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History & Discovery

The Balagne Region

The team of the Sole mare hotel welcomes you to its wonderful Corsican region , The Balagne.

We have at your disposal many itineraries and other walks that you can enjoy during your stay with us, in our 2 star hotel.

You will discover our wonderful historical, natural and cultural heritage.

We wish you to appreciate all these landscapes and sumptuous panoramas as well as the Corsican craftsmen who make Corsica so authentic!

>> Map of Calvi & Balagne <<

>> Good Addresses <<

>> Hiking - Calvi Surroundings <<
A bit of history of Calvi

In 1278, the bourgeois of Calvi, exhausted by the rapacity of the lords of northern Corsica, voluntarily ranged under the protection of Genoa. The Genoese volunteered accepted, and to secure the confidence of the city they granted to Calvi privileges and franchises. That was really effective if we judge by the motto engraved above the gate of the citadel :

CIVITAS CALVI SEMPER FIDELIS (the city of Calvi always loyal).

In fact, until the end of the eighteenth century, when Corsica became French,
Calvi's support to the Republic of Genoa was never in default.

Citadel of Calvi :

The ramparts of the citadel shelter a second city. After crossing the monumental gate you arrive in the former palace of Genoese governors, nowadays a barracks of the French army. In front of it stands the Giubega Palace, which was the residence of the bishops of Sagone in Calvi.
Beyond the ramparts, the vast old residences seem to supervise the coasts. The Phoenicians, a people of maritime traders, would have used this bay as a shelter in the 5th century BCE. But it was by the time of the Genoese occupation (XIII century) that the citadel of Calvi was built. Even if the beache of the Gulf of Calvi extend for miles, the city itself is quite small. However, one get lost with great pleasure in the alleys and staircases of the citadel, among some crooked houses, that are all plastered in soft colors.
The Quay offer the best viewpoint on the Citadel. You will see an isolated dungeon, just in front of the ramparts, is the tower of salt. It used to be a warehouse, after being erected as a fortification.
The Saint Jean-Baptiste church - Calvi :

The church of St. John Baptist deserves a visit, because it houses a miraculous crucifix: it is an ebony cross that is called Black Christ, or Christ of Miracles. During the siege of Calvi by the Marshal de Termes, in 1555, the calvais went around the ramparts in procession with that crucifix to chase the enemy ... .and miracle; the siege was raised.
In Calvi, we don't refuse the wondrous. Moreover, we like to say that the navigator Christopher Columbus was born here. On the heights of the citadel, you will indeed see a plaque fixed near the vestiges of walls that it identifies as those of the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. It is true that he was Genoese, just like the city of Calvi. It is also said that the navigator gave typical Corsican names to some fishes found in the Caribbean Sea. Why not after all? And what happened to the house? It was destroyed by english bullets, launched during the siege of 1794 . During this historic episode, among the audacious British officers who attempted the assault was a certain Horatio Nelson. And it was in Calvi that he lost an eye. In the maze of alleys you will also see a plaque evoking the stay of Napoleon Bonaparte in Calvi in 1792.He was seeking refuge after fleeing Ajaccio, where he had opposed the independence
The Sainte Marie-Majeure church - Calvi :

From your hotel in Calvi, go to the city to visit the marine that is situated in opposition to the citadel. For that you can orientate you by the tower of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore; one of the most extraordinary monuments of Calvi. This sharp tower was built between the eighteenth and nineteenth century near a circular building housing among other things, a remarkable organ of the eighteenth century. The church itself, it's beautiful and baroque and stands in the shopping street of Calvi, la rue Clemenceau.
The Pointe of Revellata and the Lighthouse – Calvi :
The chapel of Notre Dame de la Serra – Calvi :
Capu di a Veta (The cross of the Austrian’s) - Calvi :
The Bonifato forest and its river Figarella - Calenzana :
The Fango Valley - Galeria :
Arts and Craft’s road :

>> Interactive map : Click ! <<

In 1993, the craftsmen of Balagne were brought together by the “chamber of trades” to create the association "La Strada di l'Artigiani".
One year later, they decided to create a thematic road with this name.
Between Calvi and Ile-Rousse, in one way or another, through all the old villages, come discover these men and women proud of their trades and passions and who will show you their ancestral knowledge passed down from generation to generation.
Calvi, Calenzana, Cateri, Lumio, Corbara, Pigna, San Antonino... are so many sites to visit and as many craftsmen to meet. You can discover the art of glassworks, pottery, cutlery and many other trades such as beekeepers, winemakers, luthiers...

On this road, the hiking-lovers will have the possibility to discover different hiking paths, and all of them are beautiful with superb views. For example the trail of "the Pieve D’Aregnu» and the trail of the "Monte Sant Angelu" .
The lighthouse of La Pietra - L'Île Rousse :

If you take the north direction out of Calvi, you can reach the town of L'Ile-Rousse by the costal road, in only an half-hour. There you can visit the islet of Pietra and is lighthouse, at this iconic place of the city grounded by Pascal Paoli in 1765.
This islet of Pietra is at the origin of the famous “Ile Rousse” which gave the name to the city.
The Pietra means the big stone, but in Roman era, it was called "rubico rocega, the red rock".
The past is still visible on the island of Pietra thanks to a defense tower built in 1570. But the lighthouse, it is much more recent. It dates from 1857, constructed under the direction of Napoleon III. It was built to lighting the maritime routes, and was part of a global policy of lighthouses-constructions in Corsica.
Lake Codole - Speloncato :
The beach of Saleccia - Desert Agriates :
The Scandola Nature Reserve and its village Girolata :