General Info

Regional Map
Conseil Régional
Tourism: Visit Corsica
Capital: Ajaccio
Departments: Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse
Arrondissements-5, Cantons-52, Communes-360
Population: 286,111 (2008 est.)
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France Corse  Region Departments Map


Corse Ajaccio beach
Corse or Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus and is located 56 miles (90 km) west of Tuscany, Italy, north of the island of Sardinia, and is separated from the continental mainland by the Ligurian Sea. Corsica is the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte and his ancestral home, Casa Buonaparte, is located here. Corsica is 114 miles (183 km) long, 52 miles wide (83 km), and has 621 miles (1000 km) of coastline with more than 200 beaches. It is very mountainous with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at 8,878 feet (2706 m).
The region seems like a small country with its vineyards, palm trees and indigenous pines, alpine lakes, and olive and orange groves. From the 11th to the 13th-century Corsica was a colony of the Tuscan republic of Pisa whose builders created exceptional Romanesque churches. In the town of Filitosa are 4,000 year-old granite menhirs (stone statues) which look like life-size warriors.

Corse Departmental Information

Conseil Général
Corse-du-Sud (2A)
Haute-Corse (2B)
Additional resources below

Notable Towns and Sights in the Corse Region

Ajaccio (Corse-du-Sud) is the region's capital city and was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769. Notable sights here include the 16th-century Cathédrale Notre-Dame de la Miséricorde where Napoleon was baptized in 1771 and houses Delacroix's painting Vierge du Sacré-Coeur. Nearby is the Maison Bonaparte where Napoleon was born and spent his childhood. The Musée Palais Fesch, in the Palais Fesch contains works of Italian primitive art with masterpieces by Bellini, Botticelli, Titian and Veronese, and Bernini and Poussin. The peninsula here has a citadel that terminates in the jetty and offers great views of the town, marina, and Golf d'Ajaccio. Tourisme France Corse Ajaccio
Bastia (Haute-Corse) is the thriving main port of the island and is famous for its wines. The city is quintessentially mediteranean with its 16th-century Genoese citadel and polychromed 19th-century Italiante buildings in the old port. Sights include the 17th-century Chapelle de l'Immaculée Conception with its ornate interior and the 17th-century Église de Saint-Jean-Baptiste with a spectacular façade that dominates the Vieux (old) Port (photo). Near the Citadel are two more churches, the Chapelle Sainte-Croix with its amazing Black Christ found in the sea in 1428 and the 15th-century Sainte-Marie with a Virgin made of silver. Tourisme France Corse Bastia port
Bonifacio (Corse-du-Sud) sits on a limestone peninsula at the southern-most point of Corse and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean. The lively harbor lies at the foot of the cliffs and has plenty of cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Above the harbor are steps leading up to the fortified Vieille Town (old town) also called la Haute Ville (upper town) on the 9th-century Citadel (photo) that was built by the Genoese in the 12th-century and was once the headquarters for the French Foreign Legion (1963-1983). France Corse Bonifacio
Calvi (Haute-Corse) is primarily a summer resort and the closest point for boats to mainland France lying southeast of Nice. It has 15th-century citadel (photo) which houses the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment of the French Foreign Legion. Though legend says that Calvi was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, there is no evidence to support this. Just outside the town is the 19th-century Chapelle de Notre-Dame de la Serra beautifully situated on a hilltop with 360-degree views of the surrounding area. There is a worthwhile jazz festival towards the end of June. France Corse Calvi
Cap Corse (Haute-Corse) is a 25-mile (40km) long, yet narrow peninsula at the northern tip of the region. There are only two roads to the Cap from Bastia, the D80 running north and south each side of the Cap, and the D81 which goes west across the mountains. The highest peak on Cap Corse is Monte Stello at 4,300 feet (1,307 m) which has 360-degree views including the Italian island of Elba to the east, Saint Florent to the west, and central Corse to the south. Other sights include the 16th-century Genoese Tour de Losse originally used to warn Corsican towns of barbarian raids. Also here is the quaint 18th-century fishing port of Centuri at the northwestern tip of the Cap. Further south is Canari, one of the larger villages with views across the sea and has a 12th-century Pisan church, Santa Maria Assunta. France Corse Cap Corse
Castagniccia (Haute-Corse) is a hilly chestnut-covered region east of Corte and is considered the heart of the Corse. The independence leader, Pasquale Paoli, was born here in 1725 and the revolts against Genoa and later France began in 1749. Many villages in this remote, but beautiful area are nearly empty now in what used to be the most prosperous and populated area in Corse due to significant chestnut production during the 17th-century. It is reachable by the D71 from Ponte Leccia (north of Corte) heading east. France Corse Castagniccia
Corte (Haute-Corse) is in the geographical center of Corse and was the chosen capital of the independence leader, Pasquale Paoli from 1755-1769. It is now the seat of Corse's University. Sights include the 15th-century citadel in the old town which houses the Museu di a Corse with an exhibit of traditional Corsican life and anthropology. Mairie France Corse Corte
Golfe de Porto (Corse-du-Sud) is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean and and is on the UNESCO cultural heritage site for its flora and fauna. The town of Porto has a superb Genoese watchtower and there are boat excursions nearby to get to the Calanques. The Calanques are 1,000 foot (300 m) high red granite cliffs above the sea about 1.2 miles (2 km) out of Porto in the direction of Piana (photo). France Corse Golfe de Porto
L'île Rousse (Haute-Corse) was founded in 1758 by Pasquale Paoli to create a port that would not be in the hands of the Genoese and is today a major holiday resort and ferry terminal. The center of town is the Place Paoli with a marble bust in his honor and is shaded by hundred year-old plane trees. On the north side of town is a covered market and just beyond is is the Old Town with its partly-restored cobbled streets. The church of Notre Dame de Miséricorde is next to an old Franciscan convent, while the parish church of Immaculée Conception de Marie is on the west side of the main square and is flanked by enormous date palms planted in 1890. While L'île Rousse is usually overcrowded in the summer, Lozari beach 6 miles (10km) away provides an unspoiled stretch of sand. France Corse L'île Rousse
Saint Florent (Haute-Corse) is a fishing port located at the base of the northern peninsula and has its share of yachts, wealth and attracts many tourists for its exceptional Mediterranean beaches and the Patrimonio vineyards. The main sight here is the citadel from 1439 and is a good example of Genoese military architecture. Further inland is the 12th-century Cathédrale de Santa Maria Assunta on the road to Poggio-d'Oletta. France Corse Saint Florent

Piana (Corse-du-Sud) is a pretty village just south of Porto and is reached passing under granite archways along the corniche (road on a ledge). The town is a good place from which to visit the surrounding area and nearby Ficajola Cove has a nice beach. France Corse Calanques de Piana
Porto Vecchio (Corse-du-Sud) is a medium-sized port city placed on a nice harbor on the southeastern corner of Corsica and the hills to the northwest are part of the natural park. The population expands to 50,000 in the summer months (predominantly Italian) and the beaches are well-populated, especially Palombaggia Beach 2 miles (3 km) to the southeast. In 1983, it acquired a Film Institute and there is an annual film festival. Tourisme France Corse #

Les Plus Beaux Villages in the Corse Region




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