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on centuri & preferring one child over another

Stephen kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Stephen’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.  ―Sara Teasdale

J’adore Centuri.

I liked Rogliano, too. Macinaggio was laid back and charming. I liked it. Sant’Antonino was special. Pigna surprised me. I liked them, too. Saint-Florent and L’Île-Rousse and Calvi are large, and they have many tourists activities, and I liked them as well.

Mais j’ai adoré Centuri.

Visiting so many places in Haute-Corse, making choices and determining winners and losers becomes inevitable, I suppose. I was asked which spot was my favorite.

Centuri seemed innocent, a small enclave captured in time. The wide world existed, but Centuri’s isolation kept it at bay. My memories of it are like a second heart. And, I do prefer it, a bit, if pressed.

To reach Centuri one drives route D80, the same road that goes from Bastia to Macinaggio along the eastern coast of Corsica. At the top of Cap Corse, D80 cuts across and curves its way to the west coast where it intersects with a branch road D35 that descends into Centuri. D80 continues south along the west coast.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

In the photograph above Centuri is on the Mediterranean Sea in the far right, lower corner. It is the little white dots. The photograph is, of course, looking south and to the coast that will be visited later after leaving Centuri.

The port of Centuri defines Centuri. It is small and can be circled in less than fifteen or twenty minutes. But if you include during your walk an espresso à la terrace, and if before lunch you absolutely need an aperitif, then if you add a lunch on the port, the day in Centuri has become longer and you are wondering where the time went and regretting not having booked a room.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The harbor is lined on three sides by the village. It has a number of cafes and restaurants looking out onto the harbor.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The boats supply fresh fish to the locals and the restaurants, and lobster is a specialty of the region. The lobster is expensive, however, and some lobster dishes require reservations in advance and some dishes are served only to two persons.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Repairs of fishing nets were not the only work that was being done around the port. Boats were being cleaned and repaired, and nets were being arranged and stored.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Lunch was eaten à la terrace at Le Vieux Moulin, my hotel. The Michelin guide says, « On y vient pour manger de la langouste grillée (avril-sept) ou aux pâtes, une bouillabaisse ou la pêche du jour ». (One goes to [Le Vieux Moulin] in order to eat the grilled lobster or lobster with pasta, a bouillabaisse, or the fish of the day.) I chose the fish of the day, une daurade.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

A daurade is one of my favorite fish. If I see une daurade royale entière on the menu, I will order it. I will receive the entire fish. On the menu at Le Vieux Moulin, the fish was listed as un poisson au four, or a fish cooked/baked/roasted in the oven.

The entrée, a salad, had seiche, or cuttlefish. One should look at images if the mollusk is unfamiliar.

The dessert–une mousse aux cédrats du Cap Corse–is also a specialty of Le Vieux Moulin. It is made from a large lemon found on Cap Corse.

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