Every weekend this place regains its old-fashioned soul: producers, market gardeners and florists reappropriate the space and offer visitors a journey combining fragrances and regional flavours (coppa, lonzu, figatellu, doughnuts, cheeses, canistrelli, etc.).
Halfway between Saint Nicolas Square and the Old Port, the market square, called “u mercà” by the Bastiais, is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque districts of the city.
This pretty square, lined with plane trees, offers direct access to the Saint Jean-Baptiste church, and has been attracting more and more young families in recent years who wish to enjoy the advantages of city life while rediscovering the “village” spirit. Here, all generations merge, all social classes live at the rhythm of this colourful district: children of the district, inhabitants of always and newcomers… all benefit here from the art of living at the Bastiaise.
Headquarters of the old town hall, the market square has many cafés and restaurants that have become the meeting place for young people from Bastia as the weekend approaches. In fine days, the terraces come alive, giving the place a new breath of life and the square vibrates to the sounds of musical groups offering Corsican songs, pop’rock, or variety.
If during the week mornings are calm, Saturdays and Sundays, the market square welcomes many visitors, locals but also tourists who come to shop and discover the flavours of regional products offered by the many producers from the surrounding villages. Many people take advantage of the opportunity to have breakfast in the sun or an aperitif accompanied by local charcuterie and cheeses, while the youngest enjoy the many flavours offered by the local glaciers.
During the end of the year celebrations, the square houses a traditional Christmas market, “U Mercà di Natale”, which brings together craftsmen, producers, creators and Corsican groups for several days.
Formerly known as the theatre square, the place was home to the Marbeuf Theatre, built at the end of the 18th century. It was only in 1881 that it was demolished, creating this unique esplanade, today decorated with a stone fountain decorated with a white marble “Naïade”, the work of sculptor Pierre Pardon.
Things to see and do
Place du marché
4 Rue Cardinal Viale Prélat, 20200 Bastia