By Johanna the 09/10/2019

A night in a cottage in Castagniccia, in Countess Tevola’s tower

Spend a night in an authentic 13th-century tower in Carchetu-Brusticu, at the heart of Castagniccia

En route…

On the drive to Castagniccia, the first big surprise is the landscape: thousand-year-old chestnut trees with huge trunks, interspersed with oaks and pines, and a gradient of green and snow-capped peaks forming a beautiful patchwork.

Then the villages follow with their slate-roofed buildings, paved alleyways, churches, convents and old fountains. It seems all of Corsica’s architectural heritage is condensed into one area.

On arrival…

Then there’s the village of Carchetu-Brusticu. I took a small junction that led me to Jean-Claude Rogliano’s home: a kind of miniature village composed of two towers, a main building, an outdoor oven, a chapel and a fountain, all rescued from ruin and fully renovated in cottages by the owner. For those who don’t know of this man, he’s a true polymath: writer, singer, storyteller, poet and happy owner of Tevola, which formerly belonged to a countess of the same name. This beautiful old jewel appears to have come straight out of the kind of tale that Jean-Claude tells in the evenings by the fire.

My night seemed set to be relaxing and peaceful – there wasn’t a sound from outside, and from my window I could see the lights of the villages on the hill opposite, and the snowy summit of San Pedrone in the moonlight.



In the early morning, upon opening the shutters, the winter sun was sparkling on the mountains and warming the stones of the old buildings. The view from my room was superb. Sainte Marguerite, a 17th-century church, has been listed since 1976. It was soon time for me to join my host for breakfast by the fire – a loaf of fresh bread, homemade jam (by Danielle, Jean-Claude’s charming wife) and the smell of coffee made this a memorable breakfast.

An unusual meeting...

Uncompromising on his land and his region, Jean-Claude took advantage of this moment of calm to tell me about ‘Mal'Cunciliu’, the thousand-year-old chestnut tree whose legend was written by him and sung by Jean-Paul Poletti. On its trunk, freakish beings have been sculpted by time: a devil’s head, a goat’s head and ‘mazzere’ (witches). A large stone at the centre of the hollow trunk served as a place of sacrifice for witches, having executed their victims. Getting lost in his story, Jean-Claude suddenly said to me: “Finish your coffee – I’ll take you there!”

This is how my adventure in Castagniccia, at the heart of the Corsican maquis and home to the most beautiful chestnut trees I’ve ever seen, was rounded off so beautifully.




Further information

The Tevola cottages are open all year


Telephone: 04 95 31 29 89 / 06 25 08 04 52

Off-peak rates start from €60/night and from €270/week

Hikes, and other sports or family-focused activities, are possible in the area.


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