Extract from: La Corse des écrivains, by Thierry Ottaviani

As we move towards the tip of the Cap Corse, we arrive at Rogliano. The village is located in the mountains. The perched ‘castelli’ (castles) are now in ruin, and are the last medieval vestiges of the great dynasties of the great lords. We discover a magnificent view of the island of Capraia, and with high-visibility even Elbe. 
The academician René Bazin appreciated Rogliano and said ‘If you ever go to Corsica, and plan to spend a season there, remember the name of Rogliano’ – in 1913 in his North-South, America, England, Corsica, Spitzbergen. He continues: ‘I write this with regret, because beautiful sites do not deserve to be known, but the truth is stronger. It obliges me to say that I have not seen a better nest made for rest, nor a more desirable place for holidays, than that of the village of Rogliano – three villages rising up on three spurs of a mountain at the bottom of a valley above a huge green hollow shell, while the forest opens out to the sea in the distance’. 

 

‘The maquis in Rogliano is admirable, intact and thick, with the scent of the earth’s crust and flowers blowing around the houses, which are white and often beautiful’. Remarkable too, the homes of Americans inspired by colonial houses and the Italian ‘palazzi’. In number, they are six. These are the homes of Corsicans who left to make their fortune in the Americas. On their return, they built refined villas, many of which are in the Cap Corse. One of them belonged to the family of writer and director José Giovanni – whose real name is Joseph Damiani. 

Now, in Rogliano everyone knows this anecdote about one of José Giovanni’s ancestors: Dominique Damiani. He was working as a helmsman as a young boy. In 1869, during a crossing, he accompanied the Empress Eugénie who was returning from an inauguration of the Suez Canal. The latter regularly invited the young man to his table, enjoying the company. When the boat made a stopover  at Macinaggio in the Cap Corse, Damiani went to see his family in Rogliano – and the Empress followed him. On her return to Paris, she gave a sum of money to build a road on the path she had travelled. This path that connects Macinaggio to Rogliano is since then called ‘the pathway of the Empress’. 

 

Source: La Corse des écrivains, by Thierry Ottaviani
Edition: Alexandrines 
Image: Rogliano Contes & Légendes ©

 

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