BY Lisa Lindblad

December 12, 2010

There is a saying, “If you live in Corsica, when you die and go to Paradise, you will be disappointed.”

At 180 kilometers long and 80 kilometers wide, with three geological zones that take you from the black and green schists of the Maritime Alps, through gorgeous orange granites peaking and folding in sculptural magnificence, to the white granites and limestones of the south, Corsica is probably the most physically beautiful island I have ever visited.  The rock rises to 2800 meter peaks that, from December to April can be capped in snow (there is one small ski station on Corsica).  The slopes are draped in a thick green vegetation and drop, at times precipitously and, at others, gradually, to a coastline of bays and harbors, white, brown and black sand beaches, crystal, pristine Mediterranean water.  Lobsters have been fished off the tip of Cap Corse since Roman times; terraced vineyards are bringing back delicious wines; ancient olive trees, left to drop their black, mature olives, produce a special, sweet oil.  Goats, pigs and wild boar wander the island, producing the fromage blanc and the cured meats that are only truly fresh in December and January.

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John Derian Goes West