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Destination Weddings in Corsica

Celebrate your wedding on Corsica! "Corsica. I feasted my eyes on its wonderful gulfs of swirling agate, on its beaches, on its hidden creeks, on its snow-tipped mountains, its forests, its mysterious scrub, its streams and rivers, its waterfalls and its thousand scents."  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1944

The Greeks called Corsica, Kalliste which literally means "most beautiful."  More recently it has been called,  “the mountain in the sea,” “the fragrant isle” or the “granite isle.” Whatever name you feel is most apt, Corsica will captivate you with its stunning beauty! This gem of an island seems to rise out of the sea, with the peak of Monte Cinto topping the island at 2,716 meters above sea level.  Corsica, which is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean is also the highest, with an average altitude of 680 meters above sea level.  Rugged mountain ranges, forests and thousand-kilometer coastline all offer breathtaking locations for your wedding in Corsica.

Located between France and Italy, just north of Sardinia, Corsica will entice you with its varied landscapes, charming customs that seem have remained unchanged for generations as well as its local cuisine and products such as wines and olive oil.  The island is well serviced by several ferry lines and air carriers.  Cities on the island like Bastia and Ajaccio with their museums, galleries, churches, boutiques and historical centers  provide a wonderful starting point for your marriage celebration in Corsica.

Corsica has remain virtually untouched by modern industry and is a paradise for nature lovers!

The mountains are crisscrossed by fresh streams and paths cut through the forest by herders following their sheep. Hiking, climbing, horseback riding and mountain-biking are popular activities and there is no shortage of well marked paths to discover the island on your own or with a guide.  During the winter months residents and tourists take advantage of resorts offering both downhill and cross-country skiing on Corsica’s alpine peaks.

If you prefer to remain along the coast, the long sandy beaches on the eastern shores of the island and rocky coast to the west provide ample opportunities to engage in activities of all sorts from boating, fishing and scuba diving to romantic walks on soft dunes.

Corsica’s residents are proud of their heritage.  This can be seen in the excellent condition of the majority or the monuments on the island, can be heard in the harmonies of traditional polyphonic a capella melodies that have been handed down from generation to generation, and can be tasted in specialties like canistrelli and finuciette (anis flavored cookies), figatellli (liver sausage) or anchiulatta (savory onion stuffed pastry). A wedding reception in Corsica will delight your palate!

Corsica’s history is as rich as the island is picturesque!

Archaeologists believe that the first groups of men and women came to the island from Sardinia and Tuscany when these lands were still a part of the Italian peninsula.  While it is believed Corsica was inhabited during the Paleolithic Era, about 12,000 BCE, the oldest physical evidence found to date can only confirm civilization on Corsica since the Neolithic period (6,570 BCE).  You can explore the remains of these ancient civilizations in several locations on the island; dolmens and menhirs, some sculpted to resemble men attest to a culture whose mysteries continue to intrigue us. 

The wild beauty of Corsica has long attracted visitors, some of whom were more welcome than others.  Attempts to conquer the island have been made by the Greeks and Phoenicians, the Romans, the Goths, the Vandals, the Byzantine Empire, the Moors, the rulers of Pisa and Genoa, the Spanish, the English and finally by the French.  The influence of all these peoples can still be felt today on the island.

In 1077, Pope Gregory VII decreed that the state of Pisa was to rule Corsica.  The Pisans ruled the island until 1133 when Pope Innocent II divided the island between the states of Pisa and Genoa.  During this time many new villages and towns were built. Churches, monasteries and convents flourished.  It is estimated that approximately three-hundred Romanesque style churches and other Catholic buildings were constructed on Corsica during the Pisans’ short rule.  These simply designed churches built using a remarkable variety of local stones seem to need no further adornment and are the perfect setting for your Catholic wedding in Corsica.   It is not unusual to stumble across the ruins of a monument dating back to the middle ages while walking in the mountains or through a field of ‘maquis’, wonderfully aromatic brush unique to the island whose scent Napoleon claimed allowed him to recognize the island.

The Genoese were finally able to retake the island in 1347 and ruled the island until the beginning of the 18th century with attempts made by both the Spanish and French to take Corsica.  After centuries of invasions, this time of relative peace allowed the residents to establish six dioceses and several parishes on the island. 

The Genoese’s presence on the island also had a great influence on the art and architecture of the island.  Numerous churches and monasteries were built during this period.  The Romanesque style churches on the island were simple and quite often, unadorned.  The Baroque style which was introduced to Corsica by the Genoese is light and airy.  The painted and sculpted decorations used in these churches was rich with Catholic symbolism.  Towards the end of the Genoese rule, the Rococo style, even more ornate than the Baroque style, became popular on Corsica.  The Eglise Saint Jean-Baptiste in Bastia is a wonderful example of this dramatic style.

Corsica became a part of the French Empire in 1789, only to be lost again in 1794 when Sir Gilbert Elliot ruled the island under combined English and Corsican rule.  Corsica was finally  conquered by Napoleon in 1796 and became a ‘departement’ of France in 1811 with Ajaccio as its capital.  Today, the island is, technically, a part of France.  The use of Corsi which is the traditional language of Corsica, the unique flora and fauna, and small rural communities make Corsica seem very far from continental France indeed.

Corsica is a fantastic location for your wedding in France, providing a wide range of activities and services.  With everything there is to do and see you will be tempted to stay indefinitely!  The memories of your marriage celebration on Corsica with the scent of the maquis floating on the breeze, the sound of voices singing in three-part harmony and the taste of local cuisine will call you back to celebrate wedding anniversaries on the island for years to come.