France // Corsica //

Sartène (Sartè) and around

Prosper Mérimée famously dubbed Sartène  “la plus corse des villes corses” (“the most Corsican of Corsican towns”), but the nineteenth-century German chronicler Gregorovius put a less complimentary spin on it when he described it as a “town peopled by demons”. Sartène hasn’t shaken off its hostile image, despite being a smart, better-groomed place than many small Corsican towns. The main square, Place Porta, doesn’t offer many diversions once you’ve explored the enclosed vielle ville, and the only time of year Sartène teems with tourists is at Easter for U Catenacciu, a Good Friday procession that packs the main square with onlookers.

Close to Sartène are some of the island’s best-known prehistoric sites, most notably Filitosa, the megaliths of Cauria and the Alignement de Palaggiu – Corsica’s largest array of prehistoric standing stones – monuments from which are displayed in the town’s excellent museum.

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  • The megalithic sites