Category Heritage

A few words on: The death of King Nugolone and the flight of the Moors

At the time of Pope Gregory IV, the Emir Ziadet Allah Ibn al Aghlab seeing the decadence of the princes of the east and west and that the King of Tunis had seized Sicily – thought this was an opportunity not to be missed. King Nugolone accompanied him. While a camp was established in the region of Rome, he managed to obtain a fleet and troops to reconquer Corsica. He left with seventeen boats and a troop of about 6000 Moors and a commander. They arrived with this army in front of Aleria. After conquering the main cities of the Nebbio, Mariana and Aleria, he decided to besiege Poggio and Venaco Castle, where Count Bonifacio and Count Cinarca had retired with their men. 

On the morning of the assault, and while the entire camp remained armed and equipped, King Nugolone went out disar...

Read More

Speloncato in the Balagne area has several particularities, and worth learning more about.

Built around 570m above sea level, and situated up north of the island in Balagne, overlooking the Reginu Valley and also the Balagne coastline. It’s about thirty minutes from Île Rousse also belonging to crystalline Corsica, due to the granite rocks.

In 1621, the Capucins built the Speloncato Convent out of stone and lime, which could be found not far from the cemetery. It fell into ruins, and since then has been transformed into dwellings. It used to be famous for the Carignelli waters, which were known to cure kidney stones. One of the springs also supplied water to the convent.

The Santa Catalina church from the XI century stands in the middle of the village square, in front of the village fountain dating back to 1879...

Read More

Why the Niolu region has interested and amazed more than one

At the west of Corte, the Niolu route begins. A mountainous region and ‘home of Corsican freedom’, according to Guy Maupassant – who also compares it to ‘an inaccessible citadel from where invaders could never ever drive out the mountain dwellers’. This area is covered with transhumance paths and shepherds, and has remained a land of legends with strong oral traditions, songs and poetic texts – whose main themes are the ‘vendette’ and the bandits.

In 1840, Prosper Mérimée (who was at that moment on a mission for historical monuments), collected several songs. Vocera di Niolu (a funeral lamentation from the Niolu) is one of these songs. The author of this song is a certain Maria Felice, nicknamed through posterity ‘the fiancée of the Niolu’.
Her story is as follows...

Read More

Suite: Napoleon, Corsica and the Corsicans

Second account: Corsica will find itself at the centre of the French wars.

1793: The Bonaparte family leaves for Toulon. And there, Napoléon will join a French battalion, with mission to defend the boats in Toulon against the English. They set off searching for somewhere to stay, which will be Corsica. At the same time, Pasquale Paoli asks for protection from the English, against the French.
They will settle in Bastia (for less than two years), the ‘Anglo-Corsican’ period, which meant a territory belonging to the British Empire.
Sir Gilbert Elliot is viceroy in Bastia. His nomination makes Paoli leave for England in 1795. Elliot reigns with Charles André Pozzo di Borgo, his second in command.

1795: Napoléon is in Paris, and gets noticed when he reprimands a royalist insurrection, and he ...

Read More

When the Sposata mountain reveals a legend, we listen to what it has to say

In the region of Vico, and just above the village of Murzo, a strange shaped mountain exists – called the Sposata.

Long ago, in this modest region of the ‘Deux Sorru’, a poor and helpless mother lived with her daughter, Maria, who was as beautiful as the day, but possessing a heart of stone. Whilst looking after their sheep in the mountains, Maria had only one thought in mind; to give up this life of misery – but, how ? It so happened, one day a handsome young man presenting himself to her as the Count of the Cinarca, came upon her way. Rapidly, he fell in love with the beautiful shepherdess, and very soon asked her to marry him – to which she answered positively, without any hesitation.

But, Maria was poor and ashamed of being so; in order to put together a dowry, she had no qualms in com...

Read More