Far from ostentatious, with none of the restlessness and illusions of the outside world, Bastia is profound and sincere.
It is also a rock, anchored to the eastern coast, awoken gently by the sunrise. Bathed in that ever-so-Mediterranean light and misted by sea spray, the ancient capital of Corsica sparkles as she looks calmly towards the Tuscan horizon. Serenely, the city gazes out onto the Tuscan horizon;
for the sea is its everlasting companion.
It reminds us of how the Corsicans have learnt to guard themselves, through these Genoese towers built all around the island, and with their own hands – like the many solid and calming lookout posts. It also teaches us that this city is home to a sailing people, calling back to those who, having set sail for the Americas to make their fortune, returned to their homeland to build palaces, proof of their success.
Bastia reminds us of the place of public figures in the history of Corsica. But also that of the ordinary people, whose wisdom is embodied by the city itself.
This beautiful city appears to have seen everything.
Stately, it was first constructed as a citadel. And history is inscribed in its very walls: in its museum; in its neighbourhoods with their rich anecdotes; in its oldest, most peaceful and secret streets; and in its 14 churches, precious to the people of Bastia and around which traditions and patronal feasts are held all year round in the spirit of ancient solidarity, lost elsewhere yet conserved here by our confraternities.
Bastia is a city like no other, in the heart of an island with a truly rural essence. A city like a village. Or, rather, many villages rolled into one: Terra Nova, the old port, the market, Rue Napoléon, Saint Joseph, Place Saint Nicolas … All filled with the beautiful sounds of the Corsican language, its accent, its melody and its poetry. A language spoken by the Corsicans and which speaks of Corsica, capable of describing the island like no other. And which, written everywhere, shows us the way.
Through the local tongue and in the language of Molière, Bastia makes for an exceptional choice, the perfect host for a cosy holiday, an exotic break, and a veritable invitation …
The hearts of the city
The people of Bastia share their home with this art of hospitality, a very Latin civility made up of beautiful gestures and generosity, of respect and dignity. Above all else, they make up the city and its soul: the fishermen with their tanned skin, the grocers with their traditional shops, the craftsmen with hands of gold, all immersed in local materials and know-how, from refined charcuterie, the flagship of the island’s cuisine, to cosmetics – a sector which, thanks to the Corsican immortelle and other treasures, has become a symbol of inventiveness – not forgetting the jewellery that draws on the island’s superstitions and beliefs.
Bastian culture, embodied in all of its inhabitants’ daily encounters, can also be found in the fantastic menus offered up by our restaurateurs and passionate chefs, protectors of our ancestral culinary heritage and where brocciu cheese meets Corsican veal, Corsican citron comes together with traditional mirto and chestnut is combined with clementine. Here, our chefs are more than capable of innovating, reimagining Corsica in order to savour its flavours and never failing to amaze and win over diners.
And then we have all the other creators and artists, contemporary painters of the region to be discovered from gallery to gallery, musicians and actors regularly treading the boards of the sublime theatre of Bastia or of the more secretive and intimate places scattered around the area, or the photographers, writers and poets who nourish the beautiful books and pages of bookstores, libraries, media libraries or exhibitions spaces, around whom workshops are developed, welcoming dozens of young Bastians every day …
All this comes together to offer you a true journey “à la Bastiaise”.
Because Bastia also embraces its neighbouring lands and encourages you to admire other pearls of culture and nature: the balcony villages of Cardo, Ville di Pietrabugno, Furiani, San Martino and Santa Maria di Lota, dotted with little buildings and all their memories, which live and breathe rural Corsica, its scrubland and its paths, at the heart of a peaceful existence to which only the island holds the secret.