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Fozzano and Colomba's revenge: a news story and a famous novel

The tower | Dhfozzano / CC-BY-SA
Tower Vengeance Tragic destiny Prosper Mérimée Colomba's tower

Colomba’s real story

Colomba’s story? A story of vendetta, typical Corsican revenge!

Colomba Bartoli was born in Fozzano in May 1775.

We can see her native house, the little church she raised in 1834 (she was buried here) and even her enemies' house, the Durazzo.

Famous French novel ″Colomba″, written by Prosper Mérimée, is identical to the real story, except that Colomba was 58 years old, in 1833: she was not the young lady described by Prosper! But we’ll see that later.

The Carabelli and the Durazzo families (flanked by the Paoli family) were enemies.

The story began when a Paoli decided to go in the enemy camp. The riposte was immediate!

The three clans fought. Shots, ambush. The situation get worse and worse.

Few months later, two members of Carabelli family died. Colomba was furious: she only wanted revenge!

For this, she set all her family (especially her son) against the Durazzo. A drama was smouldering…

Colomba felt it deep in her heart! Anyway, the revenge started…

On December 30th 1833, four men fell in an ambush: two Durazzo died... and Colomba’s son, François.

It was a big shock, a big scandal. The island governor and bishop of Ajaccio decided to stop that vendetta.

In the church of Sartène, they signed a treaty of peace. In vain! It was too late.

Colomba died at the age of 86. The priest suggested to confess herself, and above all, to forgive! But her face became hard… she whispered her son’s name… and passed away.

Pretty... and rebel!

Famous French writer Mérimée sojourned in Corsica in 1839. He heard about an extraordinary story of vendetta, in Fozzano.

Puzzled, he met Colomba, who was 65 years old at that time.

Her daughter Catherine was by her side: Mérimée found her gorgeous. He drew his inspiration from her, for his heroine! His Colomba has Catherine’s beauty and her mum’s tough nature...

Mérimée said to a friend in a letter: ″Yesterday I saw a heroin, Mrs Colomba… Her daughter, a heroin too, is young and lovely, with long hairs, nice lips...″

When Mérimée was about to leave Corsica, he asked Catherine to marry him. Colomba refused.

Why? Gossip said it was because Prosper was a foreigner… a French!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!