Corsica from Porto to Ajaccio 9 18 2019.September 20, 2019
Bonifacio and the Aiguilles de Bavella, Corsica 9-20-2019.September 23, 2019
Thursday 9-19-19 another lovely day in Corsica. Today’s itinerary included departure from the delightful Hotel Les Muettes and a visit to the Maison Napoleon, birthplace and boyhood home of Napoleon Boneparte and then a drive via Propriano to end the day in Bonifacio.
Maison Napoleon is the family home of Charles and Letitia Boneparte, the parents of Napoleon and his siblings and the place where Napoleon was born in 1769 and where he spent his boyhood years. As a teenager, he moved to mainland France to begin his military education. The home is on a small side street in Ajaccio and is a very beautiful three-story stone building. The home is furnished in original and period furniture and replete with information, drawings, painting, statues and provides a nicely-documented history of Napoleon and his family. The home was dedicated to the French State in 1924 and converted into the museum. Napoleon is generally revered in France as a great leader of the “First Empire” although in other parts of Europe his is regarded as much less! I enjoyed the visit very although it taxed my meagre French because all of the written material was only in French, as one might expect of a French museum!
From Ajaccio, our trip proceeded southwest along the western coast of Corsica to the port city of Propriano, our lunchtime stopover. The town was very lively with a cruise ship in the harbor and many shops and restaurants along Avenue Napoleon III the main street along the port. Using the Michelin Red Guide we found an excellent restaurant, Chez Parenti, facing the port and providing a pleasant view as well as a cool breeze. The jewel of our lunch was a French specialty, Langouste with pasta. Langouse are large crayfish from freshwater rather than Homard or lobster which is from the sea. A delicious cheese course provided to us by Mr. Parenti himself, the chef-owner of the restaurant and a delicious Crepe Suzette completed our very satisfying lunch.
From Propriano it is about a two-hour drive mainly in the hills but with coastal views also to the southern-most point on the island of Corsica which is the City of Bonifacio. My two-night stay in Bonifacio will be at the recently renovated Hotel Genovese which is built into the old walls of the Citadel which protected the city and the Island of Corsica from invaders from the south. More about Bonifacio and the Hotel Genovese tomorrow though.