Ajaccio Shore Excursions
The Musée Fesch displays an incredible collection of Renaissance art, with paintings by Titian, Raphael, Bellini, Veronese, Botticelli and many others. The works were amassed by Napoleon’s step-uncle, a bishop of Lyon, who used his position to buy hundreds of fine paintings, some of them looted by the army from Italy and Holland. You’ll find the Musée Fesch just inland from the cruise dock.
Ajaccio’s market is busy, colorful, aromatic, and stacked with all kinds of local foodstuffs such as plum and myrtle liqueur, wild-pig sausages, ewe’s cheese, and rich honey comb. Corsica is covered with an impenetrable pungent shrubbery called maquis, which is full of herbs like rosemary, sage, mint and thyme, and berries like juniper, bilberry and eucalyptus. So it’s no wonder that the local food is so tasty. The Market is in the square behind Hôtel de Ville, about 200 metres south (left as you come off) of the cruise pier, just inland.
Place de Foch
The attractive city square Place Foch lies in at the center of the old town. At the top of the square see an impressive marble statue of Napoleon, atop a fountain of four lions. A smaller but no less interesting sculpture is that of Ajaccio’s patron saint La Madonnuccia, occupying a niche high in a nearby wall. The effigy dates from 1656 when the local government, fearful of infection spreading from plague-ridden Italy, placed the town in the Madonna’s protection. The Place de Foch is a minute’s walk past the market place.
One of the greatest figures of history, Napoleon Bonaparte, was born in the Maison Bonaparte in 1769. He left his family home at the age of 9 to go to school in France, but returned often, even after joining the army. The house has now been converted to a museum, displaying memorabilia from the life and times of the great man. The Maison Bonaparte is just inland from the (easy-to-see) Citadel, about half-a-mile from the cruise ship dock.
St Francois Beach
Under the southern walls of the Citadel lies pretty St Francois beach, an ideal place to while away a sunny day. The sand shelves gently into the sea, great for swimming.
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