfield, Alpine Club. See map on fly-leaf.

miles from AJACCIO miles to SARTENE

{21}{32} GROSSETO, 1476 feet, pop. 600; 4-1/2 hours by diligence from Ajaccio. A little beyond the inn is the church, sheltered by large ilex trees, which grow to a great height in this neighbourhood.

{30}{23} BICCHISANO, 350 feet, pop. 1800, where the passengers dine. The diligence then passes the villages of Petreto and Cassalabriva, pop. 300, and shortly afterwards reaches the summit of the Col Celaccia, 1910 feet, about 2-1/2 m. E. from Sollacaro, pop. 800, where Boswell visited Paoli. Sollacaro is not on the highroad.

[Headnote: OLMETO.]

{39}{14} OLMETO, pop. 1650, hotel. On a hill, with an extensive view. In the neighbourhood, on Monte Buttareto, are the ruins of the castle of Arrigo della Rocca. No more beautiful sight than that of Olmeto can be pictured. Immediately below the town the ground dips steeply down, covered with corn or turf; or in terraces of vineyard, varied with large groups of fine olive trees stretching down to the shore. Above the village a vast growth of vegetation climbs the heights. Among huge masses of granite are tangles of every shrub the island produces, the wild olive or oleaster being one of the most elegant; while every part of the heights close to the town abounds with little picture subjects, with a clear blue sky for a background.

The road now descends to the coast, and after crossing the Baracci, near the hot sulphurous mineral baths of Baracci, arrives at

[Headnote: PROPRIANO.]

{44-1/2}{8-1/2} PROPRIANO, pop. 1000. H. France. Every Saturday a steamer arrives from Ajaccio, and returns on the Monday morning. Another steamer twice weekly between this and Ajaccio. Near the bridge over the Rizzanese, are the two Celtic monuments called the Stazione del' Diavolo.


Two and a half miles beyond the bridge commences the Route Forestiere, No. 4, leading to Solenzara, 42-1/2 m. N.E. This road ascends by the Rizzanese to S. Lucia di Tallano, whence eastward to Levie, 1970 ft.; and thence Zonza, 2586 ft. The road afterwards ascends N.E. by a picturesque ravine to the Col Bavella, 3965 ft.; whence after descending to the Maison Cantonniere, 1476 ft., it crosses the Col Larone, 2013; whence it descends by a winding road partly by the banks of the Fiumicello and partly by the R. Solenzara to Solenzara (see p. 36).

[Map: Corsica, Central Region]

Shortly after crossing the Rizzanese the diligence commences the long ascent to Sartene, disclosing views of the great valley below and of the splendid snowy heights of the long range of mountains opposite, terminating in the lofty regions of the great Monte Incudine, 7008 ft.

[Headnote: SARTENE.]

miles from AJACCIO miles to SARTENE

{53} SARTENE, 1000 feet; pop. 6010; Inns: Commerce: Univers. Coaches daily to and from Ajaccio, Bonifacio and Santa Lucia di Tallano. Old Sartene is a town of narrow streets approached by a fine bridge, whence the whole valley is seen down to the Gulf of Valinco. It still retains some towers and parts of the walls erected in the 16th century. The houses are built of rough, dark gray granite, with steep stone steps leading up to the main entrance, and odd Italian chimneys, some in the shape of pillars with curious capitals, others in the form of towers or obelisks. The houses bordering the Nouvello Traverse and the streets leading into the "Place" form the new town.

Sartene to Corte by Vivario,

up the centre of the island. Maps, pp. 1 and 27.

This grand mountain road, No. 196 bis, extends from Sartene, 73 m. N. to the Ajaccio and Corte road, which it joins at the 60 kilometres-stone, on the Col Serra, 1/2 mile from Vivario. All the diligences between Ajaccio and Corte halt at the inn of Vivario (p. 8).

[Headnote: S. LUCIA DI TALLANO.]

After leaving Sartene the road crosses the Fiumicicoli and ascends the valley of the Rizzanese to Loreto, 12 m., and Cargiaca 15 m. N. from Sartene 1302 ft.; grand view. Near Loreto is S. Lucia di Tallano, 1270 ft., with a quarry of a beautiful amphibole, a variety of hornblende. The ground colour is grayish blue sprinkled with white and margined with black spots (see p. 37).

[Headnote: ZICAVO.]

From Cargiaca the road enters the valley of the Coscione and ascends through the ilex forest of Taca amidst towering mountains and vertical cliffs by the villages of Zerubia and Aullene, 2736 ft., pop. 1100; inn; 21 m. N. from Sartene. It now crosses the Coscione, 3492 ft., then the Col Vaccia, 3898 ft., and descends by the Col d'Alisandri, 3426 ft., to Zicavo, 2445 ft., with an inn, 17 m. from Aullene, 3-1/2 m. E. from the baths of Guitera, 38 m. N. from Sartene and 37 m. S. from Vivario.

From the Bocca Tinzole a road ramifies N.W. to Olivese 1460 ft., pop. 700, in the valley of the Taravo, 7 m. from Guitera by a beautiful road.

From Zicavo the road crosses the Col San Francesco, 1969 ft., to Cozzano, 40 m., pop. 900, and enters the valley of the Taravo, which it ascends by the east bank between two great mountain chains, the culminating point of the western chain being Mt. Don Giovanni 6405 ft., and that of the eastern Pointe Capella 6706 ft.

Three and a quarter miles up the valley from Cozzano a wheel road leads 1-1/2 m. E. to the Maison Forestiere of St. Antoine, whence a mule path by the Col de Rapara, 5557 ft., extends to Isolaccio and the hot baths of Pietrapola, p. 8, by a picturesque road through a beautiful part of the forest.

Four and a half miles above Cozzano is the Col Scrivano, 2959 ft., whence a mule path leads across the valley to Palneca, pop. 1050, on the wooded slopes of Mt. Pietra Cinta, 4958 ft.

A little below the summit of the Col is the Maison de Cantonniers de Scrivano.

Nine and a half miles N. from Zicavo is the bridge Argentuccia, fronting a grand semi-circle of mountains covered with noble trees. This is the commencement of the real Verde forest.

Eleven and three quarter miles from Zicavo is the Maison de Cantonniers de Ghiraldino, 3936 ft., 49 m. N. from Sartene, 2 m. S. from the Col Verde and 5 m. S. from the House of Refuge of Marmano. A little beyond the house a wheel road, left, descends into one of the finest parts of the Verde forest.

[Headnote: COL VERDE.]

Thirteen and three quarter miles from Zicavo and 51 m. from Sartene is the Col Verde, 4290 ft., with, nearly a mile distant, the Maison de Cantonniers de Marmano. Below is the forest of Marmano, with its best trees cut down, and in the neighbourhood the sources of the rivers Taravo, 5678 ft., at the Col Tisina, of the Fium Orbo, 3783 ft. under a mountain a little to the N. of the Col Verde, and of the Prunelli, 4790 ft., among a group of high mountains to the W. The Vecchio rises from the springs on Mt. Oro.


Seventeen miles from Zicavo and 54 m. from Sartene is the Refuge de Marmano, 3182 ft., beautifully situated. Here was formerly the summer station of the Casabianda penitentiary. The escaped criminals committed such outrages that the government at the repeated petitioning of the shepherds were obliged to withdraw it. Finally Casabianda was abandoned also, and the prisoners removed to the neighbourhood of Ajaccio, where they could be well looked after.

Food and lodging may be obtained at the Maison Forestiere, or 1-1/4 m. farther at the Maison de Cantonniers de Canareccia, 2760 ft., in the rocky defile of the Fium Orbo. Between this and Ghisoni, 6 m., 3 bridges and 2 low Cols are crossed. At the second bridge, the Pont de Casso, 4-1/2 m. from Ghisoni, are seen the great pinnacles or needles and lofty cliffs of Albuccia Point or Kyrie Eleison, 4935 ft.

From the Canaraccia the road winds its way northward along the flanks of mountains sloping down to the Orbo, which it leaves shortly before reaching


Ghisoni, pop. 1740, 2160 ft., 62 m. N. from Sartene, 12 m. S. from Vivario, 8 m. N. from the House of Refuge, and 24 m. N. from Zicavo. Four m. N. from Ghisoni the road crosses the Col Scozzolatojo, 3916 ft., and 2 m. farther the Col Sorba, 4310 ft., 6 m. S. from Vivario, see p. 8. The descent from the Col Sorba into Vivario is very striking. It is effected by excessively sharp zigzags through a noble pine forest. Between the branches tower the bold forms of Monte d'Oro, Monte Rotondo, and, in the distance, behind the uplands of Corte, the crags of Monte Traunato.

The best resting-places on this road are Zicavo, 39 m. S.E. from Ajaccio, from which it is approached by a diligence; and the pleasant village of Ghisoni, where there is a very fair inn. At Vivario there is the Hotel Voyageurs. Guides and carriages should be hired either at Sartene or Vivario, 20 frs. per day.

Ghisoni to Ghisonaccia.

18 m. S.E. Maps, pp. 1 and 27.

By the Forest road No. 5, cut for nearly 11 m. in the face of the steep cliffs which enclose the Orbo. As this road in all the dangerous parts is hardly 11 ft. wide, it is necessary to ascertain before starting in a vehicle, the position of the carts conveying the logs, and to arrange accordingly.

The road descends from Ghisoni to the Pont de Regolo, 2077 ft., where it crosses the Casapietrone, and then follows the course of the Fium Orbo, crosses the Ruello Bridge 1450 ft., and enters the Salto della Sposata 4-1/2 m. from Ghisoni, where the river flows in a narrow bed between vertical precipices, some more than 1200 ft. high.

[Headnote: L'INZECCA.]

The road, chiselled out of these cliffs, passes under 3 great portals. From the third is seen, through the great cleft in the rock of Inzecca, the sea at Aleria.

After this the defile opens up to close again between serpentine cliffs. It then crosses the 2 Ponts de Parabuja and the viaduct de l'Inzecca, and reaches the entrance to the Passage de l'Inzecca, 7 m. from Ghisoni, 985 ft. above the sea, where the road is cut through great serpentine rocks. This is the most difficult part for the waggons to pass. Map, p. 27.

The plain now widens, and 8 m. from Ghisoni a branch road leads to Vezzani.

Nine and a quarter miles from Ghisoni is the Col S. Antoine, 355 ft., and 8-3/4 m. farther is Ghisonaccia, p. 32.

Sartene to Bonifacio.

33 miles south-east, by diligence; time, 6 hours.

miles from SARTENE miles to BONIFACIO

{ }{33} SARTENE. The road winds its way through great blocks of granite scattered on a plain studded with shrubby specimens of the ilex, towards the shore of the Golfo di Roccapina, with a fantastically shaped rock called il Leone Coronato. East from the gulf the road passes the village of Pianottoli, 21 m. from Sartene, almost due south from the singular mountain l'Uomo di Cagna, 3980 ft.; then the bridge across the Figari at the head of the Gulf of Figari, 23 m.; the Col de la Testa or Scopeto, 225 ft., 24 m.; and the bridge across the Ventilegni, 27 m. from Sartene, and 6 from Bonifacio.

[Headnote: BONIFACIO.]

{33} BONIFACIO, pop. 4000. H. du Nord; France in the high town. Diligences leave daily for Bastia, Sartene, and Ajaccio. A steamer arrives every Saturday from Ajaccio and returns on the Monday. Bonifacio was founded in 833 by the Tuscan marquis whose name it bears, to protect this part of the island against the piratical incursions of the Saracens. The high town is built on the top of a limestone rock rising vertically from the sea. The low town occupies one side of the fine natural dock, hemmed in by perpendicular cliffs with an opening of only 328 yards towards the sea. From the steamboat wharf a broad paved series of steps leads up to the high town, entering it through the Porte Vieille. In the old house fronting this Porte or gateway, Charles V., in 1541, stayed two days and a night on his return from his unsuccessful expedition against Algiers. Overtaken by a storm, he had taken refuge in the Gulf of Santa Manza. The door of the house, decorated with an arabesque on marble, is in the narrow side street. In the Place d'Armes are the church of San Domenico, built by the Templars, characterised by its octagonal tower with an embrasured termination; and the great tower "Torrione," part of the fortifications built by the marquis, and formerly the most important part of the citadel. Near this tower is the flight of steps "Redragon," cut in the rock by the Genoese, which descends by 202 steps to the sea. The small room over the gateway of the citadel, opposite the house of Charles V., was inhabited by Napoleon for nearly eight months. There are grand sea-views from the ramparts. The town consists of tall, dingy houses, and narrow, steep, and in most cases dirty streets. The promenade of Bonifacio is the small covered terrace before the church of Santa Maria. Here also is the public cistern.

Of the numerous caves which pierce the base of the rock of Bonifacio, the most remarkable one enters from the sea, 214 feet below the Place d'Armes, and extends to an unknown distance. It contains a freshwater lake, which rises and falls with the tide. A staircase with a vaulted roof and consisting of 337 steps leads down to this lake. The water is brought up to the surface by a force pump, is perfectly transparent, with a slight calcareous taste. In the high town there are 39 private and one public cistern, in which the rain water from the roofs is stored up. The low town has a well supplied from a stream by an aqueduct. The afternoon is the best time to visit the caves. A boat for one or party should not cost more than 5 frs. The finest, the Dragonetta, cannot be visited when the sea is rough.

On Monte Pertusato (the south extremity of Corsica), 2 miles S.E. from Bonifacio, is a lighthouse of the first order, 325 feet above the sea. The southern promontory is pierced by a cavern hung with stalactites.

Bonifacio to Bastia.

103 miles; diligence to Ghisonaccia, 50 m. N., the rest by rail.

miles from BONIFACIO miles to BASTIA

{ }{103} BONIFACIO. The diligence, after passing the Col Finocchio, 354 feet, 2-1/2 miles N. from Bonifacio, the Maison Francola, 7 miles, the bridge across the Stabiacco, 16 miles, and the Col Mattonara, 17-1/2 miles (whence the Route Forestiere, No. 11, ascends 14 miles west into the forest of the Ospedale), arrives in 3 hours at

[Headnote: PORTO-VECCHIO.]

{27}{76} PORTO-VECCHIO, pop. 2740. Hotel Amis. Surrounded by its old walls, and at the head of a beautiful gulf. The surrounding country is fertile, but unhealthy during the hot weather, on account of the miasma rising from the morasses and lagoons. To the N. of Porto, the mountains still approach near to the sea; but beyond Solenzara (where the diligence halts) 41-1/2 miles from Bonifacio, they recede and leave free those great undulating plains which characterise the eastern coast of Corsica—plains almost uninhabited and covered with heaths. From the north side of the Travo commences a series of large lakes swarming with fish and a kind of cockle. They are separated from the sea by long narrow sandbanks, like earthen break-waters. The malaria prevails from June to October, but even then only the night should be avoided in travelling along this coast. The road after passing by the hamlet of Favona, 33 m., arrives at

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