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L'Ile Rousse

Village of Balagne

L'Île-Rousse, with its rich history dating back to Antiquity and its exceptional natural setting of white sand beaches and red porphyry islets, is a destination of choice for lovers of history and Mediterranean landscapes.

The history

L'Île-Rousse is steeped in history, having been inhabited since ancient times (3 to 5 millennia B.C.), when it was a prosperous little town under the regency of Tyre, who named it Agilla. It then became a Roman trading post and took the name of Rubico Rocega until the 4th century, when it lost all protection and its privileged geographical position (close to the sea) exposed it to barbarian invasions... After this difficult period, it was long inhabited only by fishermen and peasants until, in the 17th century, merchants from a neighboring village saw its strategic interest.

The town

To the north-west of Île-Rousse, locals and tourists alike can see the red porphyry islets that give the town its name. To the south, they can contemplate a magnificent beach of pristine white sand and, of course, the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, the Sémaphore hill and the Fogata pass offer incredible panoramic views.

As for the old town, its cobbled streets, old houses dating back to the 18th century, fishermen's harbour, bridges and the famous market with its twenty-one columns are awe-inspiring. Nor should we forget its churches (Notre Dame de Miséricorde adjoining a former Franciscan convent, and the Immaculate Conception).

As for the new town, it is a magnificent continuation of the old one. You only have to look at Place Paoli (with its plane trees over a hundred years old) to realize this...

Built by Pascal Paoli, emblazoned with the royal lily of France, governed for more than half a century by elected Bonapartists: Ile-Rousse is a town apart in Corsican history. Its contradictions make it an endearing and unexpected place for tourists...

A trading center, Ile-Rousse became a port in the late 1750s under the influence of Pascal Paoli, who wanted to weaken Genoese activity in Calvi and Algajola. It was at this time that the town was equipped with a fortified wall protecting the port. It was also at this time that the town took the name "Isula Rossa".

Places of interest

  • The Immaculate Conception of Mary - parish church built in 1892 in the town center
  • Church of Our Lady of Mercy - former convent
  • Pietra lighthouse (XIX)
  • Place Paoli (1834)
  • Covered market (1844)
  • Sculpture of the bather in Place Paoli
  • Genoese tower on Ile de la Pietra
Hôtel A Casa Di Mà

Route de Calvi
20260 Lumio, Corsica


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