The top interest for visitors who visit Bastia is the old town, the citadel, and the old harbor. In this article, you will find the top 10 things to see in Bastia, Corcica. The town is now officially classified as a ‘Town of Art and History in France. Bastia is a commercial port town (the most important on Corcica) found to the northeast of the island. It is in an impressive location with the hills and Cap Corse behind the town.
1.Citadella di Bastia (Terranova)
Bastia was built in 1378. The Citadel, also called Terra-Nova, was created two years later. Today, if you want to visit Bastia, this monument capturing eternity is unmissable. After the flight of cobbled stairs or crossing the Romieu gardens, pass the Louis XVI gate and let yourself be carried away by the charm of the Citadel of Bastia.
2.The Old Port
Visiting Bastia during a stroll on its Old Port offers a charming break in the past. This port is as traditional as it is sublime.
The colored and ocher facades, sometimes faded by time, face the fishing and pleasure craft. Under the watchful eye of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, majestic and guardian of monumental works, life is in full swing. Cafeterias, fishermen, and walkers enliven the Old Port from morning to night.
3.Place Saint Nicolas
Located on the edge of Bastia, Place Saint Nicolas is one of the most visited. Impressive in size, surrounded by palm trees and bourgeois buildings, framed by a statue of Napoleon and that of a woman holding her son, lulled by the sound of the Bandstand, lined with restaurants and lively shops, the Place Saint Nicolas is a focal point of the city. If you decide to visit Bastia and go through this major square, be sure to go there on Sunday morning during the flea market.
4.Rue Napoléon Street
Splitting the city with its stone paving reserved for pedestrians, the rue Napoléon is an essential shopping and historical artery. To visit Bastia while shopping, this is the ideal place.
Between trendy stores, designer boutiques, local workshops, and souvenir stalls, everyone can find what they are looking for. The people of Bastia mingle with holidaymakers in a warm and light atmosphere.
5.The Scala Santa Chapel
Touring religious monuments is one of the most beautiful things to do in Bastia. Walk then for nearly twenty minutes to reach the chapel of La Scala Santa. This shelters a “holy staircase”, a rare badge held only by the high places of Christendom. In fact, there are only ten in the world. You understand that this architectural gem is worth a look! In 2019, renovations were launched. The slabs, paintings, and walls of the building have regained their former splendor, to our greatest happiness.
Visiting Bastia does not exclude taking advantage of the exceptional natural spaces of Corsica. The Sentier des Douaniers, twenty-six kilometers long, will take you to the discovery of Cap Corse. This region, near Bastia, brings together some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Island of Beauty.
The path climbs between rocks and dirt roads until you offer splendid views and tear you away from several “wahou”. The air takes in the scents of the coast and the scrubland. You feel your wings grow when you overlook the wild plain and the coves where the most beautiful shades of blue are declined.
7. The Romieu Garden
Are you a nature lover looking for things to do in Bastia? That’s good, the Romieu garden invites you to a charming stroll in the heart of lush greenery.
Harmonious, with voluptuous and elegant curves, punctuated by free-standing vases, statues, beading fountains, and wrought iron railings, the Romieu garden is a haven as refined as it is bucolic. The terraced stairs lead down to the Old Port and offer a splendid panoramic view of the comings and goings of the ships.
8.Palace of Governors
The Palazzo dei Governatori was built from a tower, built in 1380 by a Genoese nobleman, Leonello Lomellino. This tower, the bastion, which gave its name to the city, was located in a strategic place, on the promontory overlooking the loop of Porto Cardo, and was quickly transformed into a castle, an organ of more important defense than a simple watchtower. The castle became the permanent residence of the governors of Genoa in Corsica only at the end of the 15th century.
9.The museum of Bastia
The extreme diversity of his collections makes a visit to the museum an essential step in discovering the city with which he dialogues.
Its permanent thematic journey allows you to discover an unexpected Corsica both by the richness of its artistic production and through the modernity of its economy.
Representations of the city, reconstructions of interiors, or architectural elements from the houses of notables of the seventeenth century coexist with the symbols of Genoese governance and portraits of the main captains of industry in Corsica in the nineteenth century.
10. Little tourist train
The Little Train of Bastia offers visitors the commentary of national guides specialized in the heritage of this city of art and history.
After a trip back in time to the Genoese citadel, a pedestrian route allows you to discover the splendors and ancestral streets of the historic center.