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Nestled on the northwest coast of Corsica, Calvi is a town with a rich historical past, from its Roman and Genoese origins to its resilience in the face of invasions and its blossoming as a Mediterranean tourist gem. Its heritage, combining imposing citadel, idyllic beaches and cultural festivals, makes it a must-see destination on the Isle of Beauty.

The history

Although the Gulf of Calvi has been a maritime port of call since ancient times, the foundations of the town were only laid by the Romans in the 1st century, before being destroyed by barbarian raids.

Under the Pisans (11th-13th centuries), the town regained some of its lustre, until rivalries between local lords led the population to seek Genoa's protection in 1278. The powerful Italian republic couldn't have hoped for better: faced with this opportunity to consolidate its power on the island, it was quick to make the Calvais citizens of Genoa. From then on, the town's history was inextricably linked to its loyalty to the Italian republic, which was designated as the oppressor in many other parts of the island (and is still sometimes singled out for criticism). Under Genoa's impetus, the town was fortified and equipped with its own citadel. Genoa transformed it into a prosperous city and, in the 15th century, Calvi became one of Corsica's two Genoese strongholds, along with Bonifacio. It remained so until the 18th century.

In 1794, Calvi was forced to capitulate to repeated assaults by British armies and Pascal Paoli's independence troops. Heavily bombarded, Calvi was largely destroyed in the fighting.

The city reverted to French rule in 1796, at the end of the short-lived Anglo-Corsican kingdom.

The town

A speck of beauty on the Isle of Beauty, nestled in the north-west of Corsica. Its citadel sits on the water, looking out over the snow-capped mountains reflecting their shadows on the sea. Boats moor at the foot of a colorful marina, extended by a 5 km beach and a 32-hectare pine forest, forming one of Corsica's most beautiful gulfs.

Calvi is one of Corsica's most popular and popular ports of call, summering for its beach and cultural for its citadel and festivals. The prosperous "capital" of the Balagne region stretches along its gulf under the double watchful eye of its citadel and Monte Cinto (2,706 m), a former Genoese stronghold that became one of the island's leading tourist destinations in the 1920s. Its reputation has never wavered, thanks to its setting, cultural vitality and heritage. Calvi is also one of the most popular seaside towns during the summer. Its population of 5,600 is multiplied almost tenfold.

The 300-hectare Revellata peninsula, on the west coast in the direction of Porto, is home to much of the local flora and fauna, as is the seabed, a delight for diving enthusiasts.

High above the town, the sanctuary of Notre Dame de la Serra, patron saint of the city, offers the most beautiful panorama of Calvi.

Calvi has something for everyone!

What not to miss in Calvi

  • Calvi citadel
  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral
  • Laurent Giubegga's house
  • Bishops' Palace
  • Bastion Celle
  • Se Tower
  • Church of Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Notre-Dame de la Serra
  • Calvi on the Rocks Festival (July)
Hôtel A Casa Di Mà

Route de Calvi
20260 Lumio, Corsica


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