The most beautiful villages of France: what to do in Sant’Antonino, Haute Corse?

Eagle’s Nest, located at an altitude of 495 meters above sea level, in Superior Corsa, Sant’Antonino is a small charming village with only a hundred inhabitants. Perched on a granite peak, it embraces the Mediterranean Sea and the wild Corsican mountains. A little gem almost carved out of stone, Sant’Antonino, located near Ile-Rousse and Calvi, is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”.

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Sant’Antonino: in the sky of Balagna, where stone is king

Sant’Antonino, believed to have been built in the 9th century, is one of the oldest villages in Corsica. In this small, rocky place, stone plays an important role: high granite facades, cobblestones mixed with rock, narrow and winding alleys and vaulted passages leading to the remains of the old Castello.

It was only in the 15th century that the first families really settled in the village, three centuries after the construction of the famous village chapel, Chapelle de la Trinité. In the past, each house belonged to a family. And the more the latter grew, the higher the house rose. These houses, some of which have three or even four floors, are welded to each other in the rock, which in the past made it possible to form a rampart against invaders.

Sant’Antonino, the painted ceiling of his church. P. BERNARD-LPBVF

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What are the main activities of Sant’Antonino?

  • Church of the Annunciation (17th century): it is impossible to get to Sant’Antonino without taking the time to visit its parish church of the Annunciation. With an elegant two-story bell tower, this baroque church, isolated at the bottom of the village, contains several old paintings, all owned by the city and classified as a “Historical Monument” since 1998; and also a 1744 organ signed “Battista Pompost di Pistoia”.
  • Chapel of the Holy Trinity (12th century): also classified as a “Historical monument”, the chapel of the Holy Trinity is located away from the village. It has granite blocks of three different colors. A key number because it symbolizes the perfection of the Trinity: beige for the Father, green for the Son, and red for the Holy Spirit. Two 15th century frescoes will also be discovered inside. At that time, the role of the chapel was twofold: it served as a place of burial and also as a court of first instance.
  • Walking on donkeys or mountain bikes : if you’ve come with family, donkey rides will be a fun ride for your tribe. In the village itself, they are organized at the end of the day (so as not to suffer too much from the heat) and allow you to walk the streets of the village and see the sights. For thrill-seekers, mountain bike rides can also be arranged. Then several routes are possible depending on the level of participants.
  • Hiking : on the outskirts of Sant’Antonino, there is something to have fun for those who love hiking. La Balagne has several walking routes that will allow you to discover the cultural, architectural and natural heritage of the surroundings.
Kazutoshi Yoshimura-LPBVF Sant’Antonino, its church and Mt.

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What to do near Sant’Antonino?

  • Discover Cateri (4 km): In this village belonging to the pieve d’Aregno, in Balagna, tourists can visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which served as the model for the plans for St. Pierre’s Cathedral in Rome, and is also a beautiful Saint Marcel Chapel.
  • Visit Lavatoggio (5 km): In this small village, located a few kilometers from Sant’Antonino, tourists can visit the parish church of the village and also discover the chapel of Saint Ursula, as well as the chapel of Notre Dame de la Stella, which is 400 meters above sea ​​level, to the east of the city.
  • Get to Piña (5 km): in Piña, the Museu Musica welcomes tourists who wish to learn more about the formation and spread of musical culture yesterday and today, the Ypsos Equestrian Center for those who wish to enjoy a short walk through the countryside, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, located in the village square , wishing to learn more about the history of the village.
  • Discover Lumio (11 km): the famous small Corsican village of Lumio is a tourist’s delight. From this land, they can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Golf de Calvi, the sea and the hills, and visit the baroque church of Santa Maria, built between 1800 and 1825. A large organ is installed here. in 1830, housed in a beautiful gallery decorated by local artists.
  • Visit Il-Rus (16 km): An unmissable Haute-Corsa village, Île-Rousse has no shortage of ways to tempt travelers. You can visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception, take your first dive in its turquoise waters, stroll along the Marinella promenade, discover the Salvatori artisan biscuit factory and take the little train… to Calvi!
  • Get to Calvi (17 km): another village in Upper Corsa, other arguments. In Calvi, we like to make time to visit the citadel, stroll in the port, get lost in the streets of the old town, sometimes go to the golf course, take a boat to the Scandola reserve and why not, take part in the famous music festival Calvi on the Rocks , which takes place every year in July!

France’s most beautiful villages can also be found in a special GEO issue, now available on newsstands.

Find out more about La Roche-Guyon in the official Les Plus Beaux Villages de France guide!

The most beautiful villages of France PBVDF

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