Unlike nearby Tuscany, Corsica lacks mansions and palaces for the island’s aristocracy had neither the wealth nor the peace to indulge in building anything fanciful. Only when a handful of Cap Corse families made a fortune out of Venezuelan gold at the end of the 19th century did a small number of opulent “châteaux” come to grace the wooded slopes North of Bastia.
One of these, the Château Cagninacci just below beautiful San Martino di Lota, 8kms from Bastia offers the experience of staying with the family who originally built the château.
On the site of a Capucin convent, our greatgrandfather built an impressive Neo~Tuscan mansion across the valley from his brother’s equally magnificent mansion. Of the original convent, the seventeenth century chapel still stands, empty now but for faint traces of painted altars, as do the monks’ cells.
Four guest rooms (all with en suite bathrooms; one room also has a large private terrace), in this wonderfully atmospheric and slightly eccentric mansion.
Intricate mosaic floors, stucco fireplaces, family heirlooms and ornately carved wood tend grandeur to a house which has had a chequered past but is now again in caring – and hospitable – hands.