Sant'Antonino is a commune in Haute-Corse of about 110 inhabitants, 14 km from L'Île-Rousse, and less than 5 km from the coast and beaches.
Culminating at 500 m of altitude, Sant'Antonino dominates the sea and the valleys of the Balagne, historical and natural region of the northwest of the island.
The village is considered one of the oldest of Corsica, founded in the ninth by the Roman count Ugo Colonna. A strategic eagle's nest, it was a point of defense and retreat and an ideal observatory, with a 360-degree view, to monitor the sea and the plain.
The vestiges of its medieval castle and its traditional preserved habitat, made up of some 75 houses built in the stone of the country on a piton of granite, make all its charm today.
Sant'Antonino which belongs to the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France is a must stop during a stay on the island of Beauty.
Once you reach the outskirts of the village (you leave your car outside on paid parking), you enter a real treasure having passed through 1 000 years of history and having preserved all its cachet.
A visit makes it possible to borrow with pleasure a number of shaded, narrow and stone streets, forming like a labyrinth descending spirally around the old castle, and one notices that the houses with the covered ones of a now patinated rough seem joined One to the other, wrapped around the rocky peak. If you do the "tour" of the village, you have to go under galleries and vaults, but the game is worth the candle: the views on the plain, the olive trees and the sea, in the distance, are simply unique.
Besides the charm of the village, the shops and picturesque shops, the welcoming terraces, the secular authenticity of the places, several elements of the heritage are worth a specific attention. This is the case of the church of the Annunciation, of the eighteenth century, built a little away from the old village, and equipped with a campanile with storeys. Inside, besides an organ of 1744, it houses four paintings, all properties of the commune, which were classified: "The Deposition of the cross with four donors" (work of the XVIIth), "The Escape in Egypt" (XVIIIth), "The Souls of Purgatory" (undated) and "The Virgin with the Rosary with St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena" (XVIIIe).
The nearby chapel of the Brotherhood is renowned as the chapel of the shepherds. Also worth seeing is the Sainte-Anne chapel, at the bottom of the village and the Lavasina chapel on the eponymous square. The old bread oven and the old wine press will also be noted in terms of civilian heritage.
There is still an edifice that also constitutes an "administrative" singularity: it is the church of Trinidad and San Giovanni built in the middle of a cemetery that belongs to the neighboring commune of Aregno but is enclosed in the territory of Sant'Antonino. Of Pisan style, dating from the 11th century, the church is classified.
Numerous hikes (or even donkeys) are possible, starting or including the village. It is prudent to learn about the possible difficulties in terms of slope... Some circuits borrow the old parcels cultivated by the villagers, who came down from their "fortress" to work the land. Brochures, advice and information on +33 4 95 61 78 38 and +33 4 95 65 16 67.
Since the communal area is restricted (4 km²), all other cultural and recreational activities are located outside the locality.
Feast of Saint-Roch, August 16: after the religious ceremonies (mass, procession, blessing of the animals), meals, folkloric and musical animations.