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Southern Corsica's visitor hot spots are Propriano and Porto-Vecchio (known for its animated nightlife), along with the capital of Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte (the Bonaparte family home – Maison Bonaparte – has now been converted into a public museum). There are plenty of sandy beaches along the western coast of Corsica, all the way down to its southern tip. Key highlights of the south, apart from beaches, are the stunning Citadel of Bonifacio perched atop steep white cliffs, and the pristine, uninhabited Lavezzi Islands just off the coast. Sartène, although removed from the visitor-frequented coast, is a quintessential Corsican town with a rather grim past (it had notoriously struggled with gang crime) that has preserved a good amount of its medieval charm. It is primarily known for its annual Good Friday procession, an event that aims to recreate Jesus' journey to the Calvary. The 35-kilo cross and 17-kilo chain used in the procession are on display year-round at the Sartène church of St.Mary.
From steep cliffs of Bonifacio, to the majestic landscapes of the island's interior, to white-sand beaches and uninhabited islands just off the coast, to yellow and orange tones of Ajaccio (the capital), Southern Corsica is a region of spectacular natural beauty and a great many outdoor pursuits.
Corsican charcuterie is considered to be some of the worlds finest, an achievement it largely owes to Corsican pigs being cross-bred with wild boar, and fed natural chestnuts - a historic island staple, carrying on into the cuisine of today in the form of "pulenta" (chestnust porridge) and "fritelli a gaju frescu" (fritters), as well as an ingredient of many other dishes. Other local specialities include fish, seafood, and game (the "civet de sanglier" - casserole of wild boar - is, perhaps, the island's most prominent dish).
Cafe tables spill out onto palm-lined boulevards and squares of the capital, Ajaccio, and aren't tough to locate in most of the island's settlements either. Cafe culture is very much alive in Corsica, whose residents eagerly fill up bars and cafes for coffee or late afternoon aperitif.
Porto-Vecchio is the nightlife magnet of Corsican south. It is here that La Via Notte, reportedly Europe's largest club of its kind, is based. Celebrity appearances aren't uncommon, and world-renowned DJs are invited to host parties - especially during high season. For those rather interested in low-key evening drinks there are bars, serving Corsica's own wines (there are 4 wine regions in the south alone) and beer (Pietra, the island's own brand, brews beloved beers from chestnut).
Farmers' markets are held in most larger settlements, but Corsican deli shops do well in lieu of those. The array of quintessentially local edibles is impressive: charcuterie (meats and sausages that rank among the world's finest), cheeses, jams and marmalade made from organic fruit and berries, olives and olive oil, and sweet treats. The island's north is famous for its wineries, whose products are readily available in the shops of the south. Traditional handicrafts, such as pottery, basket-weaving and knife-making, are kept alive by local artisans.
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