Category Culture

Conversing and exchanging views with: Author/Journalist Robert Colonna d’Istria

My first impulse would be to state that it’s an impressive and vast world, that of Robert Colonna d’Istria – whose career has led him through many choices of fields of work. Author, journalist, lecturer, inspector of historical monuments, collaborator of various newspapers and magazines – to name but a few.

A question struck me concerning his most recent publication: Une Famille Corse, 1200 Ans De Solitude (A Corsican Family, 1200 years of Solitude). Was this a decisive choice for an accomplished career ?
Not really, no. More so a reflection on the island, the Corsicans themselves and how they differ from elsewhere; a type of examination would be a more appropriate way of defining this proposal – however, not only – it is also an interrogation on his own family and his very own story...

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A few words on: The Chestnut Flour Mills in Corsica

The sweet chestnut tree – symbol of Corsican culture and identity.  

Chestnut flour is a product that has been rediscovered by the public these past few years, regaining popularity.
And, although it grows in many European regions, it is in Corsica that this tradition was and remains one of the oldest and the strongest.
In 2008, Corsica groups together 35 chestnut flour mills, exclusively devoted to this production. All of those who, in metropolitan France started making the flour for the past fifteen years, come to Corsica in order to study it.
Bernard Biancarelli reminds us that the miracle of the Corsican chestnut is due to Genoa.
‘It is true that Genoa, ruler of the country since the XVI century, obliged the Corsicans at the end of a vast program of agricultural development, to plant fi...

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A few words on: Totila, King of the Goths in Corsica

Totila was a Ostrogoth prince elected king in 541, replacing Vitigès.
In 551, he armed a fleet which was put under the direction of Indulf, a Byzantine deserter, and seized Corsica.
The Corsicans, who had been offended by the rapacity and corruption of the Greek imperialists, joyfully received the Totila’s Goths.
For Justinien, this was just too much.
He sent his General Narsès to Italy with an army composed largely of potential mercenaries ‘barbarians’ – Huns, Lombards, Gepids and Herules.

A decisive battle took place near Pavie, in 552

It’s was a painful defeat for the Ostrogoths and Totila was mortally wounded after the battle by a young Gepid, named Asbad.
For another three years they continued to resist, under the command of a new leader Teja...

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Interior Corsica – a world to discover

This interesting little map highlights three neighbouring valleys which are near Ajaccio:

Prunelli, Gravona and Cruzini. These valleys defend and value their local production, respecting their strong identity and the desire to make it known and appreciated. I Tre Vaddi is a group of producers, farmers, artisans, cultural actors and outdoor activities etc., maintaining seriousness and a level of demand that has caught the attention of partner institutions. They participate in making an island of traditions a land of projects. Ancestral links have led men and women to unite behind the appellation of terroir.
These products include: delicatessen, chestnut flout, cheese + brocciu, fruit + vegetables, rural gites, essential oils, honey, pottery, chocolate + biscuits, B+B and cultural activities...

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Spending time with author/essayist: Thierry Ottaviani

Style ought to prove that one believes in an idea; not only that one thinks it, but also feels it‘ – Nietzsche’s statement couldn’t ring more loudly nor more clearly then at that moment when one meets an author who has in truth granted time, energy and sincerity towards the insight and comprehension of a chosen reflection.
In turn, this will be an important part of my encounter with Thierry Ottaviani recently in Ajaccio – but for now, let us reach out to the person himself, and hear what he has to say.

Originally from St Pierre de Venaco, having lived in Corsica up to six years of age, these days Thierry Ottaviani resides in Paris most of the time, returning to Corsica during the year when he can manage to do so.
I was interested to learn how he became a writer.
Having completed literary ...

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