What a beautiful island! 🙂 Landed with AirCorsica some beautiful Thursday afternoon just shortly after French President Macron.
My hotel was a splendid accommodation with a view on the Mediterranean.
As my flight has been postponed couple of times, I decided – totally tired and exhausted – just to chill in my hotel and read the Corsica intro.
The next morning I was totally fresh and ready to start exploring as of early in the morning.
Totally italian city, but french speaking, but with italian accent. 🙂
After being ruled by the Republic of Genoa since 13 century, Corsica was briefly an Italian-speaking independent republic from 18th century, until it was officially ceded by the Republic of Genoa to France.
The people of Corsica are very proud of their flag so you can literally find it anywhere:
The very first day I went n the market at Place Foch. To go completely local. Spot the flag there as well:
The Musée Fesch is the central museum of fine arts in Ajaccio on Corsica. Located within the gated Palais Fesch, it is in the town’s Borgu d’Ajaccio quarter. It was established by Napoleon I’s uncle, cardinal Joseph Fesch. I did not enter as this time I had an intention to skip the masterpieces of renaissance.
However, I continued walking and admiring the italian style of the city.
Even the Cathedral is very simple style, dating from 16th century, called officially the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio.
My day continued with the visit to the birthplace of Napoleon. He was born and lived until the age of 9 in the Bonaparte House. He returned once shortly after his battle in Egypt.
And then continuing towards the citadelle with the city walls from 16th century.
The city is even more beautiful as the city has the beach just there in the city center called Plage Saint – Francois.
And yes, there is a Place Charles de Gaulle, as well.
And then it was the lunch time. Do you like sea food? Yap urchins!
Then I took the train towards the center of the island. Corsica is a mountainous island with its highest peak of 2,700 meters. Surprisingly, on my way through the mountains, there was some snow. And many animals like goats and sheeps…
Cortu is a historical capital in the middle of the island, deep in the mountains.
A small town in the heart of Corsica, Corte was the capital of the island (in 18th under Pasquale Paoli – a name you will hear often in Corsica as he was
a Corsican patriot, statesman and military leader who was at the forefront of resistance movements against the Genoese and later French rule in the island ).
As well as being an interesting town in itself Corte is in a great location for exploring the mountains, valleys and scenery of central Corsica and the surrounding Natural Park.
As I arrived in Corte – it is the dramatic citadel sitting on top of a rocky outcrop above the town and the Tavignano valley that first grabbed my attention.
The third day I continued towards the south and passed through the beautiful city of Sertena – famous for wines!
This territory will allure you by the diversity of its landscapes: vineyards, forests, cliffs…
This city was a total discovery for me and the main reason of what I will remember Corsica for!
It is the southest of the island and the setting of Guy de Maupassant‘s short story “Vendetta”
The city in evidence today was founded as a fortress by and subsequently named after Boniface II of Tuscany in 9th century. He had led a naval expedition to suppress the Saracens (Saracens’ head on the flags) of North Africa and returned to build an unassailable fortress and naval base from which the domains of Tuscany could be defended at the outermost frontier.
Short lunch and then taking the stairs towards the city fortress…
The city lays on the cliffs which were demolished by the sea so when you look at the citadelle, you can notice that it is practically hanging… Totally anti – gravitation…
Bonifacio is located directly on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from Sardinia by the Strait of Bonifacio.
There is also the largest church of the island, built in Norman style: Église Saint-Dominique de Bonifacio
The last day was reserved for Isles Sanguinaires (together forming the Archipelago of the Sanguinaires) which are about 15km from Ajaccio by boat but only just off the headland at Pointe de la Parata.
The Parata headland is itself classified as one of the ‘grand sites of France’ and there is a Genoese lookout tower here.