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On your way around Cap Corse, be sure to stop in Nonza. This vertiginous crag seems impossibly high over its famous black beach, the legacy of a former asbestos mine down the coast at Canari. The beach is accessible only by trudging down the 600 steps from Nonza, and no doubt this is the reason why it's usually deserted. The chapel is dedicated to the martyred St. Julie, whose severed breasts, it's said, became the double fountain known as the Fontaine aux Mamelles (Fountain of Mammaries) on the way down to the beach. The spectacular gravity-defying tower was constructed by Pasquale Paoli in 1760. Its squared corners made it easier to defend, as famed Captain Casella proved in 1768 when he stood off 1,200 French troops.
Nonza at a Glance
Elsewhere in Corsica
- Asco and Haut-Asco
- Col de Bavella
- La Porta
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