Bastia is a commercial port town (the most important on Corsica) found that the north-east of the island. It is in an impressive location with the hills and the Cap Corse behind the town.
The town is now Officially classified as a ‘Town of Art and History’ in France.
There are three sections of Particular Interest to visitors to Bastia: the old town, the citadel, and the old harbor.
Bastia old town
It is to the Old Town That You will be drawn with its faded charm of narrow streets and alleys, where washing drying Still Hangs from ancient shuttered windows in the tall, OFTEN almost crumbling, buildings, dating largely from the 18th century.
Bastia old houses
It is the character of this part of Bastia, culminating at the old port, Which is the most fascinating aspect of Bastiaso Allow time to explore rather then rushing from ‘monument to monument’.
Exploring this part of town You might give a thought to Victor Hugo, who lived here as a child.
At the port the neglected buildings contrast dramatically with the expensive yachts moored in the harbor.
Bastia old harbor
There are two ports in Bastia – the original traditional one, and the more recent port where Corsica Ferries arrive with passengers from Italy and France (Nice is the most common departure point from mainland France to reach Bastia).
The old harbor is the ‘in’ place to spend your evenings in Bastia, in the many bars and restaurants, or simply promenading along the water.
Just behind the harbor is the Church of Saint John the Baptist, an Imposing church built in the 16th century. The interior of the church was renovated in baroque style in the 18th century.
Citadel and region
The other main part of Bastia to explore is on the other side of the old harbor around the Substantial citadel. This part of the town is much trendier if slightly less impressive than its old town neighbor.
The walk to the citadel passes through the gardens (le Jardin Romieu) and Passed the once-very-posh houses of the Terra Nova district.
The main ‘Notable’ buildings within the citadel of Bastia are the grand Governor’s Palace and a couple of churches: the church of Sainte-Marie de l’Assomption and the Oratoire-Sainte-Croix with its ‘Black Christ’.
Other things to see in Bastia
Venture a little further Top north to see Saint Nicholas Place (the large square behind the new port and one of the largest open squares to be found in France). While you are here you can pop into the shop Mattei to pickup a few local delicacies, and to see how shopping in the town was 100 years ago. The shop Might not have changed much, the prices have unfortunately.
There is a small pebble beach in Bastia, but the long sandy beaches slightly south of the town are worth making the effort to get it instead to Avoid the over-crowding.