Bastia is a Corsican city, with a deeply Ligurian soul, with the typical atmosphere of the Genoese “carrugi”, its narrow alleys and the same houses.
And it is the Port, the ideal starting point to visit Bastia; here you can breathe those typically Ligurian atmospheres, with the ground floor of the old houses open on the terraces of the restaurants. Place Saint Nicholas it is a large square, particularly animated during the summer. You can stop between palms and plane trees, sitting at a table of the many cafes and clubs; in the middle is the war memorial and a marble statue of Napoleon. The parallel of the Boulevard, that is Blvd Paoli, is the street of shops and department stores.
Photo ©, Jean-Michel Raggioli
From the square, walking through the streets, you reach the baroque Église Saint Jean Baptiste. It is the church with a neoclassical façade, with two bell towers, clearly visible on arrival from the port. Beautiful in the evening, all lit, and beautiful interiors: unique nave and some interesting paintings. The church is located near the Place du Marché, lively area and stalls. This is the district of Terra Vecchia that leads to the Marina. Boats and yachts moored, and bars and clubs that border Quai 1er Bataillon de Choc, Rue de la Marine e Quai Albert Gillio up to Jardins Romieu; the latter are crossed by the staircase that leads to the Citadel. Alternatively, from Cours Favale, can be accessed through the ancient Porta Louis XVI.
La Citadel di Bastia dates back to the fifteenth century: from bastion it has rapidly transformed over the centuries into a real neighborhood, better known as Terra Nova; this name was used precisely in relation to its function as a protective bastion of the first and ancient district of Bastia, or Terra Vecchia. In the maze of narrow and steep paths lie the Palais des Gouverneurs and the Cathedral of Bastia.
In the Palais, a building repeatedly renovated over the years, is located on the Musée de Bastia, museum of city history. The permanent exhibition takes place mainly through three thematic areas: urbanization, the political-economic-social framework of the city and intellectual and artistic wealth. Next to it, there are often more or less interesting temporary exhibitions. In the low season, from October to April, the museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00; FREE ENTRANCE in all rooms and gardens. From May to September it is open every day from 10:00 to 18:30 (in May, June and September is closed on Mondays), with admission fee of 5,00€. For more info you can consult the official website from this link.
In the heart of the citadel is the church Sainte Marie, an old baroque cathedral built in 1495, and renovated between 1604 and 1619. Interior, baroque style, with three naves. Interestingly, on Sundays at 10:00, the mass sung. Info available at this link.
VISIT BASTIA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Those who decide to visit Bastia, will be able to admire some fantastic places, not far from here.
Saint Florent, is a beautiful village, about half an hour’s drive, west of Bastia. It is very well known especially for lovers of the sea and the wildest beaches; but it is also a beautiful town that you could visit in half a day. Saint Florent can be reached through the D81.
Before arriving, wine lovers can make a detour for Heritage, small village course of less than 1000 inhabitants. Important not only for the presence ofÉglise Saint Martin, a truly splendid church in an extremely suggestive position.
Patrimonio was the first municipality of the island to obtain the AOC (Appellation d’Origin Controllée) for its wines; you will find several Domains along the way for a tasting. A way like any other to break the daily life of the sea; after all, we are still France!
Photo ©, Pierre Bona
Saint Florent is a beautiful village that lies on the heights. There Citadel Genoese, of the fifteenth century, is a collection of small and characteristic streets that offer special views. Not far from the village, the D238 climbs up to the road Chemin de la Cathédrale; here is Sainte Marie de l’Assomption, better known as Cathédrale du Nebbio. It is one splendid building in Romanesque style of the 1125, with richly decorated interiors, French historical monument.