........... Speluncato

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Speluncato (Spell-un-COT-oh) is a strikingly attractive mountain village southwest of L'ile Rousse, and 33 km from Calvi. At 600 meters high, Speluncato's backdrop is the majestic mountain Monte Grosso massif. The village was built upon an enormous rock outcropping that is riddled with caverns and cavities, as its name implies. One of its best known caves is Pietre Tafonata, an 8-meter tunnel above the village which for centuries has provided shelter for shepherds and (much earlier), prehistoric hunters.

Rather isolated in the high mountains, there's a pervasive spirituality in the peace and natural beauty of Speluncato and its widesweeping vistas. In the center of the village there's a lovely market square, Place de la Libération, which includes a central fountain with crystal clear l'eau de source and charming outdoor café.

You'll find stone everywhere—even overhead—as you follow the maze of winding cobblestone pathways through tunnels and under arches, that are quite fascinating to explore. There's also a number of wild cats in the village, 'adopted' by the locals, below they're working up the courage to feast on a fish head larger than their own.

If driving to Speluncato, make sure to leave extra time to enjoy the other scenic mountain villages along D71. There's also a lovely wine cave, Domaine Renucci, in the smaller village of Feliceto that produces some of the best Blanc and Rosé wines in the region. Salut!

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