“C” is for Citadels, Columbus & Calvi
You can be forgiven for thinking that Calvi isn’t exactly the most welcoming place upon first sight. The imposing stone fortress has fended off many an invader since the 1400s, and the massive snow-peaked mountains in the background only add to the drama of the scene. But as they often are, looks are deceiving, and the reception you can expect one you reach dry land is decidedly warm.
Start your stay by conquering the citadel—in a friendly way, of course. The climb is challenging, but half way up the hill, there are several restaurants that offer tasty provisions. So you can continue your final push to the top, no excuses, because the views of the harbor and surrounding city are worth every step.
Calvi is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Unfortunately all that remains of his family home is a pile of ruins, as it was destroyed by the infamous Admiral Nelson, who ended up losing an eye in the process, during the French Revolution. (Perhaps that’s where the saying “it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye” came from?)
So instead, channel Columbus’ spirit of exploration by navigating Calvi’s winding streets in search of treasures like dried meats, local honey, and spices from the maquis bush from your newly discovered world.Download An Explorer Guide +