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Corsica Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Corsica hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels on Corsica. If you're going to Corsica save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel on Corsica online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Corsica, and rent a car on Corsica right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Corsica related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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In order to book an accommodation on Corsica enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Corsica hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Corsica map to estimate the distance from the main Corsica attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Corsica hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search on Corsica is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Corsica is waiting for you!

Hotels of Corsica

A hotel on Corsica is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Corsica hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Corsica are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Corsica hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Corsica hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Corsica have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Corsica
An upscale full service hotel facility on Corsica that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Corsica hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Corsica
Full service Corsica hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Corsica
Boutique hotels of Corsica are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Corsica boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Corsica may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Corsica
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Corsica travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Corsica focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Corsica
Small to medium-sized Corsica hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Corsica traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Corsica hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Corsica
A bed and breakfast on Corsica is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Corsica bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Corsica B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Corsica
Corsica hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Corsica hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Corsica
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Corsica hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Corsica lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Corsica
Corsica timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Corsica often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Corsica on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Corsica
A Corsica motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Corsica for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Corsica motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Corsica

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Corsica
Corse (in French)
Region of France
Flag of Corsica
Flag
Coat of arms of Corsica
Coat of arms
Corsica in France 2016.svg
Country France
Prefecture Ajaccio
Departments
Government
• President Gilles Simeoni (Regionalist)
Area
• Total 8,680 km (3,350 sq mi)
Population (2015)
• Total 326,898
• Density 38/km (98/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-H
GDP (2012) Ranked 24th
Total €8.17 billion (US$11.43 bn)
Per capita €25,523 (US$35,712)
NUTS Region FR8
Website www.corse.fr

Corsica (/ˈkɔːrsɪkə/; French: Corse [kɔʁs]; Corsican and Italian: Corsica [ˈkɔrsika]) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the Italian island of Sardinia. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

While being part of France, Corsica is also designated as a territorial collectivity (collectivité territoriale) by law. As a territorial collectivity, Corsica enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than other French regions; for example, the Corsican Assembly is able to exercise limited executive powers.

The island formed a single department until it was split in 1975 into two departments: Haute-Corse (Upper Corsica) and Corse-du-Sud (Southern Corsica), with its regional capital in Ajaccio, the prefecture city of Corse-du-Sud. Bastia, the prefecture city of Haute-Corse, is the second-largest settlement in Corsica.

After being ruled by the Republic of Genoa since 1284, Corsica was briefly an independent Corsican Republic from 1755 until it was conquered by France in 1769. Due to Corsica's historical ties with the Italian peninsula, the island retains to this day many elements of the culture of Italy. The native Corsican language, whose northern variant is closely related to the Italian language, is recognised as a regional language by the French government. This Mediterranean island was ruled by various nations over the course of history but had several brief periods of independence.

Napoleon was born in 1769 in the Corsican capital of Ajaccio. His ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is today used as a museum.

Corsica: History

Corsica: Prehistory and ancient age

The medieval influence of Pisa in Corsica can be seen in the Romanesque-Pisan style of the Church of Aregno.

The origin of the name Corsica is subject to much debate and remains a mystery. To the Ancient Greeks it was known as Kalliste, Corsis, Cyrnos, Cernealis, or Cirné. Of these Cyrnos, Cernealis, or Cirné derive from the most ancient Greek name of the island, "Σειρηνούσσαι" (meaning of the Sirens), the very same Sirens mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. The claim that latter Greek names are based on the Phoenician word for 'peninsula' (kir) is highly unlikely.

Corsica has been occupied continuously since the Mesolithic era. It acquired an indigenous population that was influential in the Mediterranean during its long prehistory.

After a brief occupation by the Carthaginians, colonization by the ancient Greeks, and an only slightly longer occupation by the Etruscans, it was incorporated by the Roman Republic at the end of the First Punic War and, with Sardinia, in 238 BC became a province of the Roman Republic. The Romans, who built a colony in Aléria, considered Corsica as one of the most backward regions of the Roman world. The island produced sheep, honey, resin and wax, and exported many slaves, not well considered because of their fierce and rebellious character. Moreover, it was known for its cheap wines, exported to Rome, and was used as place of relegation, one of the most famous exiles being the Roman philosopher Seneca. Administratively, the island was divided in pagi, which in the Middle Ages became the pievi, the basic administrative units of the island until 1768. During the diffusion of Christianity, which arrived quite early from Rome and the Tuscan harbors, Corsica was home to many martyrs and saints: among them, the most important are Saint Devota and Saint Julia, both patrons of the island. Corsica was integrated by Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305) in Roman Italy.

Corsica: Middle Ages and early-Modern Age

In the 5th century, the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, and the island was invaded by the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. Briefly recovered by the Byzantines, it soon became part of the Kingdom of the Lombards-this made it a dependency of the March of Tuscany, which used it as an outpost against the Saracens. Pepin the Short, king of the Franks and Charlemagne's father, expelled the Lombards and nominally granted Corsica to Pope Stephen II. In the first quarter of the 11th century, Pisa and Genoa together freed the island from the threat of Arab invasion. After that, the island came under the influence of the republic of Pisa. To this period belong the many polychrome churches which adorn the island, and Corsica also experienced a massive immigration from Tuscany, which gave to the island its present toponymy and rendered the language spoken in the northern two-thirds of the island very close to the Tuscan Language. Due to that, then began also the traditional division of Corsica in two parts, along the main chain of mountains roughly going from Calvi to Porto Vecchio: the eastern Banda di dentro, or Cismonte, more populated, evolved and open to the commerce with Italy, and the western Banda di fuori, or Pomonte, almost deserted, wild and remote.

The North African pirates frequently attacked Corsica, resulting in many Genoese towers being erected.

The crushing defeat experienced by Pisa in 1284 in the Battle of Meloria against Genoa had among its consequences the end of the Pisan rule and the beginning of the Genoese influence in Corsica: this was contested initially by the King of Aragon, who in 1296 had received from the Pope the investiture over Sardinia and Corsica. A popular revolution against this and the feudal lords, led by Sambucuccio d'Alando, got the aid of Genoa. After that, the Cismonte was ruled as a league of comuni and churches, after the Italian experience. The following 150 years were a period of conflict, when the Genoese rule was contested by Aragon, the local lords, the comuni and the Pope: finally, in 1450 Genoa ceded the administration of the island to its main bank, the Bank of Saint George, which brought peace.

In the 16th century, the island entered into the fight between Spain and France for the supremacy in Italy. In 1553, a Franco-Ottoman fleet occupied Corsica, but the reaction of Spain and Genoa, led by Andrea Doria, reestablished the Genoese supremacy on the island, confirmed by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis. The unlucky protagonist of this episode was Sampiero di Bastelica, who would later come to be considered a hero of the island. Their power reinstated, the Genoese did not allow the Corsican nobility to share in the government of the island, and oppressed the inhabitants with a heavy tax burden: on the other hand, they introduced on a large scale the chestnut tree, improving the diet of the population, and built a chain of towers along the coast to defend Corsica from the attacks of the Barbary pirates from North Africa. The period of peace lasted until 1729, when the refusal to pay taxes by a peasant sparked the general insurrection of the island against Genoa.

Corsica: Rise and annexation of the Corsican Republic

Seafront boulevard in Ajaccio, the island's capital and Napoleon I's birthplace

In 1729 the Corsican Revolution for independence began, first led by Luigi Giafferi and Giacinto Paoli, and later by Paoli's son, Pasquale Paoli. After 26 years of struggle against the Republic of Genoa (plus an ephemeral attempt to proclaim in 1736 an independent Kingdom of Corsica under the German adventurer Theodor von Neuhoff), the independent Corsican Republic was proclaimed in 1755 under the leadership of Pasquale Paoli and remained sovereign until 1769, when the island was conquered by France. The first Corsican Constitution was written in Italian (the language of culture in Corsica until the middle of the 19th century) by Paoli.

The Corsican Republic was unable to eject the Genoese from the major coastal fortresses (Calvi and Bonifacio). After the Corsican conquest of Capraia, a small island of the Tuscan Archipelago, in 1767, the Republic of Genoa, exhausted by forty years of fighting, decided to sell the island to France which, after its defeat in the Seven Years' War, was trying to reinforce its position in the Mediterranean. In 1768 with the Treaty of Versailles the Genoese republic ceded all its rights on the island. After an initial successful resistance culminating with the victory at Borgo, the Corsican republic was crushed by a large French army led by the Count of Vaux at the Battle of Ponte Novu. This marked the end of Corsican sovereignty. Despite triggering the Corsican Crisis in Britain, whose government gave secret aid, no foreign military support came for the Corsicans. However, nationalist feelings still ran high. Despite the conquest, Corsica was not incorporated into the French state until 1789.

Following the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Pasquale Paoli was able to return to Corsica from exile in Britain. In 1794 he invited British forces under Lord Hood to intervene to free Corsica from French rule. Anglo-Corsican forces drove the French from the island and established an Anglo-Corsican Kingdom. Following Spain's entry into the war the British decided to withdraw from Corsica in 1796. Corsica then returned to French rule.

Corsica: 19th century

Corsicans commemorating the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon

Despite being the birthplace of the Emperor, who had supported Paoli in his youth, the island was neglected by Napoleon's government. In 1814, near the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Corsica was briefly occupied again by British troops. The Treaty of Bastia gave the British crown sovereignty over the island, but it was later repudiated by Lord Castlereagh who insisted that the island should be returned to a restored French monarchy.

After the restoration, the island was further neglected by the French state. Despite the presence of a middle class in Bastia and Ajaccio, Corsica remained an otherwise primitive place, whose economy consisted mainly of a subsistence agriculture, and whose population constituted a pastoral society, dominated by clans and the rules of vendetta. The code of vendetta required Corsicans to seek deadly revenge for offences against their family's honor. Between 1821 and 1852, no fewer than 4,300 murders were perpetrated in Corsica. In this period a myth proved of interest as an historical fact by virtue of its being introduced by Herodotus and furthered by writers like Mérimée and Gregorovius, of Corsica as having been populated by Arcadians (Oenotrians and citizens of Phocaea), fierce and loyal people. During the first half of the century, the people of Corsica belonged still to the Italian cultural world: the bourgeoisie sent children to Pisa to study, official acts were enacted in Italian and most books were printed in Italian. Moreover, many islanders sympathised with the national struggle which was taking place in nearby Italy in those years: several political refugees from the peninsula, like Niccolò Tommaseo, spent years in the island, while some Corsicans, like Count Leonetto Cipriani, took active part in the fights for Italian independence.

Despite all that, during those years the Corsicans began to feel a stronger and stronger attraction to France. The reasons for that are manifold: the knowledge of the French language, which thanks to the mandatory primary school started to penetrate among the local youth, the high prestige of French culture, the awareness of being part of a big, powerful state, the possibility of well-paid jobs as civil servants, both in the island, in the mainland and in the colonies, the prospect of serving the French army during the wars for the conquest of the colonial empire, the introduction of steamboats, which reduced the travel time between mainland France from the island drastically, and - last but not least - Napoleon himself, whose existence alone constituted an indissoluble link between France and Corsica. Thanks to all these factors by around 1870 Corsica had landed in the French cultural world.

Corsica: Modern Corsica

Monument to the French Resistance during WWII in Solaro (plaine orientale).

Corsica paid a high price for the French victory in the First World War: agriculture was disrupted by the years-long absence of almost all of the young workers, and the percentage of dead or wounded Corsicans in the conflict was double that of those from metropolitan France. Moreover, the protectionist policies of the French government, started in the 1880s and never stopped, had ruined the Corsican export of wine and olive oil, and forced many young Corsicans to emigrate to mainland France or to the Americas. As reaction to these conditions, a nationalist movement was born in the 1920s around the newspaper A Muvra, having as its objective the autonomy of the island from France. In the 1930s, many exponents of this movement became irredentist, seeing annexation of the island to fascist Italy as the only solution to its problems. Under Benito Mussolini annexation of Corsica had become one of the main goals of Italy's imperialist policy.

After the collapse of France to the German Wehrmacht in 1940, Corsica came under the rule of the Vichy French regime, which was collaborating with the Nazis. In November 1942 the island, following the Anglo-American landings in North Africa was occupied by Italian and German forces. After the Italian armistice in September 1943, Italian and Free French Forces pushed the Germans out of the island, making Corsica the first French Department to be freed. Subsequently, the US military established 17 airfields, nicknamed "USS Corsica", which served as bases for attacks on targets in German-occupied Italy.

Brando in the Haute-Corse department

During the May 1958 crisis, French paratroopers landed on Corsica on 24 May, garrisoning the island in a bloodless action called Opération Corse.

Between the late fifties and the seventies, the project of building a nuclear polygon in the mines of Argentella, the immigration of 18,000 former settlers from Algeria ("Pieds-Noirs") in the eastern plains, and continuing chemical pollution (Fanghi Rossi) from mainland Italy increased tensions between the autochthonous inhabitants and the French government. Tensions escalated until an armed police assault on a pieds-noirs-owned wine cellar in Aleria, occupied by Corsican nationalists on 23 August 1975. This marked the beginning of the armed nationalist struggle against the French government. Ever since, Corsican nationalism has been a feature of the island's politics, with calls for greater autonomy and protection for Corsican culture and the Corsican language. Periodic flare-ups of raids and killings culminated in the assassination of Prefect Claude Érignac in 1998.

In 2013, Corsica hosted the first three stages of the 100th Tour de France, which passed through the island for the first time in the event's 110-year history.

Corsica: Geography

The Bay of Calvi: Corsica is the most mountainous Mediterranean island.
A view of Speloncato

Corsica was formed about 250 million years ago with the uplift of a granite backbone on the western side. About 50 million years ago sedimentary rock was pressed against this granite, forming the schists of the eastern side. It is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean, a "mountain in the sea".

It is also the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus.

It is 183 kilometres (114 mi) long at longest, 83 kilometres (52 mi) wide at widest, has 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) of coastline, more than 200 beaches, and is very mountainous, with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at 2,706 metres (8,878 ft) and around 120 other summits of more than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). Mountains comprise two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain. Forests make up 20% of the island.

About 3,500 km (1,400 sq mi) of the total surface area of 8,680 km (3,350 sq mi) is dedicated to nature reserves (Parc naturel régional de Corse), mainly in the interior. Corsica contains the GR20, one of Europe's most notable hiking trails.

The island is 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Tuscany in Italy and 170 kilometres (110 mi) from the Côte d'Azur in France. It is separated from Sardinia to the south by the Strait of Bonifacio, which is a minimum of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) wide.

Corsica: Major communities

In 2005 the population of Corsica was settled in approximately 360 communities.

Corsica: Climate

Köppen climate classification types of Corsica

Under the Köppen climate classification scheme, coastal regions are characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). Further inland, a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) is more common. At the highest elevation locations, small areas with a subarctic climate (Dsc, Dfc) and the rare cold-summer Mediterranean climate (Csc) can be found.

Climate data for Ajaccio, central-western part of island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
13.7
(56.7)
15.0
(59)
17.4
(63.3)
20.9
(69.6)
24.5
(76.1)
27.6
(81.7)
27.7
(81.9)
25.4
(77.7)
22.0
(71.6)
17.5
(63.5)
14.4
(57.9)
19.95
(67.91)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.6
(47.5)
9.0
(48.2)
10.1
(50.2)
12.3
(54.1)
15.7
(60.3)
19.1
(66.4)
21.9
(71.4)
22.1
(71.8)
19.9
(67.8)
16.7
(62.1)
12.6
(54.7)
9.6
(49.3)
14.80
(58.64)
Average low °C (°F) 3.9
(39)
4.3
(39.7)
5.3
(41.5)
7.3
(45.1)
10.6
(51.1)
13.8
(56.8)
16.2
(61.2)
16.5
(61.7)
14.4
(57.9)
11.4
(52.5)
7.7
(45.9)
4.8
(40.6)
9.68
(49.42)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 73.8
(2.906)
69.7
(2.744)
58.1
(2.287)
52.0
(2.047)
40.2
(1.583)
19.0
(0.748)
11.0
(0.433)
19.9
(0.783)
43.6
(1.717)
87.0
(3.425)
95.9
(3.776)
75.5
(2.972)
645.7
(25.421)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 8.9 8.7 8.3 7.2 5.7 2.8 1.3 2.4 4.3 7.3 8.6 9.1 74.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 133.3 145.0 189.1 225.0 282.1 321.0 365.8 331.7 264.0 210.8 150.0 127.1 2,744.9
Source: Hong Kong Observatory
Climate data for Bastia, north-eastern part of island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.6
(56.5)
13.8
(56.8)
15.6
(60.1)
17.8
(64)
22.0
(71.6)
25.8
(78.4)
29.1
(84.4)
29.3
(84.7)
25.8
(78.4)
21.9
(71.4)
17.4
(63.3)
14.5
(58.1)
20.55
(68.97)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.1
(48.4)
9.4
(48.9)
10.8
(51.4)
12.9
(55.2)
16.3
(61.3)
20.0
(68)
23.2
(73.8)
23.3
(73.9)
20.6
(69.1)
17.1
(62.8)
12.9
(55.2)
10.1
(50.2)
15.48
(59.85)
Average low °C (°F) 5.1
(41.2)
4.9
(40.8)
6.7
(44.1)
8.8
(47.8)
12.4
(54.3)
16.0
(60.8)
19.0
(66.2)
19.4
(66.9)
16.5
(61.7)
13.3
(55.9)
9.2
(48.6)
6.3
(43.3)
11.47
(52.63)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 67
(2.64)
57
(2.24)
60
(2.36)
76
(2.99)
50
(1.97)
41
(1.61)
13
(0.51)
21
(0.83)
81
(3.19)
127
(5)
114
(4.49)
93
(3.66)
800
(31.49)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 134 158 192 214 268 296 345 304 232 176 133 128 2,580
Source: Quid 2004, page 618 and Météo-France, data for 1981–2010

Corsica: Ecology

Corsica
Native name: Corsica
Nickname: L’Île de Beauté
The Isle of Beauty
Corse region relief location map.jpg
Topography of Corsica
Corsica is located in France
Corsica
Corsica
Corsica (France)
Geography
Location Mediterranean Sea
Area 8,680 km (3,350 sq mi)
Length 184 km (114.3 mi)
Width 83 km (51.6 mi)
Coastline 1,000 km (600 mi)
Highest elevation 2,706 m (8,878 ft)
Highest point Monte Cinto
Administration
France
Région Corsica
Largest settlement Ajaccio (pop. 63,723)
Demographics
Population 322,120 (January 2013)
Pop. density 37 /km (96 /sq mi)

Corsica: Zones by altitude

The island is divided into three major ecological zones by altitude. Below 600 metres (2,000 ft) is the coastal zone, which features a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The natural vegetation is Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrubs. The coastal lowlands are part of the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic sclerophyllous and mixed forests ecoregion, in which forests and woodlands of evergreen sclerophyll oaks predominate, chiefly holm oak (Quercus ilex) and cork oak (Quercus suber). Much of the coastal lowlands have been cleared for agriculture, grazing and logging, which have reduced the forests considerably.

There is considerable birdlife in Corsica. One famous example is the bearded vulture. In some cases Corsica is a delimited part of the species range. For example, the subspecies of hooded crow, Corvus cornix ssp cornix occurs in Corsica, but no further south.

From 600 to 1,800 metres (2,000 to 5,900 ft) is a temperate montane zone. The mountains are cooler and wetter, and home to the Corsican montane broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion, which supports diverse forests of oak, pine, and broadleaf deciduous trees, with vegetation more typical of northern Europe. The population lives predominantly below 900 metres (3,000 ft), with only shepherds and hikers at 600 to 900 metres (2,000 to 3,000 ft).

From 1,800 to 2,700 metres (5,900 to 8,900 ft) is a high alpine zone. Vegetation is sparse. This zone is uninhabited.

Corsica: Zones by region

Corsica: Parc Naturel Régional de Corse

The island has a natural park (Parc Naturel Régional de Corse, Parcu di Corsica), which protects rare animal and plant species. The Park was created in 1972 and includes the Golfe de Porto, the Scandola Nature Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and some of the highest mountains on the island. Scandola cannot be reached on foot, but people can gain access by boat from the village of Galéria and Porto (Ota). Two endangered subspecies of hoofed mammals, the mouflon (Ovis aries musimon) and Corsican red deer (Cervus elaphus corsicanus) inhabit the park. The Corsican red deer was re-introduced after it was extinct due to over hunting. This Corsican subspecies was the same that survived on Sardinia, so it's endemic. There are other species endemic to Corsica especially in the upper mountain ranges, i.e. Corsican nuthatch, Corsican fire salamander and Corsican brook salamander and many plant subspecies.

Corsica: Extinct animals

Corsica, like all the other Mediterranean islands, was home to indigenous animals of the Pleistocene, some endemic to it and some coming to it and Sardinia (as Sardinia was joined to Corsica for much of the Pleistocene). After the proliferation of humans in the Mesolithic, these began to disappear, partly from extinction of the species, and partly from eradication only in Corsica. However, it is now known that many species managed to survive the Mesolithic, and many were still present well into recorded history.

The globally extinct species are the Sardinian dhole, Megaloceros cazioti, Corsican giant shrew, Tyrrhenian mole, Sardinian pika, Corsican-Sardinian vole, Corsican-Sardinian wood mouse, Bubo insularis and Athene angelis. Birds were especially hard-hit. Some that were eradicated from the vicinity are Haliaeetos albicilla and Aquila heliaca.

Corsica: Demographics

Saint-Nicolas church in Feliceto

Corsica has a population of 322,120 inhabitants (Jan. 2013 estimate).

At the 2011 census, 56.3% of the inhabitants of Corsica were natives of Corsica, 28.6% were natives of Continental France, 0.3% were natives of Overseas France, and 14.8% were natives of foreign countries.

The majority of the foreign immigrants in Corsica come from the Maghreb (particularly Moroccans, who made up 33.5% of all immigrants in Corsica at the 2011 census), and from Southern Europe (particularly Portuguese, 22.7% of immigrants on the island), and Italians (13.7%).

Corsica: Immigration

Place of birth of residents of Corsica
(at the 1982, 1990, 1999, and 2011 censuses)
Census Born in Corsica Born in
Continental France
Born in
Overseas France
Born in foreign
countries with French
citizenship at birth¹
Immigrants
2011 56.3% 28.6% 0.3% 5.0% 9.8%
from the Maghreb from Southern Europe from the rest of the world
4.3% 3.8% 1.7%
1999 59.5% 24.8% 0.3% 5.5% 10.0%
from the Maghreb from Southern Europe from the rest of the world
5.3% 3.3% 1.4%
1990 62.0% 21.3% 0.2% 6.0% 10.5%
1982 61.6% 20.4% 0.2% 6.0% 11.8%
¹Essentially Pieds-Noirs who resettled in Corsica after the independence of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, many of whom had Corsican ancestry.
An immigrant is by French definition a person born in a foreign country and who didn't have French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still listed as an immigrant in French statistics. On the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.
Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria
Portugal, Italy, Spain
Source: INSEE

Corsica: Culture

Corsica: Languages

Chart of the dialects of the Corsican language, which also extends into northern Sardinia.

Italian was the official language of Corsica until the 9th of May of 1859, when it was substituted by French, starting a process of linguistic homologation which invested Italian as well as the local Corsican languages. Corsican (Corsu), a minority language that is closely related to medieval Tuscan (Toscano), has a better prospect of survival than most of other French regional languages: Corsican is in fact, after French (Français), the most widely spoken language on the island. However, since the annexation of the island by France in the 18th century, Corsican has been under heavy pressure from French, and today it is estimated that only 10% of Corsica's population speak the language natively, with only 50% having some sort of proficiency in it.

The language is divided into two main varieties: Cismuntanu and Ultramuntanu, spoken respectively northeast and southwest of the Girolata - Porto Vecchio line. This division was due to the massive immigration from Tuscany which took place in Corsica during the lower Middle Ages: as a result, the Cismuntanu became very similar to the Tuscan dialects, being part of the Italo-Dalmatian language group, while the Ultramuntanu could keep its original characteristics which make it much more similar to a Southern Romance language like Sardinian (Sardu). Therefore, due to the differences between the main dialectal varieties, many linguists classify Corsican as an Italo-Dalmatian language, while others consider it a Southern Romance one.

It should also be noted that fewer and fewer people speak a Ligurian dialect, known as bunifazzinu, in what has long been a language island, Bonifacio. In Cargèse, a village established by Greek immigrants in the 17th century, Greek (Ελληνικά) was the traditional language: whereas it has long disappeared from spoken conversation, ancient Greek is still the liturgical language and the village has many Greek Orthodox parishes.

Corsica: Cuisine

From the mountains to the plains and sea, many ingredients play a role. Game such as wild boar (Cingale, Singhjari) is popular. There also is seafood and river fish such as trout. Delicacies such as figatellu (also named as ficateddu), made with liver, coppa, ham (prizuttu), lonzu are made from Corsican pork (porcu nustrale). Characteristic among the cheeses is brocciu (similar to ricotta), which is used as a fresh ingredient in many dishes, from first courses (sturzapreti) to cakes (fiadone). Other cheeses, like casgiu merzu ("rotten cheese", the Corsican counterpart of the Sardinian casu marzu), casgiu veghju are made from goat or sheep milk. Chestnuts are the main ingredient in the making of pulenta castagnina and cakes (falculelle). A variety of alcohol also exists ranging from aquavita (brandy), red and white Corsican wines (Vinu Corsu), muscat wine (plain or sparkling), and the famous "Cap Corse" apéritif produced by Mattei. The herbs which are part of Maquis (Corsican: machja) and the chestnuts and oak nuts of the Corsican forests are eaten by local animals, resulting in the noticeable taste in the food there.

Corsica: Art

Corsica has produced a number of known artists: Alizée, Martha Angelici (opera singer), A Filetta (polyphonic chant group), Canta U Populu Corsu (band), Laetitia Casta (model/actress), Baptiste Giabiconi (model/singer), Julien de Casabianca (cineast), Jérôme Ferrari (writer), Patrick Fiori (singer), Petru Guelfucci (singer), José Luccioni (opera singer), Gaston Micheletti (opera singer), I Muvrini (band), Jenifer (singer), François Lanzi (painter), Ange Leccia (visual art), Henri Padovani (musician, original guitarist from the Police), Thierry de Peretti (cineast), Marie-Claude Pietragalla (dancer), Jean-Paul Poletti (singer), Robin Renucci (comedian), Tino Rossi (singer), César Vezzani (opera singer).

Corsica: Sport

AC Ajaccio and SC Bastia are the two main football teams, which have played the Ligue 1 frequently since the 1960s and contest the Corsica derby. Since 2015, Gazélec Ajaccio, the city's second team, has begun playing in the Ligue 1. The Tour de Corse is a rally held since 1956, which was a round of the World Rally Championship from 1973 to 2008 and later the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and European Rally Championship. The Tour de Corse returned as a World Rally Championship round in 2015.

Corsica: Administration

Map of Corsica

Before 1975, Corsica was a départment of the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. In 1975 two new départements, Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud, were created by splitting the hitherto united departement of Corsica.

On 2 March 1982, a law was passed that gave Corsica the status of territorial collectivity (collectivité territoriale), abolishing the Corsican Regional Council. Unlike the regional councils, the Corsican Assembly has executive powers over the island.

In 1992, three institutions were formed in the territorial collectivity of Corsica:

  • The Executive Council of Corsica, which exercises the type of executive functions held in other French regions by the presidents of the Regional Councils. It ensures the stability and consistency needed to manage the affairs of the territory;
  • The Corsican Assembly, a deliberative, unicameral legislative body with greater powers than the regional councils on the mainland;
  • The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of Corsica, an advisory body.

A local referendum held in 2003, aimed at abolishing the two départements to leave a territorial collectivity with extended powers, was voted down by a narrow margin. However, the issue of Corsican autonomy and greater powers for the Corsican Assembly continues to hold sway over Corsican politics.

Corsica: Economy

Corsica's coastline is a major driver for tourism – coastline by the town of Propriano

Tourism plays a big part in the Corsican economy. The island's climate, mountains, and coastlines make it popular among tourists. The island has not had the same level of intensive development as other parts of the Mediterranean and is thus mainly unspoiled. Tourism is particularly concentrated in the area around Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio in the south of the island and Calvi in the northwest.

In 1584 the Genoese governor ordered all farmers and landowners to plant four trees yearly; a chestnut, olive, fig, and mulberry tree. Many communities owe their origin and former richness to the ensuing chestnut woods. Chestnut bread keeps fresh for as long as two weeks. Corsica produces gourmet cheese, wine, sausages, and honey for sale in mainland France and for export. Corsican honey, of which there are six official varieties, is certified as to its origin (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) by the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine – INAO).

Corsica's main exports are granite and marble, tannic acid, cork, cheese, wine, citrus fruit, olive oil and cigarettes.

Corsica: Transport

Corsica: Airports

Corsica has four international airports:

  • Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport
  • Bastia – Poretta Airport
  • Calvi – Sainte-Catherine Airport
  • Figari–Sud Corse Airport (near Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio in the south)

All airports are served by regional French airline Air Corsica, as well as Air France which mainly offers connections to Paris-Orly. Budget carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair offer seasonal connections to different cities in Europe.

Corsica: Railway

The island has 232 kilometres (144 miles) of metre gauge railway. The main line runs between Bastia and Ajaccio and there is a branch line from Ponte Leccia to Calvi. Chemins de Fer de la Corse (CFC) is the name of the regional rail network serving the French island of Corsica. For a list of stations, see Railway stations in Corsica. The railroad retains the air of a friendly local railroad and is an excellent way to get around the island, for both the inhabitants and tourists.

There is a third line along the east coast that is not in use due to heavy damage during World War II. John Smith and his consortium announced their intention to invest and redevelop in 2018. There has been talk of restoration, but no progress has occurred.

Corsica: Seaports

Port of Ajaccio
Looking north across the Strait of Bonifacio from the northern tip of Sardinia; the southern coast of Corsica is barely visible through the haze of distance.

Corsica is well connected to the European mainland (Italy and France) by various car ferry lines. The island's busiest seaport is Bastia, which saw more than 2.5 million passengers in 2012. Second busiest seaport is Ajaccio, followed by L'Île-Rousse and Calvi. Propriano and Porto Vecchio in the south also have smaller ferry docks and are seasonally served from France (Marseille), while Bonifacio's harbour is only frequented by smaller car ferries from the neighbouring island of Sardinia.

The ferry companies serving Corsica are Corsica Ferries - Sardinia Ferries (from Savona, Livorno and Piombino in Italy; Toulon and Nice in France), SNCM (from Marseille, Toulon and Nice in France), CMN - La Méridionale (from Marseille in France) and Moby Lines (from Livorno and Genoa in Italy).

Corsica: Politics

There are several groups and two nationalist parties (the autonomist Femu a Corsica and the separatist Corsica Libera) active on the island calling for some degree of Corsican autonomy from France or even full independence. Generally speaking, regionalist proposals focus on the promotion of the Corsican language, more power for local governments, and some exemptions from national taxes in addition to those already applying to Corsica.

The French government is opposed to full independence but has at times shown support for some level of autonomy. There is support on the island for proposals for greater autonomy, but polls show that a large majority of Corsicans are opposed to full independence.

In 1972, the Italian company Montedison dumped toxic waste off the Corsican coast, creating what looked like red mud in waters around the island with the poisoning of the sea, the most visible effects being cetaceans found dead on the shores. At that time the Corsican people felt that the French government did not support them. To stop the poisoning, one ship carrying toxic waste from Italy was bombed.

Corsican nationalists have used means such as the removal of French names on road signs.

Nationalist organisations started to seek money, using tactics similar to those of the Mafia, to fund violence. Some groups that claim to support Corsican independence, such as the National Liberation Front of Corsica, have carried out a violent campaign since the 1970s that includes bombings and assassinations, usually targeting buildings and officials representing the French government or Corsicans themselves for political reasons. A war between two rival independence groups led to several deaths in the 1990s. The peaceful occupation of a pied-noir vineyard in Aléria in 1975 marked a turning point when the French government responded with overwhelming force, generating sympathy for the independence groups among the Corsican population.

In 2000, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin agreed to grant increased autonomy to Corsica. The proposed autonomy for Corsica would have included greater protection for the Corsican language (Corsu), the island's traditional language, whose practice and teaching, like other regional or minority languages in France, had been discouraged in the past. According to the UNESCO classification, the Corsican language is currently in danger of becoming extinct. However, plans for increased autonomy were opposed by the Gaullist opposition in the French National Assembly, who feared that they would lead to calls for autonomy from other régions (such as Brittany, Alsace, or Provence), eventually threatening France's unity as a country.

In a referendum on 6 July 2003, a narrow majority of Corsican voters opposed a proposal by the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin and then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy that would have suppressed the two départements of the island and granted greater autonomy to the territorial collectivity of Corsica.

On 13 December 2015, the regionalist coalition Pè a Corsica (English: For Corsica), supported by both Femu a Corsica and Corsica Libera and led by Gilles Siméoni, won the territorial elections with a percentage of 36.9%.

On December 17, 2015, Jean Guy Talamoni was elected President of the Assembly of Corsica and Gilles Simeoni was elected Executive President of the Council of the Region. In addition, legislation granting Corsica a greater degree of autonomy was passed.

Corsica: See also

  • Corsican immigration (Puerto Rico, Venezuela)
  • "Dio vi salvi Regina", the unofficial Corsican anthem
  • GR 20
  • Aiguilles de Bavella
  • Italian irredentism in Corsica
  • List of châteaux in Corsica
  • Mariana, Corsica
  • University of Corsica Pascal Paoli

Corsica: Notes

  1. INSEE. "Estimation de population au 1er janvier, par région, sexe et grande classe d'âge – Année 2013" (in French). Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  2. INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionales de 1990 à 2012". Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  3. Bertarelli (1929), p.41
  4. Pais, Ettore (1999). Storia della Sardegna e della Corsica durante il periodo romano (in Italian). Nuoro: Ilisso. pp. 76–77. ISBN 88-85098-92-4.
  5. Bertarelli (1929), p.42
  6. Bertarelli (1929), p.43
  7. Bertarelli (1929), p.45
  8. Bertarelli (1929), p.46
  9. "Ancient Corsica beckons with deserted beaches and historic structures". The Baltimore Sun. 1 March 1992
  10. Bertarelli (1929), p.48
  11. Howard, John E., Letters and Documents of Napoleon: Vol. 1 Rise to Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961.
  12. "Wanderings in Corsica: its history and its heroes". Ferdinand Gregorovius (1855). p.196.
  13. Ravis-Giordani (1991), p. 112-4
  14. Azéma, Jean-Pierre; Wieviorka, Olivier (1997). Vichy, 1940-44 (in French). Paris: Perrin. pp. 231–33.
  15. Paletti, C. (1999). Un'operazione riuscita: Corsica settembre 1943 (in Italian). Rome: Ufficio Storico Stato maggiore Esercito.
  16. "Jacques Massu obituary". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  17. Mouillot, F. (2008). "Corsica". Mediterranean Island Landscapes: Natural and Cultural Approaches. Springer. pp. 223–225.
  18. Price, Gillian. Walking on Corsica: Long-Distance and Short Walks. Cicerone Press Limited. p. 9. ISBN 1-85284-387-X.
  19. Keyser, William (2005). "Corsican Villages and Towns" (PDF). Corsica Isula. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
  20. "Climatological Information for Ajaccio, France" – Hong Kong Observatory
  21. Gregory, Desmond (1985). The ungovernable rock: a history of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and its role in Britain's Mediterranean strategy during the Revolutionary War, 1793–1797. London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-8386-3225-4.
  22. C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Hooded Crow: Corvus cornix, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed, N. Stromberg
  23. MacPhee, R.D.E.; Hans-Dieter Sues (1999). Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences. Springer. p. 179. ISBN 0-306-46092-0.
  24. INSEE. "Fichier Données harmonisées des recensements de la population de 1968 à 2011" (in French). Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  25. INSEE. "IMG1B – Les immigrés par sexe, âge et pays de naissance" (in French). Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  26. INSEE. "D_FD_IMG2 – Base France par départements – Lieux de naissance à l'étranger selon la nationalité" (in French). Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  27. Abalain, Hervé, (2007) Le français et les langues historiques de la France, Éditions Jean-Paul Gisserot, p.113
  28. "Euromosaic-Index1". Uoc.edu. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  29. Bertoni, Giulio (1916). Italia dialettale (in Italian). Milano: Hoepli.
  30. Devoto, Giacomo (1974). Il linguaggio d'Italia (in Italian). Milano: Rizzoli.
  31. Harris, Martin; Vincent, Nigel (1997). Romance Languages. London: Routlegde. ISBN 0-415-16417-6.
  32. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Glottolog 2.2". |chapter= ignored (help)
  33. Enciclopedia Treccani - Dialetti liguri
  34. How Greek were the Greeks of Corsica? - Nick Nicholas
  35. The Chestnut Tree in terracorsa.
  36. The Grocer's Encyclopedia – Encyclopedia of Foods and Beverages. By Artemas Ward. New York. 1911.
  37. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  38. For a detailed description of the railroad system see Simms, Wilfrid S., "The Railways of Corsica" (1997)(ISBN 0952888122).
  39. "EU transport in figures - Statistical Pocketbook 2012" (PDF), European Commission
  40. Corsica Ferries - Official Website
  41. SNCM - Official Website
  42. Compagnie méridionale de navigation (CMN) - Official Website
  43. Moby Lines - Official Website
  44. "89 % des corses opposés à l’indépendance de l’île" [89% Corsicans are opposed to Corsican independence], Nouvel Observateur (in French)
  45. Enquête: la Corse vue par les Corses - Rue89, Le nouvel observateur
  46. Blackwood, Robert J. (2008). The State, the Activists and the Islanders: Language Policy on Corsica. Springer. p. 164. ISBN 140208384X.
  47. "France Moves to Crush Corsican Separatists". The New York Times. 15 January 1997. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  48. "Corsican". UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. UNESCO. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  49. "French Cabinet Split Over Corsican Autonomy". The New York Times. 30 August 2000. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  50. "A worrying result". The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 10 July 2003. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  51. source
  52. source
  53. source

Corsica: Bibliography

  • Bertarelli, Luigi Vittorio (1929). Corsica. Guida d'Italia (in Italian). Rome: CTI.
  • Loughlin, John. 1989. "Regionalism and Ethnic Nationalism in France: A Case-study of Corsica". Thesis. San Domenico, Italy: European University Institute.
  • Loughlin, John, and Claude Olivesi (eds.). 1999. Autonomies insulaires: vers une politique de différence pour la Corse. Ajaccio: Editions Albiana. ISBN 2-905124-47-4
  • Ravis-Giordani, Georges. 1991. Le Guide de la Corse. Besançon: La Manufacture. ISBN 2-7377-0262-3
  • Saul, John Ralston. 1992. Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West. New York: Free Press; Maxwell Macmillan International. ISBN 0-02-927725-6
  • Corsica: a mountain in the sea – Official French website (in English)
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Corsica". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 199–204.
  • Costa, L. J.; Cécile Costa (2005). "Préhistoire de la Corse" (in French). Kyrnos Publications pour l'archéologie. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  • "TerraCorsa, I Muvrini and much more Corsican music". TerraCorsa. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  • Dumas, Alexandre (2003) [1845]. "The Corsican Brothers". Arthur's Classical Novels. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2008.
  • Corsica at DMOZ
  • "National Geographic Magazine: Corsica Map". National Geographic Society. 2003. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  • "Corsica rejects autonomy offer by Paris". CNN. 6 July 2003. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  • Keyser, Will. "Corsica from the inside!". Corsica Isula. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  • jabro. "Getting around in Corsica by bicycle". jabro.net. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  • Guiderdoni, jf. "A different visit of Corsica". corsica_experience. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  • Ferries to Corsica Detailed technical specifications of the various ferry vessels, history, deckplans. (in Italian)
  • Audio recording of the traditional Corsican folktale 'Goldenhair' (in English)
  • 3-minute video "The Workout the World Forgot," filmed in Corsica, 2008

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Hotels Booking & Tickets Sale
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