Discover the history and culture of Bastia and Cap Corse in Corsica
Bastia and Cap Corse on the northern part of Corsica are one of the most beautiful places in the South of France. Keep reading and learn more about their history and culture.
Is Corsica part of your yacht charter during your next trip in the South of France? Do you love learning about the history and culture of the places you visit? Then Bastia and Cap Corse on the northern part of this beautiful island should be on your bucket list!
Here is a fun fact to give you a sense of Bastia’s Italian legacy: there are more Baroque churches in this city than any other in Corsica. The Genoese, aided by the medieval Maona investors, were in charge for hundreds of years, and their presence can still be found all through the city. After exploring the city of Bastia, your yacht will bring you to Cap Corse, one of the best places to see in Corsica. Discover the villages of Erbalunga, Nonza and Centuri and talk to your chief stewardess about at which beach you would like to relax and cool off later in the day!
Let’s start the day in Bastia with its old port, Italian squares and many churches and chapels.
When the crew brings the tender around to drop you and your loved ones off at the Old Port you will notice the houses in Bastia are densely clustered on the city’s slope. What a mesmerizing view while getting to shore! Once on land, stroll along the quays of the harbour and admire the buildings that are painted in various shades of pale yellow and ochre, while the twin cupolas of the baroque Church of St. John the Baptist are towering above all of them. At the foot of almost every building, you will find a charming restaurant or sidewalk café. Sit down with an espresso and gaze over the forest of masts in the harbour, imagining the Genoese fleet anchored in these waters. After your coffee, head over to the piers to pick up some local souvenirs and to get a closer look at the old lighthouses that guard the entrance of the port.
Time to explore the citadel, perched on the cliff-tops to the south of the old harbour. This walled district was known as the Bastiglia and is where Bastia’s name comes from.
The Genoese controlled the citadel until 1768 when the island was handed over to France. Built on a rocky cliff overlooking the Old Port, the Citadel of Bastia is both a picturesque district and the historical site of the city. Founded in 1380 by the Genoese governor Leonello Lomellini, this medieval fortress stands out for its timeless character.
In its cobbled streets with a Mediterranean charm, you can find beautiful historical monuments such as the Governors’ Palace, the Oratory of the Holy Cross and the Cathedral of St. Mary. Don’t forget to take pictures of the panoramic view of the city and the harbour!
Place du Marché
Another photogenic site, the Place du Marché is surrounded by elegantly apartment buildings with painted shutters and outdoor restaurants. Try to visit during the weekend, when the square is transformed, as the region’s farmers, artisans and florists come to town to sell their goods. You will be able to get a feel for Corsican life in every sense, whether when trying the local specialities like brocciu cheese, fritelli (Corsican doughnuts) lonzu (smoked pork) and coppa (cured pork), or by listening to the down to earth sense of humour of the stallholders. After taking in all that is happening at the square, let’s set sail to the next place on today’s agenda!
Are you an avid hiker? The Customs officers’ Path on Cap Corse runs from Macinaggio to the Centuri villages and offers splendid views of the coastline and the island. The trail is nineteen kilometres long, with the most interesting part going from Macinaggio to Barcaggio. This walk along the seaside will give you access to many beautiful beaches where you can take a little break from sightseeing and cool off in the water.
Discover the beautiful small village of Erbalunga with its colourful houses and completely built on a peninsula. Take a stroll in its narrow streets, visit the port and continue your walk to the ruins of the Genoese tower. This small village is entirely pedestrian. If you are visiting Erbalunga in August during your trip to Corsica, don’t miss its famous Music Festival. Entirely dedicated to French and Corsican singers, it has welcomed many famous artists from France and Quebec. You will feel like a local!
If you love magnificent panoramas, head to the Mattei Mill viewpoint! From here, you will have an incredible view of the entire western side of Cap Corse, including the village of Centuri, the small Capense islet and the Agriates desert. Mattei Mill is the only windmill still standing in Cap Corse and from here you will have the perfect first impression of your next stop, Centuri.
Centuri is often considered one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Corse. Centuri is one of the two main fishing villages in Cap Corse, and is the only one specialized in spiny lobsters! What a perfect village to sit down for lunch at one of the many restaurants in the port and pick your favourite seafood dish, caught earlier this morning. Your chief stewardess can make a reservation for you and your friends and family at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating. Lunch with a view, before heading to the final village that is worth your attention before going to the beach.
Nonza is a small fortified village overlooking the sea and offers a unique panoramic view over Cap Corse and the Gulf of Saint-Florent.
Don’t miss the Paoline Tower, built-in 1760 to protect the village. According to a local legend, a captain defended this tower all by himself against 1200 Frenchmen in 1768, using an ingenious system to shoot from several points of the tower at the same time. This village is also renowned for its large black pebble beach. Many artists are using lighter coloured pebbles to create messages or drawings you can see from above.
The beach is located below Nonza, so if you feel artistic and you would like to take a shot at it, make your way to the beach and leave behind a unique message in Cap Corse! Your crew will pick you up at the beach to bring you back onboard of your yacht. Your favourite cold drink will be waiting for you and your loved ones while your captain will bring you to one of Cap Corse’s beaches. The beach of Pietracorbara, a large sandy beach, is the perfect place to wind down and have fun in the sun after discovering the history and culture of the northern part of Corsica!
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