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Visit Couvent Saint Francois
The gardens of the Couvent of Saint Francois are on the island of Corsica near to the village of Oletta.
Visit the gardens of the Couvent Saint Francois
The gardens of the Convent Sanfrancescu were voted the favourite garden on Corsica in 2013 in a competition run by the France 2 television chanel (Le Jardin Préféré des Francais 2013).
The convent offers magnificent views over the surrounding mountains and the beautiful village of Oletta. Surrounding a 13th century convent which has been lovingly restored by its owner the artist and painter Candida Romero the gardens have been designed sympathetically with the convents religious and cultural heritage.
The gardens were designed by Candida in partnership with garden designer Armand de Foucault.
The gardens have an Italian influence in keeping with the influence of past invadors of the island of Corsica. There is a Renaissance Garden with a fountain, a Monk's Garden and a romantic Garden of Ruins.
There are around 800 different species of plant, many of them of mediterranean origin and many palms, olive trees and citrus trees. Colour is also provided by a collection of roses and of tulips.
The owners have also created a perfume and beauty products inspired by the scents of the garden and the native plants. The convent is also a Chambre d'hôtes - perfect for garden and art lovers.
Garden Visits to the Couvent de Saint Francois
The convent is a chambre d'hote and a place of work for Candida and her mother Simone Dat who is also a painter. However garden visits are possible for the 'Journées Patrimoine' which take place the third week-end of September each year. Visits cost 10 euros.
Address: Couvent Saint Francois, Route d'Arbori, 20160 Vico
All photos of the convent gardens were provided courtesy of Patrick Smith
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.