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Photo of Castagniccia in East Corsica
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Visit Castagniccia

Head about 30km north of Aleria on the east coast, then 50km inland towards Mont San Petrone, and you will discover the region of Corsica that has been least affected by change in the last hundred years, and the largest chestnut forest in the world. The region is called Castagniccia.

The chestnut trees after which the region is named were planted in the Middle Ages to ensure that the island could be self-sufficient in food - chestnut flour can be used to make bread, among other things.

Quite different in character and appearance to the rest of Corsica, it is a region of small villages and hamlets, steep forested hillsides, and occasional vineyards and olive trees.

The region has in fact changed a great deal during the last century - from being one of the most densely populated regions of Corsica to one of the most sparsely populated.

Exploring Castagniccia is a fascinating experience, albeit a slow one. There are no autoroutes here, rather a maze of small winding lanes meandering up and down the hillsides past the small villages...

...but in any case this is not a region to explore quickly, but one to take slowly, absorbing the atmosphere and enjoying the tranquility

Few of the villages here have major attractions, although many have attractive churches and more attractive settings.

It is rather the harmonious whole that is the attraction. Some of the more popular places to visit are Piedicroce, Orezza and the romantic ruins of the convent, Campana and La Porta.

It was also in this region, at Morosaglia, that Pasquale Paoli, 'father of the Corsican people', was born in 1725. His birthplace is now a museum dedicated to his life. It was at Pont Novu that Paoli and the Corsicans were finally 'subdued' by the French in 1769.

You can find more local travel ideas in the East Corsica guide and the guide.

See also:

Map of Castagniccia and places to visit

Castagniccia places to visit

Piedicroce

Piedicroce

Piedicroce is a small village in the peaceful setting of the Castagniccia region of Eastern Corsica

>> Piedicroce guide
La Porta

La Porta

La Porta is a village in the Castagniccia region known for its imposing baroque style church and decorative tall belltower

>> La Porta guide
Morosaglia

Morosaglia

Morosaglia in the Castagniccia region is best known as the birthplace of Pasquale Paoli, first leader of Corsica

>> Morosaglia guide
Corte

Corte

A beautiful small town and good base for exploring the mountains of central Corsica

>> Corte guide
Casinca

Casinca

Casinca is a picturesque region of hill villages in north-east Corsica between Castagniccia and Bastia

>> Casinca guide
Aleria

Aleria

Discover roman ruins and a genoese fort at this village on the east coast of Corsica

>> Aleria guide
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