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Napoleon and Corsica

Birthplace of a Legend

Ajaccio old harbour

As one of the most famous sons of Corsica, the name Napoleon Bonaparte is synonymous with military bravery and French politics. The former Emperor of France would attain legendary status and infamy in equal measure, while the legal and administrative reforms he influenced would change the face of France and endure until this day.

Such is the legacy of Napoleon, many areas of Corsica are devoted to the former Emperor; none more so than the town of his birth, Ajaccio.

Discover Ajaccio's monuments

Imperial Chapel of Ajaccio

Set on the western coast of the Mediterranean island, Ajaccio welcomed Napoleon into the world in August 1769. The ancestral home of the Bonapartes remained in the family from 1682 until as recently as 1923, and the property has since opened to the public and houses a museum dedicated to its most famous resident. Fascinating memorabilia such as a glass medallion and a lock of hair, as well as traditional furniture, can be seen on a visit here.

Of course, much of the town bears monuments to the great Emperor, with statues and street names dedicated to both Napoleon and his descendents. The Imperial Chapel is one such structure dedicated to Napoleon III, and whose construction in the mid-19th century is indicative of the standing of the family name in the generations that followed.

Myriad attractions

While one would be forgiven for thinking the allure of Ajaccio comes solely from the links to Napoleon, there is in fact a host of reasons to visit the town. The beautiful old town, for example, comprises elegant architecture and ancient streets leading down to a picturesque marina and port.

For something a bit more modern and lively, meanwhile, the Place de Gaulle is the contemporary heart of Ajaccio. The town also offers food-lovers the opportunity to experience the exquisite French and Italian-inspired cuisine in its bistros and restaurants. With a thriving fishing industry too, the fresh seafood is delicate and flavourful.

Explore the seafront

Ajacco’s beautiful coast is lined with exquisite sandy beaches that slope down to the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you’re planning to discover the scenery or simply relax by the sea with a good book, Corsica’s coast offers the perfect escape.