Thursday, 30 April 2009

Campomoro & the Genoese Tower

With a free afternoon, I wanted to do something near to home, so I headed in the direction of Campomoro.

There is just one road to/from the village which at this time of year is lined with wild flowers; poppies, lavender, yellow broom, asphodels, and a carpet of daisies. I’d already stopped a couple of times to take photos and I was tempted to stop off again at Portigliolo but I knew if I did I would never make it off the beach, so I pressed on.

As the road winds upwards there is a good vantage point with a lovely view of Portigliolo. It was here many years ago that I nearly managed to drive off the edge trying to get a Seat Ibiza into reverse instead of first gear (not as easy as it sounds, but it hasn’t put me off owning one since then), but fortunately since then they have added rocks as a barrier. As the road dips the other side, you have the most amazing view over the beach of Campomoro with the tower behind. The turquoise blue of the water was just amazing and it was just a shame that the road was too narrow to stop and take photos.

Campomoro beach is very shallow and sandy (like Calvi) so it is perfect for small children. We’ve been on a number of occasions and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to improve on the photos I have already taken, but I happened to catch a glimpse through the trees and it was simply stunning. The bars and restaurants in the village were filled with divers and jetskiers as well as those admiring the view.

I wasn’t sure if I could be bothered to walk up to the tower as it is a walk I have done many times before and I was only wearing my trusty flipflops, but it was such a glorious day I couldn’t resist. As often happens in Corsica, I bumped into some friends at the starting point and we decided to walk up to the tower together. Since I visited last time, the tower has been converted into a mini visitor centre and there are now guided tours offered for 2.50 euros per person. I was a bit dubious but it was actually fascinating.

The guide explained that Campomoro is the largest of all the Genoese Towers on the island, and was originally designed to have two floors rather than just one. The plans were changed due to continual bad weather during construction so the tower is now the same height but almost twice the diameter of the others. It was predominantly used as a coastal defence and from here one can truly appreciate the strategic positioning.

One thing that always amazes me in Corsica is how they can over legislate for things like swimming pools, but at the same time allow people to walk along the ramparts goodness knows how many metres above ground with not even a simple guard rail!

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