Tag Archives: Corsica

Festivals and holidays in Corsica

The traditions are very important in Corsica and across the island: throughout the year, there are religious festivals and other much pagan celebration such as, for example, the festival of the pig.

If you want to go on holiday and take part in these festivals, nothing simpler: just choose the right period taking into account the holiday calendar.
Meanwhile, you can arrive in Corsica all year by ferry, at the island’s ports. The various locations are then connected and easily accessible by public transport.

If you want to make a gastronomic holiday, you can start as early as February with A Tumbera which is one of the oldest traditions; it takes place in Renno, in the south of the island, and corresponds to the killing of the pig. For all the peasant households this was an occasion for celebration and sharing with neighbors. Currently, during the fair, all the products such as hams, sausages are on offer!

In May, however, in Venaco, there is the FIERA DI U CASGIU, that is, the cheese fair; you have the opportunity to taste the fresh cheese courses.
Corsica is rich in almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts; these excellent products are used in various preparations during the fairs.

In Cervione, in August, there is the FIERA DI A NUCIOLA (the Hazelnut fair).
Also in August, but this time in Aragno, there is the FAIR DE L’AMANDULU (the almond fair).

Instead A GHJURNATA DI A CASTAGNA takes place in Eviso in November, while the FIERA DI A CASTAGNA, Bocognano, you have to wait the month of December.

A Bastelica is on show, r, the goodness of an exceptional product: the Apple Valley Prunelli with a fair, A NOSTRA MELA, which takes place in November.

As for the religious festivals, they are very numerous in all locations, but the best period throughout Corsica is certainly EASTER where  there are processions everywhere, and even performances of the Passion of Christ, such as in Calvi .

On March 19 in Bastia, it celebrates St. Joseph is the patron saint of the city.
May 3, again in Bastia, there is the procession of CHRIST NOIR DES MIRACLES (this is a statue found on the seabed) which ends with the blessing of the sea.

But in the month of June is celebrated SAINT ERASME, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors, in Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi, as well as in many other countries; generally there is a procession but, later on, there is also the tasting fish.
Also in June, in Colle di Bavella, is the feast of NOTRE-DAME DES NEIGES; a pilgrimage to the very highest point where the statue of Our Lady of the Snows.

On June 24, at various locations, it is celebrated “LES FEUX DE LA SAINT-JEAN” that mark the beginning of summer; already  at night on 23 they light up the “fugare” (fires).

In Bonifacio, September 8, there is FÊTE DE LA nativité DE LA VIERGE.

On December 8 it is celebrated all over the island the FESTA DI A NAZIONE that invokes the protection of the Immaculate Conception.

Then there are the commemorations that refer to the historical past of the island. One of these festivals is held in Ajaccio from 13 to 15 August to mark the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon; it comes with various celebrations in costume parades through the FÊTES NAPOLÉONIENNES.

Aiaccio

Photo CC-BY-SA 2.0 dmytrok

In Ajaccio, every Thursday of July and August, there is the relève DE LA GARDE.

In Bastia instead, for a whole night in the month of July, 150 people in costumes representing the historical show called “U CAMBIU DI BASTIA” or “Relevé des Gouverneurs”.

Of course the French national holiday on July 14th is celebrated all over the island with various festivities and fireworks.

Throughout the year, but especially in summer, there are many music festivals, including international ones. One of the most important takes place in the town of Heritage throughout the month of July: This is the Guitar “NUITS DE LA GUITARE Festival”.

In Ajaccio, in the Place du Diamant, also in July, there is also of international and almost unique level of its kind, “AU SON DES Mandolines”.
Even in Bastia you listen to music throughout the summer; in this case the various COUNTRY MUSIC events affecting almost all genres of music.

For jazz lovers, there are, in various locations, many events that may interest you:
In April, in Bastia, it takes place on the JAZZ FESTIVAL EQUINOXE.
In June, this time in Calvi, there is the JAZZ FESTIVAL which attracts many international artists.
The same also happens to Cervioni, in the period of late July – early August, the JAZZ AU COUVENT.

Popular music is the undisputed leader in June in L’Ile-Rousse for FESTIMUSICA; this popular music festival is to know not only the traditional music of Corsica, but also in Sardinia and other regions.

In Bastia, usually between February and April, talking about movies with the Film Festival: “RENCONTRES DU CINÉMA ITALIEN”, “RENCONTRES DU CINEMA ESPAGNOL” and “RENCONTRES DU CINÉMA ANGLAIS”.

SONY DSC

Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 Miguel2b

There are still many other traditional festivals in Corsica, such as FIERA DI U MARE to Solenzana in June, as well as the FIERA DI U VINU in Luri and, again in June, CAVALL’ IN FESTA in Corte and FIERA DI L’ALIVU in Montegrosso; September’s U MIELE IN FESTA in Murzo and, in August, the FIERA CAMPESTRE in Colle di Prato.

In short, one thing is certain: there is no risk of getting bored during your holiday in Corsica!

Easter in Corsica

flickr.com_2015-03-15_20-07-11

Photo CC-BY-SA by Ole Reidar Johansen

We are here to give a little tip to spend a different kind of Easter and away from the main tourism “classic” locations that you normally think of when you are planning a vacation. Very easy to reach thanks to the ferries, here comes to rescue you Corsica!

For a fairly unusual Easter we suggest you to go to Corsica. Probably very few people would come up with this idea, but Corsica is an island touristically interesting (easily reached by ferry). For further infos have a look here http://www.ok-ferry.com/en/corsica-ferries.aspx.

Corsica is very nice to visit and explore. Easter in Corsica, then, takes on particular connotations, which make it even more beautiful and full of charm and mystery: in a few words you got to get here!.

You’ll be certainly wondering what to do at Easter in Corsica. This question can be answered by pointing out that the rites of Holy Week and all the traditions associated with Easter are really very charming and interesting, not only from a particular religious point of view but also from the “folk” viewpoint. Also, another point in favour of this destination is the fact that Spring is definitely the best season to visit the island.

We see, then, what could be a route on the island to do during the days of Easter. During the period immediately prior to Easter, on the preparations for the celebrations Easter you will enjoy most: in this period of time, throughout the island, from north to south, many events take place which have their roots in the deepest Catholic tradition. Here Easter is very heartfelt and very celebrated and you can tell by the fact that all the villages of the island are active and transformed: it is like stepping back in time, including processions, traditional dishes, celebrations and more. From north to south, the island is hit by a wave of celebration.

What are the Easter processions in Corsica? As said, the whole island is mobilized, but we must emphasize, the south area  are full of emotions and more suggestive. One of the must-see events takes place in Sartene, where still resists, from the thirteenth century, the tradition of U Catenacciu, that is the one that closes the chains. This event commemorates the ordeal of Jesus and has been repeated for centuries and centuries, every Friday. The theatre of it all is the centre of the country, which includes the procession of candles and lights that accompany a penitent carries a cross of almost 40 pounds and a chain of 17 foot pounds. All this is very impressive and takes place within a distance of less than 2 km away.

Even the procession of Gargèse is very interesting: here mysticism and revival come together and offer unique emotions. Here too, Good Friday is the day appointed to penance: the village church is turned off and you start singing of dirges in memory of Christ’s passion. On Holy Saturday, then, the church is turned back on and at midnight a part singing Greek orthodox songs is very moving and very nice to listen to. Also the tradition of Holy Monday, Easter Monday, is worthy to check:  another procession brings the patron saint to the four cardinal points. To take part in this procession, join the brotherhoods of Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It is a nice get-together.

flickr.com_2015-03-15_20-08-12

Photo CC-BY-SA by Dino Olivieri

 

Moving instead towards Bonifacio other processions are very interesting, where also relics and statues of patron saints are carried through the streets of the country. In Bastia, however, the procession following the Good Friday procession starts from the morning and walk through the nearby villages, singing and praising. During this parade, the houses of the villages are lit with candles on the edges of the windows and people comes together, forming a sort of protection for the procession. Similar events are found everywhere on the island: the procession of Calvi in ​​Balagne and Granitola are very impressive and have their roots in a very remote past that lives on in a big way.

But, we have to emphasize this very well, Corsica is not just spirituality. During the Easter celebrations, in fact, not only live religiosity, although the latter has a very important role, but there are also culinary traditions Easter which can not be taken into consideration.

Spend Easter in Corsica also means to taste the typical dishes and the latter are really many and all very interesting. For this reason we suggest you to take a leap into the culinary tradition of Corsica. The soup of chickpeas with garlic, the lasagna to broccio, cod soup with beans have always been the traditional dishes of Good Friday. But there are also many other recipes Easter worth to taste. Some examples? The Fritelli and panzarotti, which are based on chickpea flour and prepared as in centuries past, roast goat and lamb sauce is seasoned with which the handmade pasta, stews, soups and more.

flickr.com_2015-03-15_20-07-25

Photo CC-BY-SA by Guy Gorek

But even the traditional Easter cakes are very interesting. One of the specialties that you do in Corsica is a crown of sweet bread flavored with anise, to which we add the boiled eggs, which can not be eaten during the 40 days of Lent. Therefore, this cake, which in some areas takes the form of the bell, marking the end of the Lenten season and the coming of Easter. Eggs are also a symbol of Easter, just like here in our country. Their meaning is well known and is now a steady tradition. Children and adults undertake to paint the eggs with various decorations and more eggs are also the basis of the Easter Monday picnic, which is a tradition rooted in Corsica.

Visit Corsica during Easter is one of the best idea ever, because it is a period that allows you to know both the beauty of the area that the traditional ones. A must for all those who feel very Easter, but also for those who are fascinated by the island and its folklore.

The most beautiful beaches in Corsica

corsica1Photo CC-BY by Emanuela Zibordi

The splendid and remote beaches of Corsica highlighted in this article:

Bodri

It is a small beach, but with a clear blue sea and not overrun by tourists. It is located west of the most famous beach of Ile Rousse and to get there you must take the N197 choosing the exit to the sea (stopping close to Barangone). His coarse sand settles very quickly and this is also one of the reasons for the transparency of the sea. In the presence of wind become excellent for windsurfing.

Giunchetu

Beach near Bodri and better suited for families and children, since unlike most beaches, here you can get into the sea gradually.

Santa Giulia

It is a fascinating location, especially as it appears to the eyes of those who see it for the first time: an interior lagoon formed by a large strip of white sand and the water, as the rocks here and there appear very smooth. The set gives you the idea of ​​being a small Polynesia. Santa Giulia is located in the Gulf of Santa Manza at the southern coast, in the same area of the most famous Palombaggia.

corsica2

Photo CC-BY by :: ben7va ::

Palombaggia

It is the most famous beach in Corsica. The beach has fine white sand that particularly stands out against the pink (given by the granite rocks in the proximity) and against the turquoise waters, all beautifully frames a large pine forest. Ideal for a siesta during the hottest hours of the afternoon. The biggest problem is the fact that this set of features attracts the largest number of tourists, especially so in August this beach and literally overrun by vacationers. It can be reached from Porto Vecchio to the south by taking the N198 and turn left at the second exit onto the D859.

Saleccia

It is the wildest beach of Corsica, which makes it one of the most beautiful on the island. Located along the northwest coast, according to the renowned West “Cap Corse”. The beach is difficult to reach and can be visited only by following dirt roads in mountain bike or off the road. On the other hand, in the end we will find beautiful white sand that stretch out towards the sea in which the man never seems to be past before.

La Tonnara

Not far from Bonifacio, this is the beach favoured by surfers and sea sports experts, because the wind never stops blowing. In addition to the simple sea, there are also a number of restaurants and picnic areas. It is connected directly to Bonifacio along the “path of the beaches”, 8 km walk through cliffs and Mediterranean.

corsica3Photo CC-BY by Marie

La Girolata

It is the natural reserve beach of shingle and can be reached along a trail that starts from the Col de la Croix and is immersed in the Mediterranean vegetation. This beach has a beauty in some ways disturbing, due to the particular landscape that is dark sand and red rocks are the spectacle offered by this beach of volcanic origin.

How to reach Corsica? Well try this link for ferries and ships connections: http://www.ok-ferry.com/en/corsica-ferries.aspx