Southeast of the French mainland is the island Corsica. It is situated west of Italy and north of the Sardinia Island that appertains to Italy. Corsica is a French island that has three parts covered by a chain of mountains. The island came under France’s ownership after the French domination took place, until then it was owned by the Republic of Genoa.
The Corsica Island is one of the many regions of France and it is a territorial collectivity as seen by the law, meaning that it has a local government and a certain degree of freedom of administration although it is a subdivision of France. As a result, the Corsica Island has a greater power than other regions and that in itself makes it special. Although Corsica is an island and it has its own local government, it is still considered a region and listed as one of the 27 regions of France. The island is divided into two departments, namely Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse. Its regional capital is located in Ajaccio, meaning in the Corse-du-Sud prefecture. The second as size town in the region is Bastia which is in the prefecture of Haute-Corse.
The island is closer to Italy than to the French mainland but nevertheless Corsica has been part of Metropolitan France from a political point of view. Corsica was conquered by France back in 1769 and its culture is a mixture of both French and Italian elements. The language spoken on the Corsica Island is a native Corsica language that has earned the recognition of a regional language by the French government.
The island has several attractions mainly related to the fact that it is the place where French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte took his first breath in 1769, in Ajaccio. The island has his ancestral home open as a museum to those who want to visit, named Casa Bonaparte. Another well-known figure that was said to have been born in the town of Calvi, northern of the island, is the explorer Christopher Columbus.
The Corsica Island is compartmented by referring to the altitude, into three ecological zones. These are the coastal zone, represented by what is bellow 600 metres, the montane zone, ranging from 600 to 1,800 metres altitude and the high alpine zone which altitude reaches 2.700 metres.
The coastal zone has Mediterranean climate with forests, shrubs and woodlands that go together with the climate. A large area of the coastal lowlands have been used for agriculture and cleared for logging and grazing resulting in a decline of the forested areas.
In the montane zone the mountains have a range of mixed forests and broadleaf, and whose vegetation is typical of northern Europe. The population that lives in this zone, usually bellow 800 metres, are mainly hikers and shepherds.
And finally, in the Alpine zone, there are no inhabitants due to the high altitude and the vegetation is thin.
The Corsica Island is famous for its natural park called Parc Naturel Regional de Corse that has various plant species and animals under its protection. The park was first created in 1972 and it is the home of the Scandola Natural Reserve which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and it also includes the Golfe de Porto.
The language specific to the Corsica Island is still used every day and it is related to both French and Italian, but its closer to Italian. However since the island has changed ownership to France, the influence that the media and commerce had over the years lead to a decrease of the Corsican language usage and today only around 10% of the inhabitants still speak it.
The Corsica Island is famous for its various foods made with specific ingredients found only there and which is based in a large percentage on seafood such as trout or boar meat. Also some delicacies are made out of goat or sheep milk such as casgiu-merzu cheese. A special ingredient that grown on the Corsica Island is the Maquis, this gives a certain taste that can’t be easily replicated outside the Island.
Overall, the Corsica Island offers beautiful scenery, along with great cuisine and it is the perfect place for nature-lovers and hikers. If you’re one that enjoys spending time in nature then moving to Corsica is the best thing you can do. We can even help you make your transit easier.
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