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Bastia was found in 1380 by Genoa, which at that time was a powerful city-state. The name comes from "Bastille", the fort that was built on a hill to protect the city. Until the end of the 18th century, Bastia was the capital of Corsica. It is an atmospheric city with the classical style church San Giovanni Battiste and the old center Terra Vechhia with small, narrow and twisting streets and alleys.
The city has almost 40,000 inhabitants.
Bastia lies in the northeast of the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, to the north of the city is a wide peninsula that extends to Cap Corse, the most northern point of the island. Bastia has pebble beaches, further south you can find beautiful sand beaches.
Since its construction in 1862, the harbor is of great importance for the local economy, it is not only an important fishing port but 2,5 million people per year use the ferries that arrive and depart from there. Bastia handles more passengers than Marseille or Nice. Furthermore, the harbor is important for the export of Corsican wines, although this has partly been taken over by air traffic. Bastia's old harbor now serves as a marina.
Tourism is of rather significant importance. Not only Bastia itself has great appeal, also the nature and beaches in the surrounding area attract many visitors.
Although Bastia is the economic center of Corsica, the city has high unemployment, it is estimated that 20% of the working population is unemployed.
There are excellent bus connections to other places in Corsica, they leave from the bus terminal next to the train station.
The old city of Bastia is best discovered on foot, but your rental car is particularly suited to drive around the area. At the Citadel (the fort) there is a large underground parking garage.
Corsica does have highways but they are more like main roads. Take into account that the island is mountainous and the roads are curvy. A distance on the map may seem short, but in reality it will take more time than you think. To give you an example, when you want to drive from Bastia to Ajaccio you must calculate a minimum of 2.5 hours.
There is a good variety of hotels to offer in Bastia, in general they are quite basic, there are no four and five-star hotels. During summer it is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance.
There are several trailer parks near the city.
For more information about Bastia, we recommend Google and the following sources: