Calvi, Corsica

Photo: La Signoria
Photo: La Signoria

The summer tourists have returned home. The beaches are practically empty. While the oppressive temperatures have cooled enough that you no longer have to retreat inside to take a midday siesta—unless you want to, of course. Now is the time to visit Corsica.

Your first stop is Calvi on the island’s northwestern coast. A 15th-century citadel stands guard over the port. Huge yachts line the sparkling harbor. Gorgeous white-sand beaches are just steps away from the center of the city. And waterfront cafés are perfectly positioned for sunset. It’s love at first sight.

That love only grows when you head inland to find your hotel. Usually, you’d stay right along the waterfront. But La Signoria, an 18th-century Genoese estate, lured you away from the coast. The small hotel sits in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Corsican mountains. Pine trees guard the entrance. Eucalyptus and olive trees ring the property, filling the air with a sweet scent. The gardens are filled with maquis shrubs and orange trees, sculptures and stone fountains. Ocher tiles and gold umbrellas surround the pool. Plus vineyards and rocky mountains are in the distance.

Photo: La Signoria
Photo: La Signoria

The hotel’s quiet, peaceful vibe extends inside, as well. Your spacious bungalow-style room has a sitting area, antique furniture, and a balcony further enclosed by palm trees. Breakfast is served in a forest-facing pink room. La Palmeraie, the Michelin-rated restaurant, features black-and-white photographs on the walls, Corsican wine, and lots of fresh seafood. Cocktails at Sinibaldi Bar are served with freshly snipped herbs, like Corsican thyme and mint. You feel like you’re stepping back in time as you sip one among the stained glass windows and the faded jewel tones. While the new Spa Casanera looks like an apothecary with glass bottles displayed on the shelves.

You quickly get into a routine at La Signoria. Flip through a newspaper on the terrace as you eat wild strawberries, local cheese, and homemade cake for breakfast. Grab the beach bag in your room—there are towels inside it—and ride the shuttle to Signoria Mare. The nearby beach has wooden sun loungers and white umbrellas already set up on the white sand. Spend the day staring at the historic buildings across the water, swimming in the turquoise water, and eating grilled fish for lunch in the fisherman’s-bungalow-turned-waterfront-restaurant. Return to the hotel to sit in the jacuzzi before it’s time to shower for dinner. Then start your meal with oysters and a glass of sparkling rosé. Your Corsican love affair is off to an unbelievable start.

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