Manina in Corsica – Part 1 Calvi

In Rozier’s 1953 “Manina, La Fille Sans Voiles”, young and fresh Brigitte Bardot shines in her second movie. She dances graciously, she sings charmingly, she is perfect in a bikini : I hate her. You can see her at 40’18” in the movie below. Unfortunately, the black and white movie does no justice to the gorgeous hues of Corsica but you can still feel through the story and the scenery that truly, Corsica is l’île de la beauté, the beauty island. Enjoy the full movie here :

 

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

Above are pictures from the Citadelle de Calvi. Unfortunately, I could not take a good picture of the Citadelle itself, you will need to Google it.

Most of my friends and colleagues go to Corsica for vacations. Granted, there is the usual stereotype of lazy Corsicans blowing up buildings and restaurants, but there is also the stereotype of a gorgeous, authentic and savage island. And the last bit is so true. I can’t think of anyone who has not fallen with Corsica.

Corsica looks quite small but it has a very diverse landscape : beaches, mountains, forests… savage, empty spaces and trendy beaches. There are a few airports : Ajaccio, Bastia, Porto Vecchio and Calvi. It is thus a stonethrow away from Paris, Marseilles or Nice. You may also join Corsica by boat. Until recently, most tourists would go to the south of Corsica : Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio are well known for their pristine beaches and luxury tourism. But a few years ago, a new music festival, Calvi on the rocks, attracts crowds of young people in the north of the island. In the north point of the island, there is also Saint Florent known to be the local Saint Tropez.

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

I love going to Calvi because there are less tourists though it does not lack touristic spots. Calvi is known for its “Citadelle”, a beautiful fortress. I did not take any pictures of it, but trust me, it is amazing and very steep of course. People say Calvi is the birthplace of Colombus : what do you think?  Let’s not forget about Ajaccio, famous birthplace of Napoleon.  Corsica is also known in France as the land of beautiful women : Laeticia Casta and Alizée to state two of the most famous natives.

The picture above represents one of the many villages near Calvi. Instead of staying at a hotel, I prefer renting a villa in one of those villages. You may find villas from 800 Euros a week to… the sky is the limit…

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

But you can also opt for the luxury hotel, La Villa :

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

La Villa is also a health center so it is a good place to enjoy a luxurious getaway coupled with a health program. I cannot compare to other famous health programs because I have never opted for one during the holidays. Frankly, I would rather go to a boot camp than diet in beautiful Corsica.

 

Not far from Calvi, there is Lumio. Lumio is worth visiting because of its beautiful villas…

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

On top of Lumio, there is a really high hill where the GR20, one of the top trails in the world, goes through.

 

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

This part is very steep and rocky. Be advised not to wear little flip flops and a silk dress. I did not expect such a difficult walk so I was dressed very inappropriately. Once you reach the top of the hill, there is an abandoned village.

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

 

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

No one but lizards lives there …

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

… but the view is glorious. Everytime we go to Calvi, the Occi village is a pilgrimage for us.

 

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

We climb the hill and spend some time wondering around on our own.

Calvi, to me, is a magical place. I highly recommend it as a retreat. I get closer to nature and further from technology and city constraints…

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

 

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

One of my other great memories of Calvi is walking the “Sentier des Douaniers” – literal translation being Customs’ path. It is a 12 km walk from Calvi and frankly, one of the most breathtaking use of time I have ever had. Breathtaking : literally and metaphorically.

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

We walked into gorgeous panoramas…

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

… alone…

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

… to end up here, next to the lighthouse, like in Manina!

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Manina in Corsica part 1- Fondamentally 君悦

No matter how beautiful Calvi is, we like to explore other regions of Corsica. From Calvi, it is very easy to take day trips and drive to Cap Corse. In the following weeks, I will take you to all the other places we have visited in l’ïle de la Beauté.

 

 

 

 

 

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