Guided, Scenic Drive Through Beautiful Corsican Mountains & Villages
Propriano, Corsica, France
- Scenic drive: Head inland toward the Alta Rocca, a majestic setting of Corsican mountains, hills, and high valleys bounded by the Rizzanese River and dotted with oak, chestnut, and pine forests.
- Villages and landmarks: See rustic Viggianello, the ancient Roman baths at Baracci, Sainte Marie de Figaniella and its 12th-century church, the mountaintop overview at Col de Siu pass, the 16th-century Spin'a Cavallu bridge, and more.
- Visit to Fozzano: This quintessential Corsican hillside village is renowned for its scenic granite houses and sweeping views of the Valinco Gulf, and notorious for its role in one of literature's best-known vendetta novels.
About This Propriano Tour
If there's one thing Corsicans have always taken seriously, it's the art of vendetta. And no one exemplifies this stubborn tradition better than Colomba Bartoli, lead character (and chief instigator) of Columba, an 1840 novel by Prosper Merimee based on actual events and set in the tiny village of Fozzano.
Vendetta, a Corsican code of honor, required that families repay any insult, offense, or murder in blood. Once started, this cycle of violence and retribution was hard to stop – often continuing for generations. Families held onto the bloodstained shirt of each vendetta victim, the men refusing to shave or cut their hair until the latest death was avenged.
But it wasn't only men who wore the pants in these feuds – which brings us back to Colomba, born into Fozzano's Carabelli family in the late 18th century.
Colomba sparked perhaps the most famous blood feud in the island's history in 1830, after an ally of the rival Durazzo family seduced a young Carabelli girl, then refused to marry her. When Columba demanded satisfaction over the insult, two Carabelli men – including Colomba's father – wound up dead. Colomba again demanded retribution, but the planned ambush on the Durazzos went horribly wrong and two more Carabelli men (including unlucky Colomba's son) got whacked – along with two Durazzos.
Things got even more violent until, eventually, the clans signed a peace treaty. The bloodshed ended, but Colomba never forgave the Durazzos. Monuments to her unquenched vitriol stand to this day in Fozzano, in the form of towers belonging to the rival families: Torra Vecchia, home of the Carabelli, and Torra Nova, home to the Durazzo. You will see these two fortified buildings on your tour and understand just how serious the fued was.
In the novel, Merimee changed character names and plot circumstances – more likely to protect himself than the innocent. He'd actually met Columba (who lived into her 90s), and was well aware of the risks of getting on her bad side.
Bad blood runs deep
The vendetta became Corsica's preferred means of resolving disputes because it was an island of tiny, remote, mountain towns and lacked an organized justice system. But by the 18th century, some 900 people a year were being murdered – nine times the rate of El Salvador, the 2015 world murder capital. Things are calmer today; the last major vendetta incident was a deadly funeral brawl in 1954.
Please exit the gangway to meet your guide. Please look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
There are some great views seen along your drive. If taking pictures from the bus, turn your flash off, set your camera on manual focus, use the fastest shutter speed possible, and zoom as far as you can. Depending on the day and the driver, photo stops may vary and itinerary is a general guideline.
This tour involves a minimal amount of walking with some steps to climb. It is suitable for travelers with limited mobility, able to get on/off the bus without assistance or with the aid of a traveling companion. It is not wheelchair accessible.
Scenic, Bus Tour, Family Friendly
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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