As you walk through its narrow streets, Bastia reveals itself in an authenticity that is unlike any other! Its embossed layout, colourful facades, art of living and architecture make it a charming city with the appearance of Genoese cities. From the old town to the Citadel, via the Jardin Romieu and its Old Port, discover this beautiful city centre through 10 essential places to visit in all seasons.
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The Old Port
Located between the Citadel and the Market Square, the Old Port of Bastia is a real place to live where it is good to stop and enjoy all its charm. The Must? Sit on the terrace of a café in the early morning to watch the return of fishing boats, stroll along the quays admiring the pleasure boats, or enjoy a good ice cream while contemplating the colourful facades of the houses. As you will have understood, the Old Port is an invitation to relax!
Nestled in the heart of the Terra Vecchia district, the Citadel pleases for the beauty of its alleys and the colour of its houses, subtly highlighted by the sun’s rays. Here, no car! It is precisely a principle that offers him an incomparable peace of mind. You will love its small village side, inviting you to “take the time” to walk around and enjoy its many restaurants and cafés, quite simply…
The Palace of Governors
With its architecture and beautiful orange facade, it does not go unnoticed! The Palace of Governors, a key figure in the Citadel district, is magnificent for its contrast with the azure blue sky of Bastia. This building, classified as a Historic Monument in 1977, is home to the Bastia Museum, whose permanent collections and temporary exhibitions invite visitors to discover more than ten centuries of the city’s history.
The Romieu Garden
If you are looking for a peaceful little corner of greenery, the Romieu Garden is an ideal place! Linking the Citadel to the Old Port, this small sloping park planted with very beautiful trees (Judean tree, belombra, charcoal pittosporum…) gives the opportunity to stroll along its shaded paths covered with pebbles. The Romieu Garden also gives access, by its monumental staircase on the south quay of the Old Port, to a splendid view overlooking the city of Bastia, and where the sunrises are simply magnificent!
St. Mary's Cathedral
Located in the heart of the Citadel, St. Mary’s Cathedral is a good example of the Baroque style that was in the spotlight in the 17th and 18th centuries. Inside, you will love its many masterpieces, composed of marble and stucco, trompe-l’oeil paintings, master paintings and statues. Don’t miss the monumental solid silver statue of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary: weighing nearly half a ton, it is traditionally carried in procession on August 15 during the celebration of the Holy Mary.
Saint Nicolas Square
It is a great place to live in Bastia and where everyone gathers to have a drink on the terrace, stroll and chat. Whether it is the children busy on the rides or the parents comfortably settled under the hundred-year-old plane trees, everyone knows how to appreciate this place as it should be. The starting point for your tourist tours through the city, it is also the Mecca of the flea market and annual festivities in Bastia, such as the Salon of Chocolate and Delicacies of Corsica organised every year in the month of October.
The shopping streets
Shopping enthusiasts, two main streets are essential for your shopping: Boulevard Paoli and Cesar Campinchi Street. Both parallel to Square Saint-Nicolas, these streets bring together pretty shops of island creators, major brand names, boutiques selling Corsican products and pleasant tea shops for your coffee break. Everything you need for a great shopping trip!
Entirely pedestrian, Napoleon Street has become the jewel in the crown of Bastia’s shops for craftsmen, designers and decorators. In this street, there is a very special, friendly and relaxed atmosphere, where people particularly enjoy strolling. Gourmets and gourmets will appreciate to taste the sweet specialities of the small shop A biscutteria, or to discover the wide range of cheeses offered by the concept store A Tinella, the city’s trendy creamery.
The Market Square
Called “u mercà” by the Bastiais, the Market Square is one of the most picturesque districts in the city. Halfway between the Old Port and Square Saint-Nicolas, it is a place of life and entertainment all year round. You can discover it every weekend, animated by its traditional market, which brings together local producers. Accompanied by a good cheese fritter, a slice of coppa and a canistrellu, this is a visit that tastes great! In December, it is also home to the Bastia Christmas Market “U Mercà di Natale“, a must for winter in Bastia.
Saint-Jean Baptiste Church
From the Old Port, you can see its imposing facade… it is the church of Saint-Jean Baptiste! Framed by two tower towers culminating at 70 metres, you will really not be able to miss it. As beautiful on the outside as on the inside, its oratory does not skimp on gold, stucco, trompe-l’oeil paintings and other rare marbles. You will love the decoration of its nave, which invites you to meditate and dream when you contemplate it.