The Citadel of Calvi

If there is one place you must visit during your stay in CorsicaIt will certainly be the Citadel of Calvi. It is imposing thanks to its fortifications and overlooks the town of Calvi offering a magnificent 360° panoramic view with its beautiful sandy beaches. What makes the citadel of Calvi special? We will try to answer this question in the following paragraphs.

The citadel of Calvi, a historical monument

The citadel was built by the Calvais in 1278 following a request for protection from Genoa. The writings tell us that in the second half of the 5th century, the invasions of the barbarians Vandals, Byzantines, Ostrogoths, Moors and others, destroyed the city of Calvi, which was already well developed under the administration of Rome. Thanks to the request for protection from the Italian cities Pisa and Genoa, Calvi managed to recover under the Pisan administration. But the local lords of the Cirnaca continually fought over the town and its promontory. From 1245 to 1272, the town of Calvi was the seat of fighting and killing between Pisa and Genoa. Exhausted by the battles, the Calvais asked for Genoa's protection and the construction of the citadel began. 
The inscription on a plaque 'Civitas Calvi semper fidelis' at the entrance to the citadel follows the honour given by the city of Genoa in response to Calvi's fidelity and loyalty to it. Indeed, Alfonso V of Aragon held an expedition to conquer the city of Calvi, which he succeeded in besieging in 1420, but his failure against Bonifacio led the Calvais to revolt and totally destroy the Spanish garrison. Despite the attempt of the French to besiege the city, Calvi did not cease to show its willingness to ally itself with Genoa for 500 cents. 

Discover the citadel of Calvi

In order to make the site known in a simpler and clearer way, the Municipal Tourist Office of Calvi offers audio guides for adults. The visit will be rather amusing for children as the municipality has prepared a fun discovery of the citadel in the form of a treasure hunt.
The ramparts of the citadel of Calvi are perched on the rocks and give a breathtaking view of the bay of the Revelatta peninsula and the sandy beaches. It is criss-crossed by narrow cobbled paths. This is why it is classified as a historical monument. There are still religious buildings built in the past which have preserved exceptional works of art. These include the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, originally founded in the 13th century and rebuilt in 1570, the Calvi Cathedral and the Oratory of St. Anthony, built at the end of the 15th century. Concerts of polyphonic songs are still often held in these historic places.
You will find other buildings that served famous people of the past, such as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, which dates from 1441, and the former Governors' Palace or the Sampiero Barracks, which dates from 1496. You will learn how a former palace of the bishops of Sagone, built in the 15th century, is currently one of the highlights of Calvados' evening life, having been converted into a piano bar under the name "Chez TAO".
Are you a lover of paintings or sculptures? You will appreciate the exhibitions organised by the artists from June to September in the citadel. For those who prefer theatres or music shows, you can count on the association U svegliu Calvese. It organises themed days at La Poudrière, telling the story of the Genoese fortress and famous personalities such as Christopher Columbus and Admiral Nelson. You can also attend the Théâtre de Verdure which takes place at the foot of the citadel's ramparts.                                                                                                                                                                                              
Above all, don't forget the MUDACC or the Museum of Arts of the Citadel of Calvi located under the entrance porch. It preserves the works of the city's Contemporary Art Fund. The museum is freely accessible.
On the heights of the citadel, you can watch the water sports taking place in the resort of Calvi's pine-lined beaches. Fishermen's and pleasure boats mooring or leaving the port to take tourists to visit the nature reserves off the Mediterranean. If you want to stay in Calvi for a while, you can book accommodation in the holiday villages in advance. You can opt for hotels, residences, holiday homes or comfortable guest rooms for the whole family to stay in. Others may prefer to camp and stay in mobile homes just for the weekend. Adults can enjoy kayaking, jet-skiing, surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, excursions and group walks to visit natural landmarks, historical centres and castles. Children will enjoy the slide games and treasure hunts.
 In the end, the medieval citadel of Calvi is the main attraction of the town of Calvi. It is the cradle of the party for the summer jet set. Treat yourself to the essentials of your holiday and take advantage of the many cultural events to surprise and dazzle you!