In the hills above southern Corsica's paradise beaches, Vincente Cucchi sat stoking the log fire of her restored shepherd's cottage.
"There have been a lot of murders lately, a lot of score settling, it's becoming worse than Naples," she said. "But I'm not scared, you just have to carry on."
Cucchi, a Corsican mother in her forties, is leading an environmental crusade to protect the wild coastline around Bonifacio on the island's southern tip. She targets everyone from locals to Nicolas Sarkozy's Parisian friends, and goes to court to ban villas that illegally destroy virgin stretches of coast. Her latest victory was to scrap the proposed holiday home of Jacques Séguéla, the publicist who introduced France's president to Carla Bruni.