Vizzavona Archaeological Trail
A Beautiful Forest Walk
The archaeological trail of Vizzavona is a small hiking path ideal for a short, instructive walk in total immersion with nature. Far from being overcrowded in the summer, the calm of the forest reigns over this route suitable for all, including families with children. The required walking level is accessible to the majority with a small elevation change. Apart from a few steep segments, it presents no major difficulty. The signage and several indicator panels will prevent you from getting lost.
The river and the constant shade from the pines provide a very appreciable freshness at the height of summer.
Continuing past the Altagna restaurant, a sign indicating the hike will situate your position and instruct you to follow the old railway in a northeast direction on a clear plan that leads to an isolated house and the old station. The trail begins beyond this house where you will quickly arrive to cross the railway, taking heed of the signage.
Bridges and River
You will quickly arrive at the first concrete bridge, which spans the Vecchio river, then a little less than 10 minutes later, a second bridge - this time wooden - will have you crossing the river again.
The Southwell Shelter
Discovered in 1911 by Charles Forsyth Major, an English paleontologist and archaeologist from the Royal Society of London, the Southwell shelter is formed by a large rocky outcrop, featuring several natural cavities that could accommodate a handful of individuals.
This prehistoric site was one of the first recorded in Corsica. The Southwell shelter has not left traces of dwellings or bones. However, it has yielded pottery fragments, ceramic remains, and lithic pieces such as numerous carved stone arrowheads. These remnants testify to human presence during the Early Neolithic period, approximately 7 to 8 thousand years ago. The site must have been used as a natural shelter. Its vulnerable position suggests that it did not have a defensive role, and perhaps served to accommodate herders during seasonal migrations, like an ancestor of the pagliaghju!
The name of the shelter was given in honor of Mrs. Edith Southwell-Colucci, daughter of the British Vice-Consul in Bastia and a friend of the British researcher whom she accompanied on his excursions. She supported him in his work and served as his photographer.
Ideal Walk for a Short Excursion
With the opportunity to have a drink or eat before or after stretching your legs, this small hiking trail will delight many. An enjoyable, simple, and short walk (1h15) in the Vizzavona forest. However, be careful not to get hit on the head by the numerous pine cones falling from their trees, which can be heard cascading through the branches before crashing to the ground.