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The Corsica Region of France

Location:

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. It is located west of the Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the Italian island of Sardinia. Mountains make up two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain.


Climate:

The island is divided into three major climate zones by altitude. Below 2,000 feet is the coastal zone, which features a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The natural vegetation is Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrubs. The coastal lowlands have lush tropical vegetation. Much of the coastal lowlands have been cleared for agriculture, grazing and logging, which have reduced the forests considerably. From 2,000 to 5,900 feet is a temperate zone. The mountains are cooler and wetter, and supports diverse forests of oak, pine, and broadleaf deciduous trees, with vegetation more typical of northern Europe. From 5,900 to 8,900 feet is a high alpine zone. Vegetation is sparse. This zone cooler than the coast and is uninhabited.


Geography:

Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean; its 114 miles long and 52 miles wide. Its 56 miles off the coast of Tuscany in Italy and 110 miles off the coast of Cote d’Azur in France. The interior and eastern side is mountainous with 20 summits over 6,600 feet, covering two-thirds of the island. The coastline offers over 200 beaches.


History:

Corsica has been occupied continuously since the prehistoric times. After a brief occupation by the Carthaginians, colonization by the ancient Greeks, and an only slightly longer occupation by the Etruscans, it was incorporated by the Roman Republic at the end of the First Punic War. The island produced sheep, honey, resin and wax, and exported many slaves, not well considered because of their fierce and rebellious character. During the diffusion of Christianity, arrived quite early from Rome and the Tuscan harbors, Corsica was home to many martyrs and saints.

In the 5th century, the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, and the island was invaded by the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. Briefly recovered by the Byzantines, it soon became part of the Kingdom of the Lombards; this made it dependent from the March of Tuscany

In 1729 the Corsican Revolution for independence began, after 26 years of struggle against the Republic of Genoa, the independent Corsican Republic was proclaimed in 1755 under the leadership of Pasquale Paoli and remained sovereign until 1769, when the island was conquered by France.


Culture:

Corsica is one of the few French regions in which its own minority language alongside French. The most widely spoken language is Corsican, which is closely related to medieval Tuscan. The gastronomic treats vary from the mountains to the plains and sea, with many local ingredients playing a role. Game such as wild boar is popular. There also is seafood and river fish such as trout. Regional cheeses are made from goat or sheep milk. Chestnuts are the main ingredient in the making of polenta and cakes. A variety of alcohol also exists ranging from brandy, red and white wines.



The Official Corsica Tourism Site
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