Jean-Jacques Rousseau said “I have a presentiment that one day this little island will amaze the world”.
AN ISLAND NAMED DESIRE
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Corsica has long been coveted. Its ideal location in the heart of the Mediterranean, its geography mixing plains and mountains have always made it particularly attractive.
Phoenicians, Phoenicians, Greeks [who nicknamed her “the most beautiful”: Kallisté], Etruscans, Romans, Pisani, Genoese succeeded each other and left their traces in the stone, as in Aléria, in the citadels or in the Genoese towers crowning the coastline.
Various invaders have sought to seize the Corsican shores for several centuries. The populations lived then entrenched in the mountains, but defended their coasts relentlessly. The longest domination was Genoese, and lasted for 5 centuries until 1769, date of the cession of the island to France to pay off the debts of Genoa.
Malgré les différentes puissances qui ont annexé leur territoire, les corses n’ont jamais renoncé à leur identité, et ont toujours mené une lutte acharnée contre leurs envahisseurs, ne leur laissant aucun répit.
MEN WHO MARKED HISTORY
One of the great popular figures is Pascal Paoli, general, hero of independence, nicknamed the “father of the fatherland”, founder of the Corsican Republic. Deeply humanist and philosopher, pure product of the Enlightenment, he fights against the vendetta, names Corte capital and creates a university there. After the battle of Ponte Novu in 1769, he went into exile for 20 years in England. Sacred man, erudite man, democrat, he is known until the United States. It remains today an icon of freedom.
Another man, the most illustrious, Napoleon Bonaparte, great admirer of Paoli, was born the year of the cession of Corsica to France. His taste for power and his great political intelligence led him to the highest peak of the state. He was crowned emperor by the French, but never denied his native island.
TAKE THE MAQUIS
Occupied by the Italians during the second world war, Corsica was also the first French region liberated thanks to the maquisards.
The history of Corsica is complex, made of twists and turns. The Corsican soul has been forged by its many invasions and dreams of freedom. She knew how to remain whole and singular, vindictive as well. Corsica was long sought, but never completely conquered.