What’s all the fuss about?!

“I have a presentiment that one day this little island will astonish Europe.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on Corsica.

Despite being only a little south of the French Riviera, and just north of Sardinia, Corsica is an island that is little known to the outside world. Those that visit this Mediterranean paradise want to keep it a secret because, unlike most Mediterranean destinations, it is still largely unspoilt and naturally beautiful which is all part of its lasting charm, and, let’s be honest, we all try to keep our favourite places to ourselves!

So, in the spirit of inspiring you to join our next retreat to Calvi, Corsica and become part of the select few who know about this magical island, we have put together a list of interesting facts.

  1. Ajaccio, the civic capital of Corsica, was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769. “On Corsica I was given life, and with that life I was also given a fierce-love for this my ill-starred homeland.” 
  2. There is a saying in Corsica: “prendre le maquis”. It means to take to the bushes, retreat from the world. It reflects the feel of Corsica.
  3. Corsica has no restaurant chains.
  4. One of the reasons Corsica has escaped the mass development that is common in other parts of the Mediterranean, is the close bond that families retain to their ancestral land. It is passed down from generation to generation and so has escaped mass exploitation.
  5. With miles of soft sand and shallow water, Calvi boasts one of the best beaches in France.
  6. Corsican chemist Angelo Mariani invented cocawine in 1863 and due to his success decided to open his business in the United States, under ‘French Wine Cola’. Some years later Doctor Pemberton in Atlanta made a non-alcoholic version which became what we now consider Coca cola.
  7. Corsica has been producing wine for over 2,500 years and yet Corsican wines remain a well kept secret due to only recently being exported.
  8. Calvi is reportedly the birthplace of Christopher Colombus who is thought to have been born within the citadel during the Genoese occupation.
  9. During its short lived independence, Pascal Paoli wrote a Constitution voted in 1755, considered the first democratic constitution of modern times and one of the inspirations for the drafting of the American Constitution in 1887.
  10. Corsica is all about relaxing during the day and indulging in delicious cuisine at night – the perfect place for a relaxing break.