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    The calanches of Piana

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    Judit Llordes


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    "They were peaks, columns, pinnacles, surprising figures shaped by time, the gnawing wind and the sea mist.

    Up to three hundred meters high, thin, round, twisted, hooked, deformed, unforeseen, fantastic, these surprising rocks looked like trees, plants, beasts, monuments, men, robed monks, horned devils, oversized birds, a whole monstrous people, a menagerie of nightmare petrified by the will of some extravagant God.

    (…) And suddenly, emerging from this chaos, they discovered a new gulf completely surrounded by a bloody wall of red granite. And in the blue sea those scarlet rocks were reflected. "

    Here is Maupassant's description of the Calanches de Piana and the Gulf of Porto in his novel "Une Vie". Like Mérimée, Matisse and many others, Maupassant was fascinated by Corsica, and more particularly by these jagged red granite rocks which flow into the sea.

    The Calanches de Piana are a natural site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    In summer, the rocky paths that wind between the boulders in the maquis are very busy. The walk is quite easy and takes about an hour.

    It ends on a cliff overlooking the sea which offers a vast panorama of the Gulf of Porto.

    Little treasure hunt: on your way you must come across: a dog's head, a squirrel, a bishop carrying a crosier, a fortified castle, an eagle, and a couple getting married! It's your turn!

    On the way back, look carefully to your right, you can see a hole in the rock in the shape of a heart.

    On the right, it's the bride with her veil and on the left you can see her husband (this one requires more imagination, I grant you!). They hold hands...

    What is less known is that these rocky piles come to life and come to life before your eyes. My great aunt who lived in the village of Piana never tired of telling me about this little miracle.

    Restart the car and continue to observe the bridal couple: as we advance the spouses approach each other until the final kiss!

    If you have time, also take a walk in the charming village of Piana, and go down to Arone beach at the bottom of the rocks.

    If you spend a night in the gulf, I advise you to stop here rather than Porto. You are only a few kilometers away and the place is much nicer and more picturesque. Magnificent views from the rooms of the hotel Les Roches Rouges.

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