Exploring Corsica with Lulama Wolf
Relaxed yet super chic – our South African style crush matches the French island perfectly.
When South African artist Lulama Wolf arrives at an unfamiliar place, she wastes no time laying by the pool or watching Netflix in a hotel room.
“First, I explore the room I’m in, then I go outside to see the view and the coast, then I find a spot to eat. When I get to a restaurant, I find out what the locals love to eat and drink, and order exactly that. Usually – on the first night – I go to sleep early to have energy for the next day. Because on the second day I get up early and go everywhere I think is cool. Before I travel, I talk to people who’ve been to the place before, and whose opinions I trust.”
We joined Lulama Wolf on Corsica, a scenic island in the Mediterranean known for its massive mountains, secluded beaches and a cuisine that’s a mix between Italian and French. It’s also the birthplace of Napoleon, which is evident everywhere in Corsica’s biggest city Ajaccio. It’s a big town with narrow roads and grand buildings that – for brief seconds – can make you think you’re in Paris.
”My first impression was that Corsica looked a lot like home. The mountains, the greenery, and the long drives to get to places remind me a lot of South Africa. Then I got to Ajaccio. I’ve never seen roads that narrow before, and I love how the community hang their washing out, it’s genius. It looks like they’re hanging on imaginary lines,” she says as she walks down the town streets wearing a white linen blouse, olive trousers and an orange bikini top.
“I love wearing linen. Linen trousers, linen shirts, linen everything. But really anything that feels light on my skin,” she says about her approach to summer dressing and continues: “linen makes me feel like I’m instantly on vacation, just like straw bags do. I’m obsessed with them.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SUMMER?
“Summer is when I was born! In South Africa, it’s a festive time to be born in the summer. If you’re born in summer you're born when it’s warm and when people aren’t at work. It’s the right time. Summer at home on my birthday is amazing.”
I love how the community hang their washing out, it’s genius. It looks like they’re hanging on imaginary lines
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO THIS TIME OF YEAR?
“The beach is always a great place to go in the summer. Also partying, but partying at spots that nobody knows about. Niche spots that have weird cocktails that no one would ever buy. Places where you can make anything, be anything. The spontaneity.”
WHAT KIND OF SWIMWEAR ARE YOU INTO?
“I like to wear swimsuits. Usually bikinis aren’t really my thing unless they have a high waist.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT SEE WHEN YOU TRAVEL?
“First and foremost, I want to see the art. Then I want to see the clothing that they make, and I want to go to vintage stores to see what the people wore in the old days. I love seeing that. I always shy away from the tourist attractions. In Paris, I got lost because I was trying not to see the Eiffel tower. I don’t want to use my phone – I want to find my own way.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CORSICA?
“The buildings and the small hints of colour, the views, and the fact that they have flowers in the weirdest places. We have lots of mountains at home as well but the sun sets so much later here, which feels so romantic for some reason. I feel like someone should propose to me here. I’m in France, but not in Paris, and on an island. It makes sense to fall in love here. Would you say no? No – you say ‘yes, yes baby.’”
WHO’S THE PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION?
“My brother. He calms me down, he’s wise and he always has my best interests at heart. He’s a friend although we fight, but we’re family so it’s loving.”
IF YOU COULD ONLY PACK ONE THING – WHAT WOULD IT BE?
BACKPACKING OR RESORT?
“I’d like to try backpacking but luxury.”
POOL OR OCEAN?
“The ocean of course.”
LULAMA’S GUIDE TO CORSICA
HOW TO GET HERE
By air (Corsica has three airports) or ferry from the French mainland or from Italy.
“I always choose the quickest way – I get exhausted from travelling and want to reach my destination quickly.”
WHAT TO PACK
“I always bring a turban, my turban is always there because I wear it many times a day. Different pairs of shoes – flats, sneakers and heels – my makeup, sunscreen, sunglasses, linen everything, a swimsuit, a hat, a sarong and a sketch pad to doodle on.”
WHERE TO BEACH
“Sevani Petit Capo is my favourite. It’s private and the water is warm and calm – it’s like a shy ocean. I want a private beach where you can do whatever you want for as long as you like without anyone congesting your space. Also it’s really close to several beautiful mountain villages.”
WHERE TO EAT
“I like meaty, rich-flavoured foods, so that’s the type of place I’ll go to. It needs to look beautiful and it should be in the deeper parts of Ajaccio. One of the best things about not speaking the same language as anyone else is that you really need to figure out and know what you want to eat. You need to feel it in your taste buds. I love that – because when you know exactly what you want you can’t get disappointed.”
WHERE TO PONDER ABOUT LIFE
“On the mountains or on the beach – anywhere where you can overlook things. I found a tiny village called Castagniccia. Walking around, thinking about accomplishments; how and what it took to get me to this place. I want to respect the moment and let it sink in.”
WHERE TO DANCE
“Corsica is a place to breathe and listen to yourself and your thoughts. If I were to party I always prefer a small and intimate place. The party could be in a hotel room or just a small local restaurant.”
LIVES: Johannesburg, South Africa
DOES: Student and artist (fine art, ceramics)
Click here to read more about Lulama’s holiday packing essentials.
Click here for Lulama’s step-by-step guide to turban perfection.
Click here to see what went down last week when we followed model Stefanie Giesinger to Mykonos.