1. Villages
  2. Taravo
  3. Argiusta Moriccio

Argiusta Moriccio

Arghjusta, U Muricciu, 76 Population  200 to 1419 meters 1030 hectares

Argiusta Moriccio - Corsica

To discover

Hiking History & Heritage

Argiusta Moriccio - Arghjusta Muricciu - is a village in Taravu inhabited since the late Middle Ages, rich in cultural and natural heritage to which its residents are deeply attached. The municipality strives to highlight the History of this commune, which belonged to the pieve of Cruscaglia, in the fiefdom of Istria.

History and Figures

In the Middle Ages

Plan Terrier of Argiusta

The village of Arghjusta Muricciu is mentioned in the first descriptive works of Corsica that appeared towards the end of the 15th century. Located in the pieve of Cruscaglia, the village was associated with the groupings of "La Casella" and "Lo Moriccio," which had 8 and 12 fires respectively, while Argiusta had 18, already giving an idea of the population distribution.

This grouping is not mentioned in the Plan Terrier of the late 18th century, which notes 4 houses in Muricciu and 6 in Argiusta.


The village of Argiusta-Moriccio consists of 7 districts: Teghja, where the Town Hall is located, overlooked by U Zeddu. Casabianca, Pesta Sale, and Caïcutoli, which are situated in the center of the village. Basa, Contra. Other districts mentioned in writings are currently being identified: Lecci, Tondi, I buffoni, Natalini, and Casanova. At the bottom of the village, after the Church, lies the hamlet of Muricciu.

Jean Marini

If there are voices of memory in our villages, Mr. Marini is undoubtedly one of them. At the age of 82, he has throughout his life created numerous calligraphies of the first maps of Corsica, as well as the village's coat of arms. As an architect, he designed the latest fountains built in the commune.

Marie-Madeleine Caïtucoli

Patrice Istria recounts the story of Matachjina, whose real name was Marie-Madeleine Caïtucoli, born on February 6, 1859, in Arghjusta è Muricciu and who passed away in the 1940s. Her father, Paul-François Caïtucoli, was a ploughman, and her mother, Marie Clotilde Poli, was a housewife.

Marie-Madeleine Caïtucoli was married to a Mr. Costa, who died shortly after their marriage. The young widow preferred being in nature rather than indoors and spent most of her time in the mountains of Arghjusta Muricciu, from where her nickname - Matachjina - derived, referencing the word "machjia," meaning maquis.

The Story of Matachjina's Oak - U Liccionu di Matachjina

A remarkable tree that competed for the title of Tree of the Year, Matachjina's Oak - U Liccionu di Matachjina - has a unique history. A century and a half ago, the young widow owned a few pigs in the mountains, and when a sow was about to give birth, probably due to lack of resources, she would enclose it in the hollow of this immense tree by placing a few stones in front to confine the sow and protect her and her piglets from other pigs or predators such as foxes. Thus, she would have given it its name: u liccionu (great oak) di Matachjina.

Once the piglets were born, the sow could, by passing her head over a root, feed and drink without her young being able to escape. They thus remained sheltered for about fifteen days before being able to venture out and explore the world.

As a nod to the past, history repeated itself from the 1980s to the 2000s with a resident of Argiusta named Jeannot Nicolaï, who used the oak in the same way with his brother Antoine and later with Patrice Istria. The only difference was that they did not build a wall but made a small wire enclosure around the oak.

For nearly 140 years, this oak was already of a significant size to fulfill this role, which means it must be several centuries old. These are some of the criteria that allowed the "Liccionu di Matachjina" to compete for the title of Tree of the Year.

Historical Heritage

Granite Houses

As is often the case in granitic Corsica, which primarily concerns the southern half of the island, the buildings - churches, houses, washhouses, fountains - are constructed from granite stones.

The arrangement of the stones, particularly the door frames with double arches or a lintel, varies according to the period. Some houses have stone balconies supported by rails and a wrought iron railing, similar to those found in many other villages. Over the centuries and with the increase in population, many houses were renovated and expanded, which was cheaper than building new ones.

The oldest ones sometimes bear, above a door or on a lintel, the engraving of the year of construction, sometimes accompanied by a religious phrase in Latin:

AD IHS MI - 1537

On the pediment of this house dated 1537, the Latin inscription is an abbreviation of "Anno Domini Iesus Hominum Salvator," which means "In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Some houses still have their original door with panels carved with shapes or animals, knockers, and locks forged several centuries ago.

Architectural Symbolism

In the Pesta Sale district, a small square surrounded by houses was renovated in 2015. The mayor Paul-Joseph Caïtucoli shows us the paving, with the central stone symbolizing that Pesta Sale was the crossroads of all paths.

Bread Oven

Also in the Pesta Sale district, there is an old oven mentioned in the 1866 cadastre and still in use during certain events. In the past, the village had about ten ovens.

The Tower of Foce - A Torra di Foci

A Torra di Foci

A remnant of the Bronze Age, the Tower of Foce dates back approximately 4000 years. A circular historic monument, the Tower of Foce in Arghjusta is the largest recorded among the forty or so in the south of the island, with a diameter of 16 meters and consisting of at least two floors with granite slabs. It is accessed by a corridor, which leads to 4 peripheral rooms,

une cella au centre

Mysterious Towers

Much older than the Genoese towers, whose defensive purpose is well known, the function of the Torri remains an enigma, scarcely touched by a few hypotheses: grain storage, a religious site, or a chieftain's residence?

Excavations have uncovered human bones dating from various periods, ranging from antiquity to the Middle Ages, proving that the monument was used for burials for some time.

These mysteries once fueled the legends of the region, particularly on Easter Monday when villagers would go there for picnics.

Springs, Fountains, and Washhouses

An essential element of village life, which always forms near springs, each district of Arghjusta Muricciu developed around these water sources, captured by several fountains, some old and others more recent, designed under the last two municipal administrations.

Fountain of Basa

Fontaine de Basa - Avant / Après son déplacement

The washhouse fountain of Basa was built in 1982 under the impetus of Michel Peretti, a former mayor of the village.

About thirty years later, for accessibility needs, it was relocated, deconstructed, and reconstructed identically.


Dated 1947, Funtanedda is located above the Town Hall in the U Zeddu district, near the washhouse. Between the two, there is also a stone bench.

Funtanona and the Washhouse of Basa

Funtanona is the oldest fountain, located in Basa where the source is arranged to supply the fountains of Pesta Sale and Caïtucoli. A few dozen meters away is the washhouse of Basa, which reappeared after the rehabilitation of a path with the idea of opening a spassighjata through a network of old internal paths to discover the village as it once was. The washhouse will be restored during the year 2021.

Springs and Streams

Outside the village in the mountains at a place called Ruchettu, there is a fountain built in 2011 by Jean Marini under the impetus of Michel Peretti, a former Mayor of the village. Along the path to the sheepfold of Pian'di Selva, there are several streams, such as Ciambaldu and the fountain of Ostia.

The Water Tower and the Canal

Water Tower

The water tower - accessible by a path less than a kilometer from the village - stores the village's drinking water, which comes from a basin that feeds a source, transported by a canal dating from the 17th century and rehabilitated in the 19th century.

Built in 1980, a catchment and the fountain of Petra Bianca are located along the same path that runs alongside the canal.

Religious Heritage

Church of Saint Hippolyte and Saint Cassien - Sant'Ippolitu è San Cassianu

Article on Saint Hippolyte and Saint Cassien

Church of Saint Hippolyte and Saint Cassien

The village church is located between Arghjusta Caïtucoli and Muricciu. It is believed to date from the 16th century and has subsequently undergone several modifications. Its bell tower, attached to the wall, consists of three bells and is thought to date from the 18th century.

Chapel of Santa Lucia

Located on the transhumance path between Pantanu and Foce are the ruins of the Chapel of Santa Lucia, some elements of which were reused for the Church of Saint Hippolyte and Saint Cassien.

Solidarity Garden

A Winning Bet for All

Solidarity Garden

In 2017, the eco-district project proposed by the municipality of Arghjusta Muricciu was realized with the provision of 3000 square meters of garden. The market gardening activity allowed 6 people to engage in a professionalizing activity, resulting in the resale of garden products to villagers who come each morning to stock up on fresh vegetables.

In these early July photos, a time when the garden is in full swing, as the strawberry plants are coming to an end, the tomatoes are starting to ripen, the potatoes are soon to be harvested, and the onions are collected on demand.

Several rows of zucchini and cucumber plants are also in full production. Weeding is done by hand or with a hoe, and the water is naturally sourced from the spring that runs below.

Shared Composter

Villagers also have access to the shared composter for depositing their food waste, which will serve as compost for future seedlings and for transplanting young plants.

This project, which fits perfectly into the island's rural tradition where gardens are ubiquitous in the villages, stands as a winning bet focused on nature and food autonomy.

After 4 years of activity, the solidarity garden of Arghjusta Muricciu seems to have many good days ahead of it.

Other Photos of Arghjusta Muricciu and Video



Rocks and Caves