........... Lama

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Lama(Laa-ma). Driving between L'Ile Rousse and Ponte Leccia (direction Corte or Bastia) through the Desert Des Agritates and up the valley of Ostriconi, villages are sparce. One sees empty olive groves, the occasional vineyard, but only glimpses of villages perched high on the hills. The village of Lama, with its announcement of an annual film festival has always intrigued me. Why would they have a film festival there in the middle of nowhere? We decided to visit.

Once home to some of Corsica's richest olive oil magnates, you'll find beautiful 18th-century Italianate style houses, now converted into gites. Perched high on the stone cliffs, the elevation affords beautiful views of the valley in many directions. In fact, the parking by the Balkan War memorial affords such good views, that's where you'll find the regional Forestiers-Sapeurs (firemen) parked, vigilantly watching the valley for the first sign of trouble. A good idea, since back in August 1971, 80,000 trees—mostly olive—went up in flames there, in a single afternoon.

Time your visit to Lama around the end of July, and you'll arrive for their annual Festival Du Film, which has been offered since 1994.

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