island of Corsica is made up of two French départements: Haute
Corse (upper Corsica) and Corse du Sud (south
Corsica). The over 3300 square miles (620 miles long) are inhabited
by over 250,000 people.
Corsica, or Corse, is a modern term of Korsai which is believed to be a Phoenician word meaning ‘covered with forests’ and is best known as the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte. In 1768, Genoa sold Corsica to France ending countless challenges over 2000 years to its integrity.
To the south is the dazzling white city of Ajaccio, full of Napoleonic memorabilia.
The interior of Corsica is largely undeveloped, with mountains and land overgrown with brush called maquis (from the local maccia, which means ‘brush’). It is very dry with an abundance of hardy shrubs like rock rose, pistachio, thorn, juniper, rosemary, fennel, heather and wild mint.
The new port, just beyond the terraced St Nicholas Beach is the real commercial port of the island and provides most of Corsica’s sea food including renowned lobster.
Freshwater fish is plentiful in the interior of the island and, as is game.
Red wine is widely available on the island as are white and Rosé, which are also produced locally.
Corsica looks incredibly dramatic from the sea with mountains towering abruptly above the western shore.
Bastia, Ajaccio and Calvi
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