Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saint Florent

It was a real experience to visit Saint Florent this early in the season and I was quickly reminded that this little town is really a summer place - heaving in July and August and a bit sleepy the rest of the time, although the shops were open making it was the perfect time to explore undisturbed.

I decided to park in the free car park at the Citadel and walk down to the town and harbour. The sky was a deep blue and barely a cloud to be seen, but the prettiest sight was the carpet of yellow wild flowers sprinkled around the base of the Citadel.

I walked along to the jetty which was virtually deserted, and wandered through the streets which were quieter than I have ever seen. There was still an amazing collection of huge (and expensive) yachts moored in the harbour, with the little fishing boats huddled around them.

Mme Lazzarini at the wine shop greeted me like an old friend and let me taste her white wine that has recently been awarded the gold medal at Paris. We had a good chat and I left laden down with Muscat, aperitif wines, red, white and even rose as well as some delicious Canistrelli biscuits - absolutely delicious.


  1. Clarie, thank you for letting us enjoy the experience & discoveries of this Island of Beauty through your pictures and comments.

    Was the temperature about 58 degrees then?

    Is the carpet of yellow flowers the Corsica broom, the Genet Corse flowers covering the island famous for its spicey arorma?

    The citadel, is that the Mortella, watch tower, built in the 15th or 16th century by the Genoese who occuppied Corsica at that time?

    The Canestrelli biscuits, I am guessing are a kind of Corsican cookie. Can you tell me what they look & smell like and what are the ingredients? Were they made there in St. Flo?

    Are you going to the pebble & sandy Olzo Beach by the Bay of Saint Florent?

    Is there anything special to tell about the people in this village?

    Many thanks for your continued shared travels.

    A francophile in Texas

  2. Hi there,
    Thanks for the message - you actually sound like a journalist?

    To answer your questions;

    1) The temperature at the moment is hitting 20 degrees (65-70F) during the day time which is fabulous; wall to wall sunshine and the sea is so blue it's amazing (although still too chilly for me to swim).

    2)It's the maquis that gives Corsica it's amazing scent and it's particulary strong in the spring. The word 'Maquis' is a generic word for the mix of plants, flowers and herbs that cover abour 30% of the island.

    3) The Citadel in Saint Florent is not the same as the Mortella watch tower. That is nearby but is much smaller and in ruins. It's a popular walk from the town of Saint Florent to the old Genoese tower.

    4) Canistrelli are a typical style Corsican biscuit which tend to be quite hard/dry as opposed to soft and cookie like - more like Biscotti really. They come in all sorts of flavours such as white wine, lemon, orange, nut, chocolate and plain - basically anything the Corsicans grow/make you can find as a Canistrelli flavour. They are made all over the island but generally by small local biscuit factories such as the one in Olmi Cappella. I'm afraid I can't tell you what the ingredients are as I have never attempted to make them myself.

    5) For the moment I am back down in the south west so no plans to return to this area for a little while - too many things to see and do!

    6) The people I know in Saint Florent are warm and sunny, genuinely caring and considerate and a joy to know!

    I hope all that helps, Claire