With more than 40,000 inhabitants, Bastia is the largest town in Haute-Corse. Situated at the foot of Cap Corse, it faces the island of Elba to the east.
Its origins can be traced back to Roman times when it was known as Cardo. The construction of the citadel and the installation of the Genoese governor in 1378, led to the creation of the town of Bastia.
The second largest town in Corsica after Ajaccio, Bastia has a definite Italian air about it. A stroll through its narrow cobbled streets reveal all the town’s treasures and give you the chance to taste some delicious local specialities like Nuciola, Miggliacci and Panzarotti.
Bastia is dotted with Baroque-style churches in which the purple and gold of trompe l’œil paintings mingle with marble sculptures. The Genoese-style architecture comprises several Neapolitan features, giving it an inimitable style.
The old harbour is incredibly beautiful and its pavement cafés are a wonderful place to relax and watch the world go by while tasting local Pietra beer, brewed in the south of Bastia. The atmosphere is welcoming and the local inhabitants are friendly with a wonderful sense of humour.
Beach lovers can enjoy the long sandy beach at La Marana in the south of the town, which borders the Etang de Biguglia nature reserve, home to over 240 species of animals.
Sight-seeing in Bastia
Bastia is a town with many different faces, so here are some of them for you to explore :
Place Saint Nicolas square, a popular meeting place for local people of ages, where you can sit at a pavement café , on a bench or simply wander around,
Rue Napoléon, pedestrianised street,
The Citadel, built by a Genoese governor,
Place du Marché, the market place with its atmosphere of yesteryear and regional specialities,
Eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the largest church in Corsica, built between 1636 and 1666,
Cathedral of Sainte-Marie, with its silver statue of the Virgin Mary,
The old harbour, which has kept its traditional atmosphere
Jardin Romieu, a series of terraced gardens running down to the sea,
The Palais des Gouverneurs (Governor’s Palace), built in 1380,
Musée d’Ethnographie Corse (Museum of Corsican Ethnography),
St Antoine model village