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Corsica facts for kids

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Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily, Sardinia, and Cyprus). It is west of Italy, southeast of France, and north of the island of Sardinia.

Corsica is one of the administrative regions of France. Some people want Corsica to be a part of Italy.

Corsica is famous in the world for the beautiful places for tourism and as the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte.


Corsica topo

Corsica has 1,000 km of coastline and more than 200 beaches, and is very mountainous, with Monte Cinto as the highest peak at 2706m and 20 other peaks of more than 2000m.

Big towns: (Corsican names)

Ajaccio (Aiacciu)
Bastia (Bastia)
Corte (Corti)
Sartène (Sartè)

Other towns and villages:

Saint-Florent (San Fiurenzu)
Calvi (Calvi)
L'Île-Rousse (Isula Rossa)
Porto-Vecchio (Porti Vechju)
Bonifacio (Bunifaziu)

The land and weather

Corsica is the most mountainous Mediterranean island. The low ground has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry. Winters are mild with moderate rainfall. The climate of the high ground is cold and is wetter. The natural vegetation is Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrubs. The mountains are rich of forests of oak, and pine, except for the high ground. Much of the coastal lowlands has been cleared for agriculture, which has reduced the mountain forests considerably. The island has a natural park (Parc Naturel Régional de Corse), which protects thousands of rare animal and plant species. The park was created in 1972 and includes the Golfe de Porto, the Réserve Naturelle de Scandola (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and some of the highest mountains on the island. This park is protected.


  • 725 : Lombards settle in Corsica
  • 754 : Carlo Magno, becomes king of the Lombards, and gives the lands of Corsica to the Pope.
  • 1077 : The Pope Gregorio VII gives to an important priest of Pisa,the power for change or help things in Corsica.
  • 1133 : Orders of priest separate itself in two parts, one for Genoa, and one for Pisa
  • 1195 : A group of Genoa's soldier come in Bonifacio
  • 1268 : A group of Genoa's soldier come in Calvi
  • 1284 : Corse became property of Genoa
  • 1383 : fondazione di Bastia da Genuva
  • 1551 : Samperu Corsu attacks the Turks for France
  • 1559 : Trattatu di Cateau-Cambrésis, Corsica is taken back by Genoa
  • 1725 : Pasquale Paoli born
  • 1730 : in December, Corsica is Independent
  • 1732 : Peace of Corti
  • 1735 : first constitution of Corsica
  • 1736 : Teodoru di Neuhoff became the King of Corsica
  • 1737 : Versailles meeting between France and Genoa
  • 1755 : 14 July, Pasquale Paoli became "generale di a Nazione" by the court of Orezza
  • 1755 : second constitution of Corsica written
  • 1765 : University of Corti is open.
  • 1768 : 15 May, at the "meeting of Versailles", Genoa sells Corsica to the French. Corsica attacks France.
  • 1768 : 9 October, soldiers of Pasquale Paoli, a freedom-fighter, won a battle against the French soldiers, during the battle of "U Borgu".
  • 1769 : 9 May, Corsica loses in the battle of "Ponte Novu" against the French soldiers.
  • 1769 : 13 June, Pasquale Paoli, leaves Corsica for Great Britain after France beats him in battle.
  • 1769 : 15 August, Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio
  • 1789 : France says that "Corse is part of the French kingdom"
  • 1790 : Becomes the "dipartimentu" of Corsica, with Bastia as the capital.
  • 1793 : Corsica is separated in two parts, a part of "Liamone" and the part of "Golu"
  • 1807 : Pasquale Paoli dies
  • 1821 : Napoléon Bonaparte dies on the island of Saint Helena
  • 1840 : travel of Prosper Mérimée on Corsica
  • 1858 : 4 August, French becomes the official language of Corsica


Map of Corsica

The capital of the territorial collectivity of Corsica is Ajaccio (Corsican: Aiacciu). The territorial collectivity is divided in two départements: Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse. These two départements were created on September 15, 1975 by the département of Corse.


Propriano 1
Corsica's spectacular coastline is a major drive for tourism (here by the town of Propriano).

Tourism is the biggest source of Corsican economy. The island has a pleasant climate, beautiful mountains and really beautiful coastlines that make it a popular destination among the French and other Western Europeans. However, the island has not had the same level of intensive development as other parts of the Mediterranean. Tourism is particularly concentrated in the area around Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio in the south of the island and Calvi in the northwest.


Corsica is currently governed almost as any other région of France. There are lots of movements on the island the independence of Corsica and of Corsicans from France. The French government is against full independence. There is support on the island for to have more autonomy, but polls show that a large majority of Corsicans are opposed to full independence.

In 2000, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin agreed to give more autonomy to Corsica. The propose of autonomy for Corsica would have included greater protection for the Corsican language (Corsu), the island's traditional language (which is also considered to be a dialect of Italian).

However, the plans for increased autonomy were opposed by the Gaullist opposition in the French National Assembly. In a referendum on July 6,2003, a narrow majority of Corsican voters opposed to the project from the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy that would have suppressed the two départements of the island and granted more autonomy to the territorial collectivity of Corsica.

"U Corsu", language of Corsica

In Corsica the official language is French, but lots of people speak, "u corsu", the language of Corsica, protected by UNESCO. Corsu shares some similarities with Tuscan dialects (with their accents) or to Gallurese language, spoken in the nearby island of Sardinia. Corsu has two varietes, "Supranacciu", common in the northeast of theisland, (Bastia, Corte), and the "Suttanacciu" common in the south of the island, (Ajaccio, Sartene). The native Corsican language is closer to Italian than French, but both come from Latin. The ancient Romans spoke Latin.


In Corsica, football is a very common sport. The island has in the first league of France ('Ligue 1'), 2 teams. The AC Ajaccio and the SC Bastia. Another very famous sport in Corsica, is volleyball, with the GFCO Ajaccio Volley-Ball' team.

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