Porto-Vecchio

The perfect seaside resort

The third largest town in Corsica, Porto-Vecchio, once thriving on the exploitation of salt, timber and cork, has turned into an attractive seaside resort. Sea and mountain are within reach and reveal extraordinary landscapes. It is impossible to overlook the beauty of the sandy beaches of Santa Giulia and Palombaggia and their quiet turquoise waters. It is equally difficult not to be charmed by the sparkling and contrasting colours and the exceptionally diverse wildlife of the Ospedale massif.

To boost and develop the appeal of the region, countless open-air activities are on offer. A wide range of water sports is available; scuba diving, cruises, kite-surf, water-skiing, windsurfing, jet-ski, kayaking, multi-hull sailing…

On the mountain side, trekking, via ferratas, canyoneering, donkey rides, mountain biking are a must. And for the ones looking for thrills, parachuting, helicopter treks, quad and horse rides lead to settings often impossible to reach otherwise. The town evolves constantly and welcomes more and more sporting and cultural events requiring investments in terms of infrastructures.

Web sites

Yachting © Ville de Porto VecchioYachting © Ville de Porto VecchioHiking ©ille de Porto VecchioSanta Giulia Bay © Ville de Porto VecchioSanta Giulia bay © Ville de Porto VecchioSanta Giulia beach © Ville de Porto VecchioPalombaggia beach © Ville de Porto VecchioPiscia di Ghjaddu waterfall © Ville de Porto Vecchio
No previous stage
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional  Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair  (September)
Label: exemplary port

Timeline

  • Prehistory

    For major sites, Torre de Ceccia, castellu de Tappa, Tiuolaghju and the Torre site reveal that the city was the centre of the Torrean civilisation (3000 to 2000 B.C.).
  • 6750 BC

    Discovery in 1972 of the Bonifacio Lady, a prehistoric woman aged 35 at the time of her death.
  • 1539

    First Genoese occupation and building of a fortress. Several occupation phases follow one another. The citadel is abandoned in 1600.
  • Late 18th century

    The end of the war of independence allows Porto-Vecchio to grow again in spite of the opposition of Bonifacio. The town become a cantonal capital.
  • 1803

    Election of the first mayor from the Rocca Serra family, who will give nine other mayors to the city.
  • 1848

    National Road 198 is open to service.
  • 1850

    Start of the rehabilitation of the marshlands, a task that will take a century.
  • 1920

    The town keeps growing and reaches 4,000 inhabitants.
  • 1950

    The final rehabilitation of the marshlands turns Porto-Vecchio into a tourist destination. Porto-Vecchio becomes Corsica’s third biggest city.
Casteddu Di Tappa, Corsica © VistaTorre Di Ceccia, Corsica © IKAlCitadel © Ville de Porto VecchioFautea Genoese tower between Porto-Vecchio and Solenzara © Fr.Latreille
No previous stage
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional  Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair  (September)
Label: exemplary port

Web sites

Porto Vecchio and cycling

The experience of four editions of the Criterium International made Porto-Vecchio the obvious starting point for this 100th edition. The peloton is now familiar with the roads of the Ospedale massif, on which Pierrick Fedrigo has made it a specialty to win while the time trial drawn around the third Corsican city crowned excellent specialists such as Richie Porte (2013), Cadel Evans (2012), Andreas Kloeden (2011) and David Millar (2010). Nearly half a century ago, in 1964, Raymond Poulidor had won a stage of Paris-Nice finishing in town when the Race to the Sun had visited Corsica. The next day, “Poupou” had passed Jan Janssen in the GC when the Dutchman crashed in a time trial in the streets of Bastia and gave up. Since then, Porto-Vecchio hosted several stages of the Tour of Corsica.

Richie Porte won the Porto Vecchio time trial on the Criterium International 2013 © ASOPeloton in Olmiccia, Critérium International 2013 © ASO/P.PerreveCol de l'Ospedale, Criterium International 2012 © ASO/P.Perreve
No previous stage
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional  Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair  (September)
Label: exemplary port

Web sites

Places to see

The citadel

In 1539, the senators of Genoa asked the San Giorgio Office, a wealthy Genoese bank, to build a fortress on a large rock of porphyry in order to exploit the riches of the valley and export them to their city. The Porto-Vecchio citadel saw the light of day but in spite of a fertile hinterland and a large gulf, the site remained infested with malaria and Moorish pirates. Between 1540 and 1589, the citadel was destroyed and rebuilt three times. The Genoa Republic eventually sold it to France in 1768. One year later, the troops of King Louis XV took over the spot which they renamed Bastion de France. The Bastion de France, in which are held every summer exhibitions, is the most famous of the five bastions in the citadel. The four other private bastions are Bastion Sant' Antonu, the Windmill Bastiion, the Palazzo Bastion and the Bastion Funtana Vechja

Ospedale forest

The Ospeedale forest owes its name to an old hermitage (hospital) hosting since the XVth century travellers and shepherds making their way up the mountain. In the hamlet, the San Leonardo church was restored in 1996. In sunny weather, the Ospedale site provides a magnificent view on the Porto-Vecchio gulf. A little above the village, at an altitude of 948 metres, lies an artificial lake. The small villages of Agnaroru and Cartlavonu are other good starting points for mountain treks. The summit of the Vacca Morta is easily accessible and its panoramic view over the hamlet of Cartalavonu is a must in itself. Ospedale is a beautiful forest of pines and beech with plenty of paths for trekkers. It was the site of a stage finish in the Criterium International for the past four years.

Bouches de Bonifacio Nature Reserve

The French part of an international project for an international sea park between Sardinia and Corsica, the Bouche de Bonifacio nature reserve is the largest in metropolitan France with 80,000 ha. It is completed at sea and in the isles by the Ciarbicali Islands nature reserve. Wildlife is very diverse, and in the isles Western Mediterranean and African plants can be found.
Silene velutina is the most precious flower for scientists on the reserve while seabirds like cormorants, puffins, petrels or herring seagulls make the reputation of the International Sea Park.

Beaches

South of the Porto-Vecchio Gulf, the beach of Palombaggia (Palumbaghja) and the bay of Santa Giulia (Santa Ghjulia) are reminiscent of Polynesian lagoons and are among Corsica's most famous beaches.

Citadel © Ville de Porto VecchioCitadel © Ville de Porto VecchioOspedale forest © Ville de Porto VecchioBouches de Bonifacio Nature Reserve, cliffs © Markus3Palombaggia beach © Ville de Porto VecchioSanta Giulia bay © Ville de Porto VecchioSanta Giulia beach © Les éditions CorsePlace de la république © Ville de Porto VecchioSt John the Baptist church © Ville de Porto Vecchio
No previous stage
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional  Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair  (September)
Label: exemplary port

Web sites

Porto-Vecchio a city of stars

Long ill-famed as unhealthy because of the presence of marshes and insecure because it was the base of Moorish pirates, the site of Porto-Vecchio took its revenge in the last half century as the town became the third largest in Corsica and a favourite destination for tourists and especially stars.

Jet set celebrities relish its beautiful beaches and the tranquillity of the landscapes of Alta Rocca and Ospedale where they sometimes have their villas. The list of VIPs to have owned a residence in town is a long one.

Singer Dalida was a pioneer as she was the first to settle in a house in the quarter of Marina de Fiori.Then former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, actors Christian Clavier and Jean Reno, singers Michel Sardou and Mylene Farmer and even jetsetter Paris Hilton followed suit.

Some even married Porto-Vecchio-born wives like comedian Daniel Auteuil.When they discovered such a beautiful setting, Clavier and Reno decided to shoot their film “The Corsican file” on the spot.

The presence of so many well-off personalities is a bit of an irony when one thinks that the region was the stronghold of a 14thcentury Franciscan sect know as the Giovannali, who had vowed to live in poverty and were massacred by the official church.

Lake of Ospedale © Ville de porto VecchioLake of Ospedale © Ville de porto VecchioVillage of Ospédale © Ville de Porto Vecchio
No previous stage
Pop: 11,800 Chef lieu de canton of Corse-du-Sud
Specialities: sartinese (cheese), Corsican delicatessen, AOC wines, olive oil, figatelli (sausage).
Economy: tourism, sea freight.
Celebrities: Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra (politician), Yves Loubet (rally), Priscilla Gneto (judo), Claude Papi and Nicolas Penneteau (football)
Sport: Criterium international - Memorial Jean-Marc Saladini (bowls) – Historical Tour of Corsica.
Culture: Regional  Film Centre Casa di Lume (unique in Corsica) - Classical and cultural music festival (February), Scen'E Sonniu (April), Semaine de la Critique Cannes at the Cinémathèque (May), Lire au soleil (June), Porto-Vecchio Music Festival (July), International Latin Dance Festival, annual fair  (September)
Label: exemplary port

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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