Ajaccio (Ajaccio)– the capital, largest city and port of Corsica, located on the western coast of the island, on the shores of a bay of amazing beauty, where the river Gavrona flows. Ajaccio is surrounded by majestic mountains, the tops of which are covered with snow until the very spring, and the city itself attracts visitors with a rich history, wonderful sights, mild climate, comfortable hotels, numerous restaurants, shops, lively nightlife and sincere hospitality of the locals. Ajaccio was founded in 1492 by merchants of the Genoese bank of St. George, and for the first decades was under the rule of Genoa, and in 1768 became part of France. First of all, it’s over, Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon I. Despite the fact that Napoleon himself lived in Ajaccio for only 9 years, he is still the main native and pride of the Corsican capital: souvenirs are sold in shops, this image, and the names of the streets of the city are associated with the Bonaparte family: the streets of Napoleon, Bonaparte, Cardinal Fesch (Napoleon’s uncle), the King of Rome (Napoleon II, son of the emperor), the boulevards of Madame Mother, King Jerome (Napoleon’s younger brother), Letitia Square ( mother of Napoleon). There is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin built in 1593 – the cathedral of the diocese of Ajaccio, in which Napoleon was baptized on July 21, 1771, Napoleon’s grotto, in which he spent his free time as a child, the Napoleonic Museum, glorifying the French Empire, and, of course – National Museum of the House of Bonaparte, Napoleon’s birthplace. In addition to the sights associated with Napoleon, in Ajaccio you can visit the Genoese fortress, the palace of Cardinal Fesch with the museum and library he founded, the Fesch Museum with a magnificent collection of Italian paintings, including the famous “Madonna and Child” by Botticelli. The Milell Museum, a house acquired by the Bonaparte family in 1797, presents interesting ethnographic exhibits. The Bandera Museum introduces all stages of Corsican history, the museum displays rare documents, ancient coins, traditional weapons, costumes, materials about famous Corsicans such as Sampiero Corso, Pascal Paoli, Napoleon Bonaparte, heroes of the resistance. The Capitello Museum also highlights the history of Ajaccio since the founding of the city in 1492. An excellent collection of 19th-century porcelain, jewelry, silver, and antique furniture is offered to the attention of visitors. the museum presents rare documents, ancient coins, traditional weapons, costumes, materials about famous Corsicans such as Sampiero Corso, Pascal Paoli, Napoleon Bonaparte, resistance heroes. The Capitello Museum also highlights the history of Ajaccio since the founding of the city in 1492. An excellent collection of 19th-century porcelain, jewelry, silver, and antique furniture is offered to the attention of visitors.
Eastern Corsica: Castagniccia-Aleria (La Castagniccia-Aleria)– a picturesque plain, spread over thousands of hectares in the eastern part of Corsica and covered with wonderful chestnut groves. The region extends from Bastia in the north to Solenzar in the southeast. Pascal Paoli, a well-known Corsican politician and participant in the Napoleonic Wars, said: “As long as we have chestnuts, we will have bread.” In addition to chestnut trees, lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus trees, kiwi, grapes grow in Castanixia, and oysters and mussels are bred in reservoirs. Also here is the Biguglia Nature Reserve. Corsicans say about this amazing land: “We always with respect and seriousness call this “country” in itself, this almost mythical land, this is the birthplace of Corsican history – Castanixia.” In this region is the ancient city of Aleria, the first city on the island, founded in 564. Greeks like Apalia. Arelia is home to the Archaeological Museum, housed in a historic building and dedicated to the Corsican scientist Jerome Carcopino, who sponsored the resumption of archaeological excavations here. The halls of the museum introduce the 8000-year history of these places – starting from the 5th century BC. and until the 5th century AD: Greek ceramics, Etruscan and Roman jewelry, weapons. In Arelia, the ruins of an ancient Roman city with a villa and a necropolis, as well as a Genoese fort of the 15th century, have been preserved. Etruscan and Roman jewelry, weapons. In Arelia, the ruins of an ancient Roman city with a villa and a necropolis, as well as a Genoese fort of the 15th century, have been preserved. Etruscan and Roman jewelry, weapons. In Arelia, the ruins of an ancient Roman city with a villa and a necropolis, as well as a Genoese fort of the 15th century, have been preserved.
Central Corsica: Corte is a small town in the center of Corsica, Corte was once the capital of the island (1755-1769), known as the capital of Pascal Paoli – the “Government of the Nation of Corsica”. The picturesque Cort, with narrow winding streets and old houses, is located in the heart of the Natural Park of Corsica, at the foot of mighty mountain peaks, among crystal mountain lakes, mountain villages and ancient churches. On top of a cliff overlooking Cortom and the Tavignano Valley, there is a fortress that houses the Museum of Corsica and an observation deck. Also in the city you can go to the ancient Church of the Annunciation, walk along Rue de la Fontaine to the elegant fountain and admire the ancient Genoese bridge.
Northern Corsica: Bastia. Bastia is the main port, economic center and one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Corsica and the Mediterranean, founded in 1378 by the Genoese. Bastia is located on the northeast coast of the island, at the base of Cape Corse. The name of the city comes from “bastille”, which means a fortress towering over the city. The fortress walls are more than five hundred years old. The gates of Louis XVI, built in the 18th century, lead to the citadel. Inside the fortress there is Donjon Square, where the small Palace of the Governor of the XIV century is located, which houses an ethnographic museum with an exhibition on the art and history of the city. Churches of the 17th-18th centuries are also located here. – the Church of St. Mary (Sainte-Marie de l’Assomption) and the Chapel of St. Croy (Oratoire-Sainte-Croix). The historic center of Bastia enchants with its narrow streets, old houses and squares, of which the most popular Place Saint Nicholas and Place du Marche, where a colorful Mediterranean market is open on Sundays, where you can try and buy real Corsican products. No less picturesque is the ancient harbor of Bastia. Also in the city is the largest church in Corsica – the church of Jean Baptiste, built in 1666 and completed in 1813 and 1864, the amazing gardens of Romieu, created in 1870, the monastery of St. Francis, erected in 1521, and many other unique monuments of history, architecture and art. In addition, Bastia has beautiful sandy beaches and excellent recreational infrastructure. built in 1666 and completed in 1813 and 1864, the amazing gardens of Romieu, created in 1870, the monastery of St. Francis, erected in 1521, and many other unique monuments of history, architecture and art. In addition, Bastia has beautiful sandy beaches and excellent recreational infrastructure.
Northwest Corsica: Calvi – Le Ross (Calvi – L´lle Rousse). This coastal area of Corsica is located in the amazing Balagne Valley, which has been called the “Land of Bread and Butter” since ancient Rome, and was described in the 19th century as follows: “No other area of the world gives a more powerful impression of natural wealth. The valley is a true garden filled with olive, fig and orange trees.” The main cities of Balani are the ancient cities of Calvi and Le Ross. The port city of Calvi is the first tourist destination of the “high” Corsica. It is a wonderful resort town surrounded by rocky mountains and pine forests: 6 km of white sandy beach, clear Mediterranean waters, numerous cafes, restaurants and bars, a picturesque harbor with luxury yachts and fishing boats, and the obligatory XV fortress towering over the city. Inside the fortress is the palace of the Genoese governor, as well as the ruins of the house where, according to legend, Christopher Columbus was born. The building was destroyed in 1794 by Nelson’s troops, and today there is a statue erected on the 500th anniversary of the birth of Columbus. Also in the fortress there is a museum of Corsican ethnography, and the Cathedral of Jean-Baptiste is located. Calvey also hosts an annual jazz festival in June. Not far from Calvi is another port city – Le Ross (L’lle Rousse), founded by Pascal Paoli in 1758 with the aim of creating a port not controlled by the Genoese. The architecture of Le Ross (the city’s name translates as “red island”) is very beautiful and dates back to the 18th – early 19th centuries. The historical center of the city is Paoli Square with a monument to the famous Corsican. In the south of Le Ross is the beautiful Plage de Rindara beach,
West Corsica: Gorges de Spelunca-Porto. These natural places, unique in their beauty, stretch to the north of Corsica – from the sea to the mountains through the Spelunza Gorge. Gorges, located in the southern part of the Balagne region, was founded in 1676 by the Greeks and is still known as the “Greek city”. A wonderful town with snow-white houses, located on a rocky promontory near the azure sea waters, and several excellent beaches. Among the historical sights of Gorges are two churches of the 19th century, standing opposite each other: Latin – with paintings in the style of “tremple” (illusion) and a panoramic terrace, and Greek – with icons from the founding of the city. Porto is a wonderful resort town, the ideal place to explore the unique region of Corsica – natural parks listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such as the Scandolla nature reserve. The city has a lookout tower of the 16th century,
Southwest Koriska: Propriano-Sartene. Propriano is a major port and one of the most popular resorts in Corsica, located on the west coast of the island, in a picturesque bay of Valinco Bay (Golfe de Valinco). Propriano has a rich history. The city was founded in 1640, in the period 1837 – 1846, with the opening of roads to Ajaccio, Propriano became the most important commercial center of the south, and in 1860 received the status of a “commune”. At 15 km from Propriano, over the Gulf of Valinco rises Sartène, built on the rocks and almost merging with their powerful landscapes. Prosper Mérimée called Sartene “the most Corsican of the Corsican cities”. Founded by the Genoese at the beginning of the 16th century, the city is famous for its rich past, and has been repeatedly subjected to pirate and gangster raids. In the center of the city is Place de la Liberation, the former Port Square. Here is the ancient governor’s palace, where you can see a real guillotine. At the edge of the square rises the church of St. Mary, which houses the crosses and chains used during the famous annual Easter procession “catenacciu”. This is the oldest Christian ceremony in Corsica, held on Holy Friday, when penitents, in chains and barefoot, carry a wooden cross through the Old City to Golgotha. Countless alleys, narrow passages, arches and ancient houses give Sartene a unique charm and a special atmosphere. The city also has a unique Prehistoric Corsican Museum, which presents a rich collection of artifacts from the megalith era.
South Corsica: Bonifacio-Porto-Vecchio (Bonifacio – Porto-Vecchio). Bonifacio is a medieval city, one of the oldest in Corsica, located 12 km from the Italian island of Sardinia, a natural harbor, on limestone rocks, on the site of a 9th-century fortress. Thanks to the winds, the city is one of the most popular places in France among yachtsmen. The landscapes of Bonifacio delight with elegant architecture: a beautiful promenade, slender palm trees, exquisite hotels and restaurants. Among the historical sights of the city are the stone “staircase of the King of Aragon” leading to the Old City, ancient churches and medieval buildings. The landscapes of Porto Vechiu are also unusual – the city is built on salt marshes and salt still plays an important role here. So, in September you can see the “harvest” of salt, harvested in the port of Genoa. Porto Vechiu is a magnificent resort with amazingly beautiful landscapes, a harbor.