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The Abandoned Village of Occi

The abandoned hamlet of Occi dates back to the middle ages when it was subject to assault by the Saracens and the inhabitants of the coastal village of Spano took refuge in the hills. In 1589, the inhabitants numbered 150, but sadly by 1852, this number had dwindled to a mere 62 and in 1927 Felix Giudicelli was the last resident to live in this gorgeous look-out post when the water source for the village dried up which led to its abandonment.

This ‘ghost town’ of a village is well worth a visit, if only for the stunning views over the bay of Calvi. There are two or three paths to reach the village.
The best known is a trail that starts behind the restaurant Chez Charles in Lumio where a sign marks the start. It takes about 50 minutes to walk up (steep) and descend via a marked trail. From a height of 377m, Occi offers a panoramic 180° view, made all the more spectacular where the ruins of the village are backed by an azur blue background where the sky blends effortlessly into the sea.

The following is just one of the many walks on offer in the area. Always remember to take water, a sun hat and sun cream.

Start : Place de l'eglise, Lumio
Distance : 5 km
Approximate Time : 1h 45min
Altitudes(m) : 200-360-(470)-200
Lovely views of the Gulf of Calvi and a chance to visit the deserted village of Occi

The association ‘Occi Paese Paese Rinascitu’ was formed to safeguard the hamlet, and has fought to ensure that no roads lead up to the village (and therefore no cars), so Occi remains a place of quiet reflection. Whilst it is true that mass tourism often impacts on everything it touches, and a little peace and quiet doesn’t hurt anyone, on the other hand it is a shame that Occi doesn’t have the opportunity to flourish once more. One big change in recent times has been the renovation of the chapel of Annunziata in 2002, since which time a Corsican Mass has been given at Pentecost, accompanied by the singing of the Brotherhood Sant'Anton Abbate.

CASA D'HUGO, Lumio - 3 bedrooms, sleeps 2-7 people (north Corsica)
Built into the hillside, above the friendly, quiet village of Lumio, Casa d'Hugo has a magnificent pool with superb panoramic views of the bay of Cavi and the surrounding planes. In the village there are two epiceries, a café/snack bar and the renowned 'Chez Charles' restaurant where M. Lanzalavi entertains guests with his mandolin. The village is featured on the Stada di l'Artigiani (crafts trail) which winds its way through the network of little villages hugging the Balagne hills, and offers the chance to see local artisans at work. The house is within easy reach of the lively resorts and perfect beaches at Calvi and Ile Rousse.