Bastia is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Haute-Corse
Haute-Corse is a French department. It constitutes the northern part of the island of Corsica.- History :The department was formed on 15 September 1975, when the department of Corse was divided into Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud...

 department of France located in the northeast of the island of Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

 at the base of Cap Corse
Cap Corse
Cap Corse, a geographical area of Corsica , is a 25-mile long peninsula located at the northern tip of the island. At the base of it is the second largest city in Corsica, Bastia...

. It is also the second-largest city in Corsica after Ajaccio
Ajaccio , is a commune on the island of Corsica in France. It is the capital and largest city of the region of Corsica and the prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud....

 and the capital of the department.

Bastia is the principal port of the island and its principal commercial town, especially famous for its wines. According to the 2006 census, Bastia has 43,577 inhabitants. Approximately 10% of the population are immigrants. The unemployment rate in the commune has persistently been one of the highest in France, standing at over 20% in 2004.


Before the occupation of Corsica by the Genoese
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Cardo was a large city. Around the city were little villages where the fishermen of Cardo lived. This little port was called Porto Cardo, meaning "the port of Cardo."

The Genoese felt the need for shelter from the sea storms and in 1380 began to construct, under Governor Leonello Lomellini, a bastiglia, Italian for stronghold or citadel. With time, the bastiglia (Bastia) became more prosperous and important than Cardo. Bastia was the capital of Corsica until 1791.

In 1794, during a war with Revolutionary France, British troops under Admiral Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

 and Lieutenant-General David Dundas
Sir David Dundas, 1st Baronet
General Sir David Dundas, 1st Baronet, GCB was a British general who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces from 1809 to 1811.-Military service:...

 briefly captured Bastia
Siege of Bastia
The Siege of Bastia took place in 1794 during the French Revolutionary War when an allied force of British and Corsicans laid siege to the French town of Bastia. After a six week siege the garrison surrendered due to a lack of supplies owing to a blockade by the Royal Navy...



Bastia has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

. The average annual temperature is about 15.3 °C (60 °F), and there are usually five days of freezing weather per year. The winds are frequent and violent, and the annual rainfall is copious (more than 700 mm). However, there are about 340 days of sunshine per year.


  • The Museum of Corsica
  • The former palace of the Genoese governors, which now accommodates a museum of Corsican ethnography. The museum covers many topics: geology, flora, history, arts and folk traditions, contemporary art.
  • The fortress with its keep and its 16th century bell tower protects Terra-Nova and offers great views over the old port, Terra Vecchia, the mountain and the coast.



Bastia's train station, which belongs to Corsican Railways, is situated in the city center and connects Bastia with Ajaccio
Ajaccio , is a commune on the island of Corsica in France. It is the capital and largest city of the region of Corsica and the prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud....

 and Calvi
Calvi is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica.It is the seat of the Canton of Calvi, which contains Calvi and one other commune, Lumio...



In terms of passengers, Bastia is the first French port of the Mediterranean with more than 2.4 million passengers in 2007 . It is the second French port behind Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 (15 million passengers).


The Bastia – Poretta Airport is located 16 km south of the city, in the town of Lucciana
Lucciana is a commune of the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica.-Geography:Situated on the eastern coast of Corsica nearly to the south of Bastia, the commune extends itself to the mountainous summit as far as the twisted lagoon of La Marana bordering the Tyrrhenian...



Bastia was the birthplace of:
  • Vincent de Moro Giafferi (1878–1956), lawyer, nicknamed the "Grand Moro"
  • César Campinchi
    César Campinchi
    César Campinchi was a lawyer and French statesman in the beginning of the 20th century....

     (1882–1941), lawyer and French politician
  • César Vezzani
    César Vezzani
    César Vezzani was a French/Corsican operatic tenor who became a leading exponent of French grand opera through several decades. -Career:...

     (1888–1951), operatic tenor singer
  • Jose Luccioni
    José Luccioni
    José Luccioni was a French operatic tenor of Corsican origin. He possessed one of the best dramatic voices of the 1930s and 1940s....

     (1903–1978), operatic tenor singer
  • John Bernard
    John Bernard
    John Toussaint Bernard was a United States Representative from Minnesota.A native of the French island of Corsica, Bernard was born in 1893 in the town of Bastia. Moving to the United States in 1907, he would later work as an iron miner before enlisting in the United States Army during World War I...

     (1893–1983), American politician, representing Minnesota in the House of Representatives
    United States House of Representatives
    The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

  • Angelo Rinaldi
    Angelo Rinaldi
    Angelo Rinaldi is a French writer and literary critic.-Biography:Rinaldi is the son of Pierre-François Rinaldi and Antoinette Pietri; after growing up in Corsica he became a journalist...

     (born 1940), writer and member of the Académie française
    Académie française
    L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

  • Yves Simonpaoli (born 1928), painter and professor of dentistry
  • Henry Padovani
    Henry Padovani
    Henry Padovani is a French musician from Corsica, who is noted for having been the original guitarist for The Police...

    , original guitarist of The Police
    The Police
    The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the vast majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting , Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland...

  • Alex Song, Cameroon and Arsenal
    An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

     football player
  • Baptiste Giabiconi
    Baptiste Giabiconi
    Baptiste Giabiconi is a French male model from Marignane, France. He is currently the male face of Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld.-Career:In 2008, Giabiconi signed with DNA Model Management New York....

     (born 1989), Male model and pop singer

See also

  • Sporting Club de Bastia
  • Bastia - Poretta Airport
  • Communes of the Haute-Corse department

External links

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