Cruising to Ajaccio, Corsica

Ajaccio tourist information.

Ajaccio, CorsicaThe capital of Corsica, Ajaccio lies in a calm bay on the west coast of Corsica. The town has wood covered mountains circling it to the rear, and the port and citadelle towards the sea, on the Gulf of Ajaccio. Ajaccio has all the attractions of a typical French Mediterranean resort with beaches, palm trees, street cafes and a mountain range in the background. The city also has a beautiful harbour area with numerous boats and yachts, arriving from French ports such as Marseille, Nice and Toulon. The old town is especially charming with a cluster of ancient streets spreading north and south of the Place Foch, which opens out onto the seafront by the old port. Remnants from what was originally a 12th-century Genoese colony are still visible around the Old Town near the imposing citadel and watchtower. Perfect for exploring, the luminous seaside city surrounded by snowcapped mountains and pretty beaches offers numerous sites, eateries, side streets, and a popular harbor, where sailboats and fishing vessels moor in the picturesque Tino Rossi port lined with well-established restaurants and cafés serving fresh local fare. The sea front promenade along the Route des Sanguinaires is a pleasant place to stroll and leads to some lovely beaches, the least crowded being the furthest along.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Its modern history is dominated by the figure of Napoléon, who was born in Ajaccio in 1769 in the Maison Bonaparte, so all sights here mainly revolve around Napoleon. Napoleon’s birthplace, a large and simple residence, is now a museum devoted to the Bonaparte family in Corsica. The visit starts on the second floor with a historical evocation of Corsica in the 18th century, followed by an introduction to members of the family. The town’s main sights are the magnificent cathedral where Napoleon was christened and numerous statues and street names related to his family.  Other dedications to him in the city include Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport.

Maison Bonaparte

Take a stroll along its palm tree seafront or wander through the small colourful alleys next to the citadelle where the “Maison Bonaparte” is located or even head directly for the main shopping street, the pedestrian “rue Fesch”. Half way down rue Fesch, you will find the most interesting museum in corsica, the “Musee Fesch”, built by Napoleon’s uncle, Cardinal Fesch, in 1827, who had already started populating the place with many works of art and donated them to Ajaccio when he died. Today, the museum hosts the second largest collection of Italian paintings in France and its collection was enriched through many donations in the 19th century. It is also a dynamic museum that holds regular special exhibitions and try and keep the island on the cultural and artistic scene.

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