Ajaccio Travel Guide
Ajaccio © Gabridelca
The capital of Corsica, the popular holiday destination of Ajaccio lies in a calm bay on the west coast of the rugged island, set against a backdrop of wooded hills. It is a relaxed rather than lively town and visitors come here on holiday to enjoy its wealth of cafés, restaurants and shops. The birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, the town takes full advantage of its famous resident to lure tourists. Ajaccio is a good doorstep into the rest of the island, and the launching point for many Corsican holidays.
Most souvenirs from Ajaccio are related somehow to Napoleon, but visitors should not overlook the region's excellent wine. Ajaccio has its fair share of little shops but it is not a shopping paradise. Travellers will find everything they need and some lovely things they don't need in the small city, but compared to some other places in France the shopping here is minimal.
There are many restaurants overlooking the promenade in Ajaccio, which are excellent places to enjoy local seafood. L'Amirauté and Le Floride have long-standing reputations and wonderful views.
Ajaccio doesn't have a loud or pumping nightlife, but focuses more on old-fashioned cafés, tea rooms and bars. There are many cocktail bars overlooking the bay on boulevard Lantivy. Visitors will find plenty of lovely watering holes but not a vibrant club scene, and those searching for a party will have to look further afield.
The sights in Ajaccio mainly revolve around Napoleon, who was born here. The town's main attractions are the magnificent cathedral where Napoleon was christened, the Bonaparte residence, and numerous statues and street names related to his family. Corsicans themselves are not particularly proud of the island having spawned Napoleon, and many consider him deridingly as a jumped-up Frenchman, but those in the tourist industry generally understand that he is a powerful draw card for visitors. Locals in Ajaccio are, however, willing to boast about the Musée Fesch, which contains the art collection of Napoleon's maternal uncle, Cardinal Fesch. The collection of Italian paintings is considered to rate second only to that of the Louvre and is well worth seeing while on holiday in Ajaccio.
Public transport in Ajaccio is somewhat unreliable.
What to see in Ajaccio
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