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Corsica Travel Guide
Calanches, Scandola Nature Reserve, Corsica (© Guillaume Dubé | iStockphoto.com)
Calanques de Piana, Scandola Nature Reserve, Corsica .

Introduction

The beautiful island of Corsica (Corse in French) is a paradise for nature lovers, a place of rugged red granite landscape, turquoise sea, coves of white sand beaches, forested mountains, deep gorges, and, almost anywhere you go, breathtaking scenery.

Birthplace of France's greatest military genius and first emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica has nevertheless only been part of France since 1769, and still feels more Italian than French today. The island belonged to the Genoan Republic from 1347 to 1735, when the Corsicans revolted and declared their independence. In 1755, the Corsican drafted the world's first modern democratic constitution.

Corsican language is a dialect of Tuscan, and therefore a form of Italian. Corsica is the second smallest French region (after Alsace), and by far the least populous, with only 300,000 inhabitants. The island welcomes 3 million tourists annually - the equivalent of ten times the local population.

Cuisine

The agriculture is typically Mediterranean, constituted mostly by olive orchards, vineyards, citrus fruits, figs, chestnuts and mulberries. Meats are traditionally cured to make sausages such as coppa, lonzu, figatellu, panzetta, or prisuttu, all made from pork. Corsican cheese (a filetta, bastelicaccia, brocciu, casgiu merzu, casgiu veghju, muntanacciu, niolo) is made either of goat or ewe milk. Corsica produces a variety of alcohol, including pastis (Pastis Dami), whisky (P&M), Liqueur du Maquis, eau de vie, chestnut beer (Pietra), sparkling muscat, and red wine. Corsican cuisine shares a lot with mainland Italy (e.g. pesto, polenta). Wild boar and goat meat are popular, and local dishes often make use of chestnut for their preparations.

Attractions

Département de Haute-Corse

Restonica Gorges
Restonica Gorges, Corsica (©  B.Bouvier - Fotolia.com)
outstanding The Gorges of the Restonica cascade through the mountains of central Corsica, descending from Lake Melu (1,711 m) for 18 km until Corte. They offer great hiking and bathing opportunities.
Corte
Corte, Corsica (© mattei - Fotolia.com)
very good Perched in the mountains at the core of the island, Corte was the capital of independent Corsica before its annexation to France in 1768.

Other attractions


good Aléria
very good Bastia
very good Calvi
outstanding Corbara
very good Lucciana
very good Murato

Département de Corse-du-Sud

Bonifacio
Bonifacio, Corsica (© fotografiche.eu - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Bonifacio sits over a white limestone cliff at the southern tip of the island, facing the sapphire-blue strait separating Corsica from Sardinia. It is Corsica's most visited town.

Ajaccio
Ajaccio, Corsica (© xavier guichard - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Ajaccio is the capital of and largest in Corsica. It was the home town of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose family house is now a museum.

Other attractions

good Araghju
must-see Calanques de Piana
good Cucuruzzu
good Filitosa
good Propriano
outstanding Sartène

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Eupedia's Rating System

Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings

  • : Moderately interesting - nice for a quick stop
  • : Recommended - to visit if you have time
  • : Outstanding place - really deserves to be seen
  • : Best of the country - shouldn't be missed
  • : Best of Europe

Natural attractions

  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Recommended
  • : Highly recommended
  • : World-class natural attraction
  • ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site


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