1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Porto-Vecchio (Corsican: Portivechju) is a commune in the Corse-du-Sud
France on the island of Corsica. The city hosted the
start of the first stage of Tour de
It is the seat of the canton of Porto-Vecchio, which it shares with
Sari-Solenzara, Conca and Lecci.
Porto-Vecchio is a medium-sized port
city placed on a good harbor, the southernmost of the marshy and
alluvial east side of Corsica. The inhabitants are called
Porto-Vecchiais in French, and Portivechjacciu in Corsican.
8 See also
11 External links
The canton of
Porto-Vecchio has a population of about 12,900 living in
four communes making up a total of 34,787 hectares (85,960 acres). It
is divided in two by the commune of Zonza, which holds a section of
the coast around the Gulf of Pinarellu.
Porto-Vecchio has two communes
to the north,
Sari-Solenzara and Conca, and two to the south,
Porto-Vecchio and Lecci.
The commune of
Porto-Vecchio is 64 kilometers (40 mi) east of
Sartène. The north shore of the gulf has many resorts, such as
Benedettu, Marina di Fiori, and others of the commune of Lecci. The
east coast, a shore with cliffs, is less habitable; beyond Chiappa
Point (a naturist site) the coast goes southwest to the border of
Off the southeast shore are the four îles Cerbicale (seldom shown on
the map but visible from satellite photographs), protected by a nature
reserve of 36 hectares (89 acres), which are part of the larger
reserve of Bouches de Bonifacio ("Straits of Bonifacio"; see under
Bonifacio). From north to south are: Forana; Maestro Maria, the
smallest; Piana, the largest, which ascends to 36 meters (118 ft)
and Pietrocaggiosa a little more distant.
Hills to the northwest are included in the national park; the village
of Ospedale there probably takes its name and origin from a large
ancient hospital of the Roman era. It never lost that function but
continues as a health center employing about 150 people. Nearby is a
reservoir, the Lac de l'Ospedale, created with a dam at the foot of
punta di Corbu in the forest of Ospedale. These hills culminate at the
1,314 meters (4,311 ft) "peak of the dead cow" (punta di a Vacca
The heights of Ospedale (or Spedale in earlier literature) are noted
for their forest of Corsican Pine. Between them and the coast extends
a plain drained by the Stabacciu, which flows into the end of the Gulf
of Porto through salt marshes, where
Cork Oak and
These marshes were a barrier between the Roman settlements along the
Via Corsicana of the eastern plain and the Roman ports of the south.
Some marshland was filled to make the modern city and commercial salt
pans were constructed on other parts (from which the commercialized
slogan "city of salt"); the rest remains. Crossed by Highway N198
south, it is no longer a barrier.
Porto-Vecchio (blue) within
Porto-Vecchio is easily accessed through FigariSud Corse Airport,
which is 24 kilometers (15 mi) away. It has a public high school
and two community colleges, a private hospital of 107 beds, a medical
school, a cork industry and extensive tourist facilities. The port
includes moorings for 450 small craft, commercial facilities and a
ferry station. The population expands to 50,000 in the summer,
predominantly Italian. The beaches are well-populated, especially
Palombaggia Beach 3 kilometers (2 mi) to the south-east. In 1983
it acquired a Film Institute, which organizes an annual film
List of recent mayors:
Since March 2004 Georges Mela
1997–2004 Camille de Rocca Serra (UMP)
–1997 Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (RPR)
See also: Prehistory of Corsica
Ancient path at Araghju
Ancient path, different view
View from the
Bronze Age citadel at Araghju
To the north of the commune is to be found the prehistoric site of
Torré, which has given its name to the Torréen Culture. Dated to the
Corsican Bronze Age, it features circular or semi-circular (abutting)
citadels of stone.
In the direction of Figari, the hamlet of Ceccia also has prehistoric
remains, and not far away is another Torréen site, Castellu di Tappa.
Castellu d'Araghju is at 45 meters (148 ft), just above the
village of Araggio. It has a circuit wall 2 meters (6 ft
7 in) thick and 4 meters (13 ft) high.
West of the commune is the prehistoric site of Tivulaghju.
Porto-Vecchio is placed in a region that in earlier times was marshy
and suffered greatly from malaria; however, the anchorage for a port
is excellent. The name means "Old Port", which may refer to the Roman
port that left traces in the vicinity. Subsequently the region was
more or less abandoned because of the malarial marshes but became part
of a large Christian parish. The city was refounded in 1539 by the
Bank of Saint George
Bank of Saint George at
Genoa on a 70 meters (230 ft) hill
overlooking the gulf. They already had a presence in Bastia.
The Genoese were careful to preserve the Roman port within the walls,
which are trapezoidal and enclose the main square, place de la
République, near the church, Église St.-Jean Baptiste. The Genoese
intended a colonia, or replacement of the population, but malaria soon
assassinated most of the Genoese settlers. Another colony in 1546
suffered the same fate and subsequently the colony became a
Sempiero Corso occupied the city for a few months in 1564.
Some of the population began to return with the drainage projects
instituted under the Second Empire but they were minimally successful.
World War II
World War II brought the presence of allies who were determined to
eradicate malaria for the health of all concerned, but especially the
soldiers and airmen. Through drainage, filling and spraying they
succeeded, making the region newly attractive because less
pestilential. The current population derives from an expansion that
started about 1950.
This town is a terminus of a branch line of the now closed metre gauge
Corsican Railways, which junctioned off the main system at Casamozza.
Former railway station
^ a b c d "France, le trésor des régions: Département:
Corse-du-Sud" (in French). Retrieved 2008-05-06. .
^ Abram, David; Geoffrey Young; Theo Taylor; Nia Williams (2003). The
Rough Guide to Corsica. London: Rough Guides. pp. 281–282.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Porto-Vecchio.
"guide de porto-Vecchio - site officiel" (in French). Archived from
the original on 2001-07-06. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
La Cuve – Accommodation in Porto Vecchio
Communes of the