A Treasure Box of Natural Beauty in the Mediterranean

Ajaccio [Corsica]

Corsica is a popular and admired resort island, also known as the Island of Beauty. Aside from its beautiful scenery and renowned landmarks, it is also famous as the birthplace of Emperor Napoleon.

Where Napoleon was Born

The island of Corsica has long prospered as a transit point for maritime trade between coastal countries. Ajaccio, which later became the center of tourism, is the birthplace of Napoleon I, the Emperor of the First Empire of France. Tourist spots related to Napoleon are found sporadically throughout the city. The house where he lived from birth to age 10 is now open to the public as a memorial hall. At “Place des Fouches” in the city center stands a statue of Napoleon standing atop four lions. Many marchés crowd the streets at the heart of the city, carrying on the tradition of Corsica. Sea urchin and lobster from the Mediterranean Sea, as well as goat and ewe cheeses are excellent.

The Secret World of France

The area on the west coast of the island, including the Scandola Nature Reserve and the bays of Girolatta and Porto, is registered as a World Heritage Site. In the village of Piana, on the shores of Porto Bay, a group of odd-shaped rocks called Calanque, up to 1,200 meters high, create a breathtaking landscape. The cliffs are made of red granite, and the sheer cliffs plunging into the sea remind us of the power of nature. Piana has been chosen one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France.” The lovely red-roofed houses nestled against the strange rock formations are a unique and photogenic sight.

PHOTO: PEACEBOAT, shutterstock.com