Sant’Antonino is the oldest inhabited village in Corsica and it feels like nothing much has changed in that time! Here you won’t find hundreds of touristy type shops, but instead cobbled streets that wind up through vaulted passageways in a circular layout to the very top of the village where there are 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
It’s been years since I’ve been up to Sant’Antonino, and I have to admit to being a bit sad that the donkeys weren’t there, but I think it might have been a bit too early in the season. Of course that meant that I had to carry myself and my belongings up to the top unaided – drats!!
The is a little shop at the bottom and a good number of restaurants for weary visitors – be warned; walking uphill on cobbles for any length of time can be exhausting, so good footware i.e. not flipflops is a must for this trip.
I was slightly alarmed when I first saw a coach-load of Troisième âge (French OAPS) heading up the steep path with their walking sticks and gammy legs, because I knew for a fact that there was no oxygen tent at the top!
The bread van was causing a slight hiatus in the middle of the parking area on the other side of the village, as there was also a big truck waiting to deliver mattresses. I know this because, bored of waiting, the two blokes then decided to heft them on their backs through the narrow cobbled streets – only in Corsica!
There is always wind in Sant’Antonino as it is so high (hence the fabulous views) but I was grateful for the breeze as it was very sticky and hot again. Luckily the Maison du Citron at the bottom of the village was open and doing a roaring trade, so before hitting the road, I bagged myself a table before the OAP’s made it down again.
Run by the Antonino family, here you can buy ‘citron pressé’ - freshly squeezed lemon juice - which is served with water and/or sugar (for the less adventurous!) as well as huge untreated lemons freshly picked from the citrus groves – delicious!