France - September 2014

Corsica (1)

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini

The island of Corsica is a very popular with Europeans.  Very few Americans know this unspoiled French island that is 56 miles from Italy and 110 miles SE from France.  Ajaccio was first developed as a port by the Greeks in the 2nd century AD.  The town expanded considerably as a colony of Genoa in the 15C.  With a population of 65,000+, it is the largest city in Corsica.  It is known as the birthplace of Napolean Bonaparte and as a stop on many Mediterranean cruises.

View of Golfe de Ajaccio from the hills to the south.

Corsican history began in the Neolithic period (6000-2000 BC). The large prehistoric site of Filitosa was discovered near the city of Sartene in 1946. It has four groups of monuments, huts and menhir statues.

The central monument is 4000 years old and has five menhirs around an ancient olive tree

Bonifacio, at the southern tip of the island on a narrow promontory, has been occupied since prehistoric times.  The Genoese conquered it in 1187 and built the 12C citadel. The Greeks considered Corsica the most beautiful island they knew and Homer described it in the Odyssey.

This resort area extends around the tip of the island to Porte Vecchio which expanded in the 50’s.

Corsica, 114 miles long and 52 miles wide, is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean. Its varied and dramatic coast has over 200 beaches and uncounted coves and inlets.  Since roads are narrow and winding, driving the coast is both beautiful and slow. It may be a 1000 mile trip. Boats may be faster.

The small cities along the coast were originally developed by outsiders for trade. They included Greeks, Carthaginians, Etruscans, Romans, Byzantines, Lombards, Vandals, Goths, Tuscans, Genoese, Spanish, and French.   Most of those who ruled were limited to the coast. There are still 67 Genoese watchtowers that date back to the 16C.  Corsica is the least economically developed part of Europe.

The photographs were taken with Leicas, the M9 and M v240.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.  We can be contacted at   Our home page is

January 27, 2015                                                                                                                      wgfm

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