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Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
and one of the 18 regions of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
. It is the fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean and lies southeast of the French
mainland Mainland is defined as "relating to or forming the main part of a country or continent, not including the islands around it egardless of status under territorial jurisdiction by an entity" The term is often human geography, politically, econo ...
, west of the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regi ...
and immediately north of the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
island of
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
, which is the land mass nearest to it. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island. In 2018, it had a population of 338,550. The island is a territorial collectivity of France. The regional capital is
Ajaccio Ajaccio (, , , ; it, Aiaccio or ; , Ajaccino dialect: ; ) is a French ''commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata' ...

Ajaccio
. Although the region is divided into two administrative
departments Department may refer to: * DepartmentalizationDepartmentalization (or departmentalisation) refers to the process of grouping activities into departments. Division of labour creates Expert, specialists who need :wikt:coordination, coordination. This ...
,
Haute-Corse Haute-Corse (; co, Corsica suprana , or ; en, Upper Corsica) is (as of 2019) an administrative Departments of France, department of France, consisting of the northern part of the island of Corsica. The corresponding departmental territorial c ...
and
Corse-du-Sud Corse-du-Sud (; co, link=no, Corsica suttana , or ; en, Southern Corsica) is (as of 2019) an administrative department of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country prim ...
, their respective regional and departmental territorial collectivities were merged on 1 January 2018 to form the
single territorial collectivity A single territorial collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale ''unique'') is a chartered subdivision of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in ...
of Corsica. As such, Corsica enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than other French regional collectivities; for example, the
Corsican Assembly The Corsican Assembly ( co, Assemblea di Corsica; french: L'Assemblée de Corse) is the unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In ...
is permitted to exercise limited executive powers. Corsica's second-largest town is
Bastia Bastia (, , , ; co, Bastìa ) is a in the of , France located in the north-east of the island of at the base of . It also has the second-highest population of any commune on the island after and is the capital of the Bagnaja region and of t ...

Bastia
, the
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
of Haute-Corse. Corsica was ruled by the
Republic of Genoa The Republic of Genoa ( lij, Repúbrica de Zêna ; it, Repubblica di Genova; la, Res Publica Ianuensis) was a medieval and early modern maritime republic The maritime republics ( it, repubbliche marinare) of the Mediterranean Basin were th ...
from 1284 to 1755, when it seceded to become a self-proclaimed,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
-speaking
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
. In 1768, Genoa officially ceded it to
Louis XV of France Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reache ...
as part of a pledge for the debts it had incurred by enlisting France's military help in suppressing the Corsican revolt, and as a result France went on to annex it in 1769. The future
Emperor of the French Emperor of the French (French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily loca ...
,
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, was a native Corsican, born that same year in Ajaccio: his ancestral home,
Maison Bonaparte ''Maison Bonaparte'' ( Corsican and Italian: ''Casa Buonaparte'') is the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family. It is located on the Rue Saint-Charles in Ajaccio on the French island of Corsica Corsica (; , ; french: link=no, Corse, ; li ...
, is today a visitor attraction and museum. Because of Corsica's historical ties to
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demograp ...
, the island has retained many Italian cultural elements and many Corsican surnames are rooted in the
Italian peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regi ...
.
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
, the native tongue, is recognised as one of France's
regional language A regional language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
s. Corsica is the smallest French region by population.


History


Prehistory and antiquity

The origin of the name Corsica is subject to much debate and remains a mystery. To the
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
it was known as ''Kalliste'', ''Corsis'', ''Cyrnos'', ''Cernealis'', or ''Cirné''. The last three variations derive from the most ancient Greek name of the island, "" ("Seirenoussai", meaning ''of the Sirens'') — the very same Sirens mentioned in
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was the presumed author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature. The ''Iliad'' is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year s ...

Homer
's
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
. Corsica has been occupied continuously since the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
era. Its population was influential in the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
during its long prehistory. After a brief occupation by the
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
, colonization by the ancient Greeks, and an only slightly longer occupation by the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of List of ancient peoples of Italy, ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna ...
, it was incorporated by the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
at the end of the
First Punic War The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of Punic Wars, three wars fought between Roman Republic, Rome and Ancient Carthage, Carthage, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. For 23 years, in the long ...
and, with
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
, in 238 BC became a province of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
.Bertarelli (1929), p.41 The Romans, who built a colony in
Aléria
Aléria
, considered Corsica as one of the most backward regions of the Roman world. The island produced sheep, honey,
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...

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 a place of relegation, one of the most famous exiles being the Roman philosopher
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
. Administratively, the island was divided into '' pagi'', which in the Middle Ages became the '''', 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 into
Roman Italy (the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...

Roman Italy
by
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
().


Middle Ages and early-modern era

In the 5th century, the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, and the island was invaded by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also a ...
and the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
. Briefly recovered by the , it soon became part of the
Kingdom of the Lombards The Kingdom of the Lombards ( la, Regnum Langobardorum; it, Regno dei Longobardi; lmo, Regn dei Lombards) also known as the Lombard Kingdom; later the Kingdom of (all) Italy ( la, Regnum totius Italiae), was an early medieval state established ...
. This made it a dependency of the
March of Tuscany The March of Tuscany ( it, Marca di Tuscia; ) was a frontier march of the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingd ...
, which used it as an outpost against the
Saracen Saracens () were primarily , but also , or other Muslims as referred to by Christian writers in Europe during the . The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the , Greek and Latin writings used the term to refer to ...
s.Bertarelli (1929), p.42
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
, king of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
and
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (fro ...

Charlemagne
's father, expelled the Lombards and nominally granted Corsica to
Pope Stephen II Pope Stephen II ( la, Stephanus II; 714 – 26 April 757) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority an ...

Pope Stephen II
. In the first quarter of the 11th century,
Pisa Pisa ( , or ) is a city and ''comune'' in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its Leaning Tower of Pisa, ...

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 The Republic of Pisa ( it, Repubblica di Pisa) was an independent state centered on the Tuscan Tuscan may refer to: Places * A person from, or something of, from, or related to Tuscany, a region of Italy * Tuscan Archipelago Currency * Tuscan p ...
. 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 Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of ''toponyms Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of ''wikt: ...
and rendered the language spoken in the northern two-thirds of the island very close to the
Tuscan dialect Tuscan ( it, dialetto toscano ; it, vernacolo, label=locally) is a set of Italo-Dalmatian The Italo-Dalmatian languages, or Central Romance languages, are a group of Romance languages The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages ...
. 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 Porto-Vecchio (, ; it, Porto Vecchio or ; co, Portivechju ) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in th ...

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 crushing defeat experienced by Pisa in 1284 in the
Battle of Meloria The Battle of Meloria was fought near the islet of Meloria in the Ligurian Sea on 5 and 6 August 1284 between the fleets of the Republics of Republic of Genoa, Genoa and Republic of Pisa, Pisa as part of the Genoese-Pisan War. The victory of Gen ...
against
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the of and the . In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the , which in 2015 ...
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 This is a list of the kings and queens of Aragon. The Kingdom of Aragon was created sometime between 950 and 1035 when the County of Aragon, which had been acquired by the Kingdom of Navarre in the tenth century, was separated from Navarre in ...
, who in 1296 had received from the Pope the investiture over
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
and Corsica.Bertarelli (1929), p.43 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 The (; plural: ) is a basic constituent entity of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alp ...
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 The Bank of Saint George ( it, Casa delle compere e dei banchi di San Giorgio or informally as ''Ufficio di San Giorgio'' or ''Banco'') was a financial institution of the Republic of Genoa. It was founded in 1407 to consolidate the public debt, ...
, which brought peace.Bertarelli (1929), p.45 In the 16th century, the island entered into the fight between Spain and France for supremacy in Italy. In 1553, a Franco-Ottoman fleet occupied Corsica, but the reaction of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and Genoa, led by
Andrea Doria Andrea Doria, Prince of Melfi (; lij, Drîa Döia ; 30 November 146625 November 1560) was a Genoese statesman, ' and admiral, playing a key role in the Republic of Genoa during his lifetime. As the ruler of Genoa, Doria reformed the Republic' ...

Andrea Doria
, reestablished the Genoese supremacy on the island, confirmed by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis.Bertarelli (1929), p.46 The unlucky protagonist of this episode was , who would later come to be considered a hero of the island. Their power was 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 the chestnut tree on a large scale, improving the diet of the population, and built a chain of
towers A tower is a tall Nonbuilding structure, structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from guyed mast, masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting ...
along the coast to defend Corsica from the attacks of the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast ...
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.Bertarelli (1929), p.48 The island became known for the large number of mercenary soldiers and officers it produced. In 1743, over 4,600 Corsicans, or 4% of the entire population of the island, were serving as soldiers in various armies (predominantly those of Genoa, Venice, and Spain), making it one of the most militarized societies in Europe.


Rise and annexation of the Corsican Republic

In 1729 the Corsican Revolution for independence from Genoa began, first led by Luiggi Giafferi and Giacinto Paoli, and later by Paoli's son,
Pasquale Paoli Filippo Antonio Pasquale de' Paoli (; french: link=no, Pascal Paoli; 6 April 1725 – 5 February 1807) was a Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea ...

Pasquale Paoli
. After 26 years of struggle against the
Republic of Genoa The Republic of Genoa ( lij, Repúbrica de Zêna ; it, Repubblica di Genova; la, Res Publica Ianuensis) was a medieval and early modern maritime republic The maritime republics ( it, repubbliche marinare) of the Mediterranean Basin were th ...
(plus an ephemeral attempt to proclaim in 1736 the independent Kingdom of Corsica under the German adventurer Theodor von Neuhoff), the independent
Corsican Republic In November 1755, Pasquale Paoli Filippo Antonio Pasquale de' Paoli (; french: link=no, Pascal Paoli; 6 April 1725 – 5 February 1807) was a Corsica Corsica (; , ; french: link=no, Corse, ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the ...
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 ConstitutionThe first Corsican Constitution was drawn up in 1755 for the short-lived Corsican Republic In November 1755, Pasquale Paoli proclaimed Corsica a sovereignty, sovereign nation, the Corsican Republic ( it, Repubblica Corsa), independent from the Repub ...
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 Capraia is an Italian island, the northwesternmost of the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, and the third largest after Elba and Giglio. It is also a ''comune'' ( Capraia Isola) belonging to the Province of Livorno. The island has a pop ...

Capraia
, a small island of the
Tuscan Archipelago The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea Image:Ligurian Sea map.png, 300px, The Ligurian Sea The Ligurian Sea ( it, Mar Ligure; french: Mer Ligurienne; lij, Mâ Ligure) is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, between th ...

Tuscan Archipelago
, in 1767, the
Republic of Genoa The Republic of Genoa ( lij, Repúbrica de Zêna ; it, Repubblica di Genova; la, Res Publica Ianuensis) was a medieval and early modern maritime republic The maritime republics ( it, repubbliche marinare) of the Mediterranean Basin were th ...
, 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 Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
, the Genoese republic conceded the region to the French troops to subdue the rebels and Genoa had to pay for the costs, the French though remained in forts and never seriously faced the rebellion in order to make the expenditure costs of the army levitate and induce the Genoese to not being able to afford to pay the debt, later French reclaimed so rights to occupy the island but that was never actually ceded or approved by the
Republic of Genoa The Republic of Genoa ( lij, Repúbrica de Zêna ; it, Repubblica di Genova; la, Res Publica Ianuensis) was a medieval and early modern maritime republic The maritime republics ( it, repubbliche marinare) of the Mediterranean Basin were th ...
. After an initial successful resistance culminating with the victory at
Borgo Borgo may refer to the following places: Finland * Borgå France * Borgo, Haute-Corse Italy * Borgo (rione of Rome), a ''rione'' in the City of Rome. *Borgo a Mozzano, in the province of Lucca *Borgo d'Ale, in the province of Vercelli *Borgo di ...
, the Corsican republic was crushed by a large French army led by the Count of Vaux at the
Battle of Ponte Novu The Battle of Ponte Novu took place on May 8 and 9 1769 between royal French forces under the Comte de Vaux, a seasoned professional soldier with an expert on mountain warfare on his staff, and the native Corsicans under Carlo Salicetti. It w ...
. This marked the end of Corsican sovereignty. Despite triggering the
Corsican CrisisThe Corsican Crisis was an event in Kingdom of Great Britain, British politics during 1768–69. It was precipitated by the French Conquest of Corsica, invasion of the island of Corsica by Early Modern France, France. The Grafton Ministry, British go ...
in
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

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 The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

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 The Anglo-Corsican Kingdom was a client state Client(s) or The Client may refer to: * Client (computing), hardware or software that accesses a remote service on another computer * Customer or client, a recipient of goods or services in return ...
. Following Spain's entry into the war, the British decided to withdraw from Corsica in 1796. Corsica returned to French rule.


19th century

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 The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, 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 Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Lord Castlereagh who insisted that the island should be returned to a Bourbon Restoration in France, 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 subsistence agriculture, and whose population constituted a pastoral society, dominated by clans and the rules of feud, 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. During the first half of the century, the people of Corsica were still immersed in the Italian cultural world: the bourgeoisie sent children to University of Pisa, Pisa to study, official acts were enacted in Italian and most books were printed in Italian. Moreover, many islanders sympathised with risorgimento, 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 , took active part in the fights for Italian independence. Despite all that, during those years the Corsicans began to feel a stronger and stronger attachment 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.Ravis-Giordani (1991), p. 112–14 From the 19th century into the mid-20th century, Corsicans also grew closer to the French nation through participation in the French Empire. Compared to much of Metropolitan France, Corsica was poor and many Corsicans emigrated. While Corsicans emigrated globally, especially to many South American countries, many chose to move within the French Empire which acted as a conduit for emigration and eventual return, as many young Corsican men could find better job opportunities in the far corners of the Empire where many other French hesitated to go. In many parts of the Empire, Corsicans were strongly represented, such as in Saigon where in 1926 12% of Europeans were from Corsica. Across the French Empire, many Corsicans retained a sense of community by establishing organizations where they would meet regularly, keep one another informed of developments in Corsica, and come to one another's aid in times of need.


Modern Corsica

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 mainland 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. In 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 Italian irredentism, 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 unification 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 Nazi Germany. In November 1942 the island was Italian occupation of Corsica, occupied by Italian and German forces following the Operation Torch, Anglo-American landings in North Africa. 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. The Corsicans who promoted the ideal of Corsican irredentism published mainly in Italy, because of the persecutions from the French regime in the island in the first half of the 20th century. Many Corsicans, notably Petru Giovacchini, Simon Petru Cristofini and Marco Angeli di Sartèna, supported Italian irredentism in Corsica, Italian irredentism on the island. Cristofini was executed by the French authorities; Angeli and Giovacchini were also condemned to death, but they escaped in Italy. During the May 1958 crisis, the French military command in Algeria mutinied against the French Fourth Republic and on 24 May occupied the island in an action called Opération Corse that led to the collapse of the government; the second phase of the coup attempt, Operation Resurrection, occupying Paris, was cancelled following the establishment of a transitional government under Charles de Gaulle. Between the late fifties and the seventies, proposals to conduct Underground nuclear weapons testing, underground nuclear tests in the Argentella mines, 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 indigenous 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 Corsican conflict, an 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, or even full independence. Some groups supporting independence, such as the National Liberation Front of Corsica, have carried out a violent campaign that includes bombings and assassinations targeting buildings and officials representing the French government; 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 2013 Tour de France, Tour de France, which passed through the island for the first time in the event's 110-year history. In 2018 Corsica, together with the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Région Sud, had the highest murder rate in France which were the result of family feuds between clans on the island and vendettas or revenge actions against insults against the honor of a family. The most common victims of gun murders are prominent business people and local mayors.


Geography

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 Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
and Cyprus. It is long at longest, wide at widest, has of coastline, more than 200 beaches, and is very mountainous, with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at and around 120 other summits of more than . Mountains comprise two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain. Forests make up 20% of the island. About of the total surface area of 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 from
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demograp ...
in Italy and from the Côte d'Azur in France. It is separated from
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
to the south by the Strait of Bonifacio, which is a minimum of wide.


Major communities

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


Climate

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 Mediterranean climate#Cold-summer mediterranean climate, cold-summer Mediterranean climate (Csc) can be found. The station of Sari-Solenzara records the highest year-round temperatures of Metropolitan France with an annual average of 16.41 °C over the 1981–2010 period. Sunshine hours are not available for same period but this was 2715 h for 2008–2016.


Ecology


Zones by altitude

The island is divided into three major ecological zones by altitude. Below 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 terrestrial ecoregion, ecoregion, in which forests and woodlands of evergreen sclerophyll oaks predominate, chiefly Quercus rotundifolia, 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 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 , with only shepherds and hikers at . From is a high alpine zone. Vegetation is sparse. This zone is uninhabited.


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 European 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 is Endemism, 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.


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 Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
(as Sardinia was joined to Corsica for much of the Pleistocene). After the proliferation of humans in the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

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 ''White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla'' and ''Eastern imperial eagle, Aquila heliaca''.


Demographics

Corsica has a population of 322,120 inhabitants (January 2013 estimate). At the 2011 census, 56.3% of the inhabitants of Corsica were people born on the island, 28.6% were from Metropolitan France#Mainland France, Continental France, 0.3% were natives of Overseas France, and 14.8% hailed from 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 people, Portuguese and Italians, 22.7% and 13.7% of immigrants on the island respectively).


Immigration


Culture


Languages

French language, French (''Français'') is the official and most widely spoken language on the island.
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
was the official language of Corsica until 9 May 1859, when it was replaced by French.
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
(''Corsu''), a minority language that is closely related to medieval Tuscan dialect, Tuscan (''Toscano''), has a better prospect of survival than most other Languages in France, French regional languages: Corsican is the second most widely spoken language, after French and ahead of standard Italian. 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 languages, Italo-Dalmatian language group, while the ''Ultramuntanu'' could keep its original characteristics which make it much more similar to a Southern Romance languages, Southern Romance language like Sardinian language, 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. Fewer and fewer people speak a Ligurian (Romance language), Ligurian dialect, known as ''bunifazzinu'', in what has long been a language island, Bonifacio, Corse-du-Sud, Bonifacio, and in
Ajaccio Ajaccio (, , , ; it, Aiaccio or ; , Ajaccino dialect: ; ) is a French ''commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata' ...

Ajaccio
, the ''aghjaccinu'' dialect. In Cargèse, a village established by Greek immigrants in the 17th century, Greek language, Greek (''Ελληνικά'') was the traditional language: whereas it has long disappeared from spoken conversation, Koine Greek, Biblical Greek is still the liturgical language and the village has many Eastern Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox parishes.


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 (''Strozzapreti#Corsican Strozzapreti, sturzapreti'') to cakes (''fiadone''). Other cheeses, like ''casgiu merzu'' ("rotten cheese", the Corsican counterpart of the
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

Sardinia
n ''casu martzu''), ''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 Corsica wine, 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 shrubland, Maquis ( co, machja) and the chestnuts and oak nuts of the Corsican forests are eaten by local animals, resulting in a noticeable flavour in the food there.


Art

Corsica has produced a number of known artists: * Alizée (singer/dancer) * Martha Angelici (opera singer) * A Filetta (polyphonic chant group) * :fr:Canta U Populu Corsu, Canta U Populu Corsu (band) * Laetitia Casta (model/actress) * Baptiste Giabiconi (model/singer) * :fr:Julien de Casabianca-Caumer, 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), Jenifer (singer) * François Lanzi (painter) * Ange Leccia (visual art) * Henri Padovani (musician; original guitarist for The Police) * Thierry de Peretti (cineast) * Marie-Claude Pietragalla (dancer) * Jean-Paul Poletti (singer) * Robin Renucci (comedian) * Tino Rossi (singer) * César Vezzani (opera singer)


Sport

Since 2017, no Corsican football club has played in Ligue 1 and are currently littered through the second, third, fourth and fifth tiers of French football. AC Ajaccio and SC Bastia are the highest placed teams, both competing in Ligue 2, SC Bastia having returned to the league in 2020-21 for the first time since the 2016-17 season, FC Bastia-Borgo currently competes in the Championnat National and Gazélec Ajaccio currently competes in the Championnat National 2. ÉF Bastia previously competed in Regional 1, but in 2021 merged with fellow Corsican team Association de la Jeunesse de Biguglia, to form Football Jeunesse Étoile Biguglia. 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.


Administration

Before 1975, Corsica was a ''départment'' of the regions of France, French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. In 1975 two new départements,
Haute-Corse Haute-Corse (; co, Corsica suprana , or ; en, Upper Corsica) is (as of 2019) an administrative Departments of France, department of France, consisting of the northern part of the island of Corsica. The corresponding departmental territorial c ...
and
Corse-du-Sud Corse-du-Sud (; co, link=no, Corsica suttana , or ; en, Southern Corsica) is (as of 2019) an administrative department of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country prim ...
, 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 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 The Corsican Assembly ( co, Assemblea di Corsica; french: L'Assemblée de Corse) is the unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In ...
, a deliberative, unicameral legislature, legislative body with greater powers than the regional councils on the mainland * The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of Corsica, an advisory body A Corsican autonomy referendum, 2003, 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 nationalism, Corsican autonomy and greater powers for the Corsican Assembly continues to hold sway over Corsican politics.


Economy

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 9.6 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 0.4% of French economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 25,400 euros or 84% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 103% of the EU average. 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 Republic of Genoa, Genoese governor ordered all farmers and landowners to plant four trees yearly; a chestnut, olive, ficus, 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.


Transport


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 Orly Airport, Paris-Orly. Budget carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair offer seasonal connections to different cities in Europe.


Railway

The island has of metre gauge railway. The main line runs between
Bastia Bastia (, , , ; co, Bastìa ) is a in the of , France located in the north-east of the island of at the base of . It also has the second-highest population of any commune on the island after and is the capital of the Bagnaja region and of t ...

Bastia
and
Ajaccio Ajaccio (, , , ; it, Aiaccio or ; , Ajaccino dialect: ; ) is a French ''commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata' ...

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. There was also the along the Thyrrenian seacoast; that line was heavily damaged during World War II, and subsequently closed for good.


Seaports

Corsica is well connected to the European mainland (Italy and France) by various car ferry lines. The island's busiest seaport is
Bastia Bastia (, , , ; co, Bastìa ) is a in the of , France located in the north-east of the island of at the base of . It also has the second-highest population of any commune on the island after and is the capital of the Bagnaja region and of t ...

Bastia
, which saw more than 2.5 million passengers in 2012. The second busiest seaport is
Ajaccio Ajaccio (, , , ; it, Aiaccio or ; , Ajaccino dialect: ; ) is a French ''commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata' ...

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, Corse-du-Sud, Bonifacio's harbour is only frequented by smaller car ferries from the neighbouring island of
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the island in the , after , and one of the of Italy. It is located west of the , north of and immediately south of the French island of . It is one of the five Italian regions with some ...

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).


Politics

There are several groups and two Corsican nationalism, nationalist parties (the autonomism (political doctrine), autonomist ''Femu a Corsica'' and the separatism, separatist ''Corsica Libera'') active on the island calling for some degree of Corsican self-governance, 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 Corsicans, Corsican people felt that the French government did not support them. To stop the poisoning, one ship carrying toxic waste from Italy was bombed. Nationalist organisations started to seek money, using tactics similar to those of Sicilian Mafia, the Mafia, to fund violence. Some groups that claim to support Corsican nationalism, 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 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 Languages of France, 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 Gaullism, 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 Corsican autonomy referendum, 2003, referendum on 6 July 2003, a narrow majority of Corsican voters opposed a proposal by the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin and then-Minister of the Interior (France), 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'' ( en, 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 17 December 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.


See also

* Corsican nationalism * Corsican language * Italian irredentism in Corsica * Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico * Corsican immigration to Venezuela * Corsican Workers' Trade Union * Corsican mafia * "Dio vi salvi Regina", the unofficial Corsican anthem * GR 20 * List of châteaux in Corsica * University of Corsica Pascal Paoli


Notes


Bibliography

* * 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. * Ravis-Giordani, Georges. 1991. ''Le Guide de la Corse''. Besançon: La Manufacture. * Saul, John Ralston. 1992. ''Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West''. New York: Free Press; Maxwell Macmillan International.


External links


Official website

Corsica: a mountain in the sea
– Official French website (in English) * * * * * * * * * *
Ferries to Corsica
Detailed technical specifications of the various ferry vessels, history, deckplans.
Audio recording of the traditional Corsican folktale 'Goldenhair' (in English)

3-minute video "The Workout the World Forgot," filmed in Corsica, 2008
{{Authority control Corsica, Islands of Corsica Mediterranean islands Regions of France Southern Europe Tyrrhenian Sea Territories of the Republic of Genoa