By Johanna the 23/04/2020
A must-see heritage site near Ajaccio, I Milelli is the country home of the Bonaparte family, and is situated in the ancient olive groves just outside the city. Originally bequeathed to the Jesuits then claimed by Louis XV in 1773, it was returned to the Bonapartes in 1785. This square-shaped house features vaulted cellars where there once would have been an oil mill and a bread oven.
Steeped in history, I Milelli is also the perfect place for a stroll and a breath of fresh air just outside Ajaccio. Enjoy a family walk around the grounds and explore a special olive grove where the carefully tended trees are hundreds of years old, or an arboretum full of native Corsican trees, plants and flowers. Visit the botanic gardens, buy organic and responsibly-farmed vegetables, or simply get some ideas for your own garden back home. These peaceful, relaxing visitor attractions are great places for the whole family to enjoy at the weekend.
Turn the corner and you’ll find some unique structures with interesting names like the ‘Shared Pollen Inn’, ‘Thousand-Flower Residence’ and ‘Fragrant Flower Hotel’. These structures are home to many of the insects and birds who live in the gardens. Inside, they have been divided into different compartments so that these creatures can spend the winter here in peace.
Follow the path uphill, and you’ll get to a look-out point from which you can enjoy stunning views over the Gulf of Ajaccio. If you fancy having a picnic up here, there’s no lack of places! It’s an easy enough walk up to the top; just make sure you wear a good pair of trainers and bring some water.
For more information
Botanical garden: self-guided and free visit
Vegetable garden: occasional guided tours
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