Geographic heart of the island, Corte was also the capital of Corsica from 1755 until 1769 during the "government of the Corsican nation" of Pascal Paoli. The town has preserved much evidence from this period, such as the National palace, which was the headquarters of this government and the Paoli square, where a bronze statue of Pascal Paoli stands.
The old town has an authentic character. Its old houses of schist and with Genoese venetian blinds form a harmonious architectural whole. The 15th-century Annunciation church and the Gaffori square with the statue and the house of general Gaffori are good places to visit. A viewpoint looks down on to the confluence of three rivers, the Restonica, the Tavignanu and the Orta.
Dominating the old town, the fortifications of the citadel are home to the Anthropology regional museum of Corsica. The southern point of the surrounding wall boasts a second level, a rocky promontory on which the Vincentello d'Istria castle stands. This eyrie offers a striking view of the town and the mountains.
Located in the heart of the island of Corsica, in the department of Haute-Corse, the town of Corte is the historical and cultural capital of the Island of Beauty. This Paoline city takes place 70 kilometers from Bastia and 80 kilometers from Ajaccio, at the foot of the Monte Rotondo massif.
Very old Corsican city, Corte took off in the 18th century becoming the political center of the island. It was chosen by Pascal Paoli to become the capital of Corsica when the latter became an independent republic. The town has preserved several vestiges of this period, like its university still in activity today, or the National Palace.
The old town of Corte is full of tourist and cultural sites to discover the time of a stay in this city with rich and fascinating history. We find here the footprint of Paoli everywhere, and we appreciate the quiet charm of this typically Corsican architecture.
Do not miss the two valleys at the foot of Corte, Tavignano and Restonica. Many hikes and swimming in rivers.
Built in the 16th century, the National Palace was the seat of the Corsican State between 1755 and 1768. It was built in the heart of the citadel of Corte and housed a school, a library and a military center before becoming the museum Of Corsican history. In particular, there are some twenty works classified as Historic Monuments from the legacy of Cardinal Fesch to the city of Corte. The building itself has been listed as a Historic Monument.
Classified as Historic Monuments, the citadel of Corte dates back to the 15th century. It can be admired from a promontory installed in the heights of the city. The site itself, with its castle, offers a breathtaking view over the valleys of Restonica and Tavignano. Today, the castle houses the Corsican Museum, a museum of art and history associated with an anthropology museum, the Corsican Regional Contemporary Art Fund, Corsica's Center for Scientific and Technical Culture, As well as the tourist center centru di Corsica.
In the city, several houses deserve to be dwelt, starting with the house Arrighi of Casanova. Rebuilt in the mid-eighteenth century, it takes place just below the ramparts of the citadel and for a time sheltered the parents of Napoleon Bonaparte. This is where his brother Joseph was born. It was also in this house that the duke of Padua, who gave his name to the house, was born ten years later. The house is now listed in Historic Monuments. The building of the 1 Paoli courtyard, whose facades have been inscribed in the Historical Monuments, will also be admired.
Several religious buildings take place in the city of Corte, starting with the Church of Our Lady of Annonciade, inscribed in Historic Monuments. Located in the old town, it was built in the 15th century and has a number of objects classified as Historical Monuments such as an 18th century tribune organ, a 17th century Holy Family painting, or a painting by Saint Théophile de Corte interceding for His compatriots to the Duke of Wurtenberg bequeathed by Pope Pius XI to Corsica. The church is also known for sheltering a piece of cloth from one of the robes of Blessed John Paul II. You can also visit the Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, listed in the Historic Monuments for its interior and exterior decors, as well as the chapel of Saint Pancrace built around the 10th century.
Do not miss to discover the religious complex of San Giovanni dating from the 10th and 13th centuries. Classified as Historic Monuments, the site allows to admire the remains of the church San Giovanni Battista, as well as an old baptistery. The site takes place at more than 430 meters of altitude in the heights of Corte.
Several monuments commemorate the city of Corte as a statue of Pascal Paoli or a statue of General Jean-Pierre Gaffori. The garden of the town hall, built in the 19th century, is ideal for walks.
The town of Corte also benefits from an exceptional natural heritage to discover hiking time, such as the Monte Cardo, the Regional Natural Park of Corsica of which the municipality is part, the forest of Restonica, or the massif of Rotondo.
The Corte market is held on Friday morning.
In June, Cavall'in Festa, a regional horse show with equestrian parades, children's numbers, and aerobatic or dressage demonstrations.
The Restonica Trail takes place in July and goes through the town of Corte.