Duration of the trip by car: 4 hours
Distance: 160 km
Narrow passage in some villages
Folleli +33(0)4 95 35 82 54
Castagniccia is a region that has long remained impenetrable due to its mountain geography. With an average altitude of 1,000 meters, a lush environment, Castagniccia is unique! It is characterized by its high hills with slopes covered with endless chestnut groves (from which it takes its name), while on the ridges that constrict themselves, small villages seem to watch them.
From the campsite you take the Lido de la Marana on the left for about fifteen kilometres until you reach the church of Santa Maria Assounta, better known as La Canonica: a cathedral of Romanesque architecture from the 11th century, harmonious, very well preserved and renovated. It was inaugurated in 1119 by the Archbishop of Pisa. It is one of the most beautiful medieval monuments of Corsica. Sober in its lines, modest in its size, it only adorns itself with the natural play of colours of the polished stones of the calcareous scribes, which range from yellow-grey to light green, including shades of grey and orange. The Calcschist is a kind of marble from the quarries of Sisco and Brando on Cape Corsica.
Around them, the excavations of the early Christian Mariana site, open to the public, are the most complete ever carried out in Corsica. They discovered the foundations of a primitive basilica from the 4th century and its baptistery. This basilica is now so clear that we can understand its overall picture. It was in ancient times in the heart of a large Roman colony founded in 93 BC by Marius in Corsica and dependent on the capital Aleria.
Then take the RN193 towards Casamozza and Bonifaccio until you reach a junction on the right: Penta di Casinca, built on a rocky spur, is a charming little village whose beauty and exceptional architecture have made it by decree the "Picturesque Place of the Corsican Department".
You continue on the D237 to Piano, where you take the D306 to get to the D205 and reach the village of La Porta, so called because it is the gateway to the region. You will see the church of St. John the Baptist: a masterpiece of Corsican Baroque art. This large building, built between 1648 and 1680, is flanked by a 45-metre high canpanile, which, thanks to its mighty foundations, looks light, both solid and with the scrolls, diamond points, niches and openings that decorate its five floors. The ochre and white lacquered façade remains harmonious. Inside are Trompe l'oeil paintings and large organs from 1780 and a painted Christ from the 17th century. The whole forms a pure ensemble in rococo style.
Cross the village and continue on the D515, cross Croce, then, at Col de Saint Christophe, take the D71 to Piedicroce. At the Piedicrocen exit, take the D506 on the left: the road follows the Fium'Alto, one of Corsica's main rivers, considered one of the richest in trout.
After Stazzona and the many curves of the road follow the D46 to the right to the mineral springs of Orezza. This former spa is located at the foot of a valley with beautiful chestnut trees. The cold, ferruginous, bicarbonated and bubbling waters of Orezza were already known in ancient times. In the 19th century they treated cases of anaemia, nervous system disorders, liver and kidney infections. From the spa, under the kiosk in the middle of the park, there is a fountain where you can enjoy the water. After the treatment, however, it will be more pleasant to drink.
Now refreshed you descend the Fium'Alto valley to Folleli. From there you return via the N193.
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