France // Corsica //

Patrimonio (Patrimoniu)

Some 6km from St-Florent lies PATRIMONIO, centre of the first Corsican wine region to gain appellation contrôlée status. Apart from the renowned local muscat, which can be sampled in the village or at one of the caves along the route from St-Florent, Patrimonio’s chief asset is the sixteenth-century church of St-Martin, occupying its own little hillock and visible for kilometres around. The colour of burnt sienna, it stands out vividly against the rich green vineyards and chalk hills. In a garden 200m south of the church stands a limestone statue-menhir known as U Nativu, a late megalithic piece dating from 900–800 BC. A carved T-shape on its front represents a breastbone, and two eyebrows and a chin can also be made out.

The U Nativu menhir takes pride of place next to the stage at Patrimonio’s annual open-air guitar festival (wfestival-guitare-patrimonio.com), held in the last week of July next to the church, when performers and music aficionados from all over Europe converge on the village.