Category Heritage

Why the Niolu region has interested and amazed more than one

At the west of Corte, the Niolu route begins. A mountainous region and ‘home of Corsican freedom’, according to Guy Maupassant – who also compares it to ‘an inaccessible citadel from where invaders could never ever drive out the mountain dwellers’. This area is covered with transhumance paths and shepherds, and has remained a land of legends with strong oral traditions, songs and poetic texts – whose main themes are the ‘vendette’ and the bandits.

In 1840, Prosper Mérimée (who was at that moment on a mission for historical monuments), collected several songs. Vocera di Niolu (a funeral lamentation from the Niolu) is one of these songs. The author of this song is a certain Maria Felice, nicknamed through posterity ‘the fiancée of the Niolu’.
Her story is as follows...

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Suite: Napoleon, Corsica and the Corsicans

Second account: Corsica will find itself at the centre of the French wars.

1793: The Bonaparte family leaves for Toulon. And there, Napoléon will join a French battalion, with mission to defend the boats in Toulon against the English. They set off searching for somewhere to stay, which will be Corsica. At the same time, Pasquale Paoli asks for protection from the English, against the French.
They will settle in Bastia (for less than two years), the ‘Anglo-Corsican’ period, which meant a territory belonging to the British Empire.
Sir Gilbert Elliot is viceroy in Bastia. His nomination makes Paoli leave for England in 1795. Elliot reigns with Charles André Pozzo di Borgo, his second in command.

1795: Napoléon is in Paris, and gets noticed when he reprimands a royalist insurrection, and he ...

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When the Sposata mountain reveals a legend, we listen to what it has to say

In the region of Vico, and just above the village of Murzo, a strange shaped mountain exists – called the Sposata.

Long ago, in this modest region of the ‘Deux Sorru’, a poor and helpless mother lived with her daughter, Maria, who was as beautiful as the day, but possessing a heart of stone. Whilst looking after their sheep in the mountains, Maria had only one thought in mind; to give up this life of misery – but, how ? It so happened, one day a handsome young man presenting himself to her as the Count of the Cinarca, came upon her way. Rapidly, he fell in love with the beautiful shepherdess, and very soon asked her to marry him – to which she answered positively, without any hesitation.

But, Maria was poor and ashamed of being so; in order to put together a dowry, she had no qualms in com...

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Introduction to a series on: Napoleon, Corsica and the Corsicans

As the ‘Fondation Napoléon’ from Paris will be proposing a series of conferences on a regular basis, starting this month of May at the Fesch Museum in Ajaccio, I believe it would be of great interest to inform you beforehand of their wish to provide further knowledge on Napoléon and Corsica – interest shared with pleasure by Philippe Perfettini, historian at the Fesch Museum, with whom I regularly meet in order to supply you with captivating and important historical facts relating to this amazing little island.
A brief retrospective in this respect will not be superfluous.

Having remained in Corsica until 1793, Napoléon leaves to make a career – spending time in Italy and returning to Corsica for the last time in 1799.
Before he dies in 1821, he held a plan to develop Corsica, and as of...

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Historical Corte walks us through the centuries, remaining attractive and welcoming

Situated in the centre of the island, and at the foot of the Monte Rotondo – this town steeps in history, and has been referred to more than once, as the ‘heart and soul’ of Corsica, also becoming the choice for the island’s university.

A notable and interesting reminder remains the fact that during Pasquale Paoli’s reign, Corte was once capital of the island during a lapse of independence between 1755-69...

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