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. The prominent and audacious figure of Pasquale Paoli, whom many consider the greatest personage of Corsican history and his devotion to the Corsican Constitution, along with his adamant decision that the university of the island should/would be in the town of Corte – all of this, and even more intrigued Nietzsche – comforting him once again in recognising the signs of greatness within humanity and relentless courage. The patriots and the deputies reunite as a Consulta in Corte (June 10th, 1794), proclaiming an ‘Ango-Corsican Kingdom’ – announcing the Constitution, and rising Pasquale Paoli to the rank of Babbu di a Patria – ‘Father of the Nation’.
Nietzsche would have desired to reside in the town of Corte. He had a strong admiration for Pascal Paoli, whom he considered the most accomplished man of his century; Corsica being a place where potent concepts were experienced.
The University of Corte (having been closed by Louis XV in 1769, reopened in 1981) bears his name.
Remaining in history, it is also the birthplace of Joseph Bonaparte – eldest brother of Napoléon I.

It goes without saying, there are many walks to be discovered in and around the town. A citadel classified as a historical monument in 1977, which dates back to the XVIII century, also within which prisoners were kept during WW1, and built around a castle from the XV century (built by Vincentello d’Istria), right on the top of a rock and overlooking the town – some wonderful scenery from this spot. When you’re standing up there, you can feel the weight of history floating in the air – the entire town shares a heritage with striking monuments and historical references.

A few words on distance: some of our main towns are not that far from Corte, then again, one must take into account the fact that many of our roads do not run in a straight line, so sufficient time should be reconsidered
– Ajaccio/Corte = 80km
– Bastia/Corte   = 68km
Trains are also available from Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi.

The natural surroundings are not to be missed; lakes including Melo, Capitello, Oriente and Nino (amongst others) are not far away, the Tavignanu Valley and the Restonica region remain milestones of this whole area, and wonderful outings to be explored. It’s an attractive, quaint and absorbing town, and will certainly please and impress history and nature lovers.
Also, no matter from which side you may be coming from, it is a lovely drive to this particular region, through the ever-changing tones of nature.


Photo credit: Let’s Talk About Corsica 

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