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Lumio, France

The Abandoned Village of Occi

Resting on a hill overlooking the coast, these medieval ruins look completely deserted save for their restored chapel. 

Sitting on a picturesque French hilltop, the ruins of the medieval village of Occi are all that’s left of a small settlement that had to abandon their perfect view when the water ran out. 

In the Middle Ages, the hilltop hamlet of Occi was founded by a group of refugees from a nearby coastal village, who were escaping invading forces. By 1589, Occi had at least 150 residents who called this stunning vista home. The village featured drystone houses, stores, and an impressive chapel. But lack of water — the wells dried up — had cut the population to only 62 people by 1852. In 1927, a man named Felix Giudiceli was the last person left in the picturesque village.

Today, the ruins of Occi are a favorite hiking destination for those visiting Corsica. From Lumio, it is a two hour hike up to the deserted village. Once you are there, you can walk the eerily preserved medieval streets, enter the renovated Chapel of Annuziata, and take in the breathtaking ocean views. On the Pentecost, a Corsican mass, featuring singing by the Brotherhood of Sant’Anton Abbate, is held at the chapel, and the silent village is filled with song once again.

Know Before You Go

The most often used trail is the one from behind the restaurant Chez Charles in Lumio, though the trail from D71 may also be used.