Discover one of the must-see places of the Balagne, the village of Pigna with its orange roofs, its blue shutters and its artisans’ and artists’ workshops.
Located on a rocky spur, not far from Ile-Rousse, it offers you a small interlude between two beaches.
Here is our guide to help you plan your visit: map, access, what to do and see, photos…
This guide is completely independent, based on our experiences. We visited the area anonymously, making our own choices, and paying all our bills in full.
Why visit the village of Pigna in Balagne
Is the village of Pigna worth it?
Even if it is very touristic, it is definitely one of the most beautiful villages of the Balagne. It is very well restored, offers beautiful views and proposes to discover ancient techniques of crafts and artists.
A small village full of inspiration and creativity as we like them.
What to see in the village? Why is it known?
The village is known for 2 particularities:
The appearance of the village:
A huge effort has been made to give the village back its beauty. It has been restoredaccording to the ancient techniques with clay and tuff. And in addition, almost all the shutters of the houses have been painted blue to give a little light to these typical houses rather austere.
Its workshops of the trades of the past:
It is in this village that she was born, in 1964, the Corsicada. It is a cooperative association to revive the crafts of yesteryear, and to innovate in craft. You can meet and see craftsmen and musicians working in the whole village.
It is really one of the inescapable of the Balagne.
This village has also become known thanks to the label “Les plus beaux villages de France” which has been awarded to it. Only 2 villages have this label in the whole of Corsica: Pigna and Sant’Antonino. But many others are interesting. See our list of the most beautiful villages of Corsica.
Tips and Map – Pigna, Corsica
Where is Pigna in Corsica – Map
- In the Balagne region
- On the side of L’Île-Rousse
- Driving time from Ile-Rousse = 15min
- Driving time from Calvi = 30min
- Here is a map to help you find your way:
Need to rent a car in Corsica?
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is powerful enough (the roads are steep) but compact (some passages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get to Pigna
Pigna is really not far from Ile-Rousse.
It’s just a short detour from the T30 road on the west coast.
The last few kilometers are on the D151 which is a fairly easy road. Not very wide but there is still a lane in each direction.
And if you don’t want to rent a car, you can join a guide from Calvi or L’Île-Rousse – see the availability of organized tours
You can also hike between the different villages, especially between Sant’Antonino and Pigna: 45min walk.
There is a main parking lot just outside the village.
It is big enough for the size of the village but not enough for tourists in summer. If you visit in July or August, you should come early or late.
There are also a few spots along the main road, but check the signage, some areas are private. And don’t park on the road!
Sorry, we forgot to take a picture of the parking lot.
Note; there is another small parking lot P1 next to the village but it is reserved for residents.
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Practical advice – when to visit
- Allow an hour to explore the village, enjoy the views and visit the artists’ stores.
- Wear good walking shoes as the ground is rocky and very uneven
- The village is quite sloping
- It’s a nice place to have lunch with its artistic atmosphere
- The interior of the village is entirely pedestrian
- The village built an auditorium in the late 1990s. It can accommodate 110 seats for voice concerts. A great way to enjoy the atmosphere of this village even more (see for example the Festivoce festival in July).
Where to eat – restaurants in Pigna
There are several restaurants and cantinas in the village.
- In Mandria di Pigna – along the access road to the village
- At Casarella Caffè: tapas at the bottom of the village
- Cantina A Moresca, at the back of the village with a view on the village of Corbara (photo below with our father)
- U Palazzu: restaurant and coffee bar surrounded by a garden
- Casa Musicale: local cuisine with a view to the sea
We had lunch at the Cantina A Moresca. The menu was simple. The atmosphere was very pleasant, surrounded by nature and with views to the sea and to the village of Corbara.
In summer, remember to make reservations. It is a very touristy place.
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The village seen from afar – blue shutters
It is one of the most beautiful villages of the Balagne to see from afar for 2 reasons:
It is very tightly packed on a rocky outcrop, unlike other villages which are more in length. It is located at an altitude of 260m above the Nervia Valley.
You can see all the orange roofs and the 2 round domes of the small towers of the church.
You can even see it with the summit Cima di Sant’Angelo which reaches 553m as on the photo below (if we are not mistaken).
The best views of the village are from the D151 road, between two trees
Another feature that makes this village very attractive from a distance is the fact that almost all the shutters are painted blue.
We have not found the official reason for the blue color. But we can imagine that it is to make the transition with the sky and the sea.
And it is very successful, to brighten up a little the ochre colored facades (and a bit austere) of the typical houses of the region.
Map of the village
At the entrance of the village you will find a map.
As you can see, the village is very small and you will not get lost.
Each number identifies a monument, a workshop or a restaurant.
P2 in light green is the parking for visitors.
Next to the number 2 is the church.
On the left, at number 14, is the Cantina A Moresca where we ate.
Brief history of the village
The origins of the village go back to the 9th century.
Consalvo Romano is one of the lieutenants of Count Guido Savelli. The Pope sent them to Corsica to free it from the Saracens. And he decided to build a tower that he named Pigna in memory of his native Roman neighborhood.
Then he settles there and his descendants stay there. Family conflicts, rivalries and murders follow in the following centuries. The Genoese government recovered the land in the seventeenth century.
The village has taken the turn of the decline of the rural world. Focusing on the development of traditional and artisanal trades, the village is today one of the most vibrant in the Balagne.
What to do in Balagne: our 5 essential articles
Church of the Immaculate Conception
The main building of the village, below, is the small church of the Immaulée Conception.
Its heart dates back to the 17th century but it was transformed in the 18th and 20th centuries.
On the outside, notice:
- The Italian style of the church
- The 4 columns that do not reach the top
- The 2 bell towers with dome above the facade
- Its simplicity
- Its view from the back with the small slate roof instead of tiles.
- The paintings above the 2 side altars
- A very small statue of the Virgin in white marble, rather original
- A fresco by Toni Casalonga (1971)
- The elevated organ built by Antonio Massoni
Alleys and craftsmen
Then take the time to discover all the small streets of the village.
Pay attention to the stone walls, the blue shutters and the views (as the village is very steep).
Each door may be an opportunity to discover something new.
But beware, the village still has inhabitants. Don’t go home to the locals!!!
You will find workshops and artists working or showing you their work:
- Ceramic (photo below)
- violin maker,
- recording studio,
- art gallery,
- small music museum
And in the bend of these lanes, you can find the old cattle pen, the old forge restored and transformed into a public fountain, the auditorium…
But take your time. Look at the details around you. And breathe between 2 steps!
The points of view
As Pigna is located on a rocky outcrop, you have magnificent views of the surrounding area.
There is even a large square, Piazza a l’Olmu, which offers a beautiful view to the west, ideal for watching the sunset.
The village is not so far from the coast and you can see the sea very well.
On the picture below, the village is that of Algajola with the beach of Aregno.
And if you look to the east, you discover the village of Corbara with its white church that seems to protect the village.
Sleeping in the village of Pigna
In the village you will find some guest houses and a hotel: Palazzu Pigna.
A small historical building (18th century) with terrace and garden. 3 stars.
The restaurant is located in the old olive oil press.
See prices, pictures and availability
Where to stay in La Balagne
The Balagne is a superb region to stay in during your vacations in Corsica.
Here are our suggestions.
Option 1 – Île-Rousse
At the arrival of the ferry, a very well located city with a lot of charm. It is also easy to walk around and explore the area.
For example, the Rocabella Hotel in the heart of the city, with a soothing natural setting.
– see prices, pictures and availability
or see the best rated accommodations in Ile-Rousse
Option 2 – Calvi
Calvi is the main town in the Balagne region and offers picturesque views from all angles.
Citadel, mountains, villages, boat trips… there’s plenty to do!
We recommend the Casa Bianca hotel with its modern decor and beautiful views
– see pictures and availability
or see the best rated accommodations
Option 3 – on the heights, around the villages of La Balagne
And if you prefer the calm, you can go to isolate you a little between its 2 big cities in the hills of Balagne. We suggest:
Hotel Le Domaine Casale Olmia in the hills – see photos and availability
Hotel A Casa Di Mà (in Lumio) with swimming pool – see photos and availability
Beautiful waterfront hotel between the 2 cities – see pictures and availability
Hotel La Santa with its infinity pool facing the view – see photos and availability
See our complete guide on where to sleep in the Balagne (coming soon)
What to see nearby
Hiking around Pigna
If you want to immerse yourself in the landscapes of the Balagne, enjoy one of the many hikes around Pigna:
- To reach the village of Sant’Antonino = 45min one way
- Or the Toru loop which also passes by Sant Antonino: 3h30 and 500m of ascent
- Tour of Monte Sant’Anghjulu: 3h30 with 470 meters of ascent
- The loop of San Ciprianu: 2h30 of walking, 25àm of difference in altitude, with a little more shade
- And if you stay in L’Île-Rousse and you really don’t want to take the car, you can go up to Pigna in 2 hours of walking (400m of difference in height).
- See all the recommendations of the village, on their website
The other villages of La Balagne
The hills of La Balagne are dotted with charming villages. All of them bring something a little different: a bell tower, a view, an atmosphere…
The other villages near Pigna are Corbara and Sant-Antonino.
Learn more in our article on the villages of the Balagne
The beach of Bodri
If you are looking for beautiful white sand in a magnificent environment, head to Bodri(see our article).
This wild beach is a small corner of Paradise between Calvi and Ile-Rousse, in the heart of the Balagne.
Very few buildings, fine sand, turquoise waters… Perfect to relax!
See the most beautiful beaches around L’Île-Rousse
And of course you can go and enjoy the sweetness of life in L’Île-Rousse, the seaside resort at 15min drive from Pigna: beach, colorful houses and a walk to the islands of Pietra and the lighthouse are waiting for you.
Discover the best things to do in L’Île-Rousse.
Plan your trip to Corsica!
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