Great cultural gatherings punctuate the year in Corsica. Calvi On the Rocks opens the musical summer and Jazz in Aiacciu celebrates the beginning of autumn. At the end of August, Arti Muntagnera enchants the mountains. In addition to the artistic events, there are food fairs, religious festivals and sporting events.
Meetings to share
From season to season, village festivals and city events enliven Corsica, as many opportunities to bring together locals and visitors. It is in summer, of course, that the events are the most numerous. But what is recurrent and common to each town and village are the religious festivals. The feast of the patron saint for each town and, in chorus for all, the great processions of Holy Week. In the mountains, chestnuts, hazelnuts and farmhouse cheeses are celebrated, not forgetting the new olive oil. On the coast, the sea urchin season offers other gourmet delights. Profane or religious, summer or winter, tasty or cultural, each of these gatherings welcomes visitors
The great cultural meetings
Calvi on the rocks (www.calviontherocks.com) is one of the magical cultural events of the Corsican summer. On the programme: concerts in the moonlight, feet in the sand, pétanque aperitifs in the central square, tastings of Corsican cuisine and aftershows in the clubs. In the intimate and prestigious setting of the historic Lazaret Ollandini monument, Jazz in Aiacciu programs world-famous headliners and exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and photographs by international artists. We can also mention the Nuits de la guitare de Patrimonio ( www.festival-guitare-patrimonio.com), a musical event that owes its success to the magic of the site, a 3,500-seat open-air theatre, and the hard work of 150 volunteers.
As for the Médiévales de Levie, in June, they go back in time during a costumed weekend. On the last Saturday of June, the very popular Carnival of Ajaccio, Carnavali d'Aiacciu, puts the city in jubilation around the parade of the Corso carnavalesque, the children's village and the masked ball. In mid-July, during a week, it is Vestivoce in Pigna, since 1975, around the Corsican polyphonies, festival which wanders among the most beautiful villages of Balagne, in the baroque churches and Romanic chapels. In September, another meeting around Corsican polyphonies takes place in Calvi (www.afiletta.com).
During the last week of August, Arti muntagnera, a transhumance of the arts in the nature of the Corsican high mountains, allows the meeting of audiences and contemporary artists of the performing arts and the plastic arts. In another register, the first week of June, Bastia welcomes Creazione(http://creazione.corsica/), the first Mediterranean fashion and design festival, in an atmosphere that is both chic and good-natured, very Corsican dolce vita
Processions and other religious festivals
In April, from one end of the island to the other, the Holy Week is celebrated. The priors of the brotherhoods carry their patron saints through the town. These processions have regional variations. In the north, the processions of A Cerca, A Parata and A Granitula punctuate the day on Friday. In the south of Corsica they are i Casci and Catenacciu. The most important are those of Cargese, Bonifacio, Propriano or Calvi. That of Bonifacio, particularly impressive, totals the greatest number of brotherhoods in Corsica. The Castenacciu of Sartene is also very popular. You will be able to participate in the processions of the small châsses and those of the large châsses where the 5 brotherhoods are joined together, as well as in the spectacular Office of Darkness. At the end of Lent, there is a lot to eat with chickpeas and lamb, cacavelli, sciacci and other panettes. Another highlight of religious celebrations is 15 August. With the illuminations of Paese in luce, the village of Nonza pays a beautiful tribute to the Holy Virgin and people come from far away to enjoy the show. There is also a procession with lanterns behind the statue of the Virgin carried by the men through the village. In many Corsican villages and even in town, the inhabitants follow this tradition of lighting their windows and doors with candles. The small flickering and moving flames give the streets a magical atmosphere.
Fairs and gourmet events
In addition to the weekly markets, Corsica honours its identity products during annual festivals and popular meetings. This is the case with the "oursinade", when sea urchin fishing is authorised (from December to March). For an urchinade in the rules of the art, go to a beach with family or friends to fish these precious seafood (maximum 3 dozen per person) under the protection of gloves. Then, with your feet in the sand, enjoy them with bread and a glass of white wine. The oursinades of Figari are the most famous.
On the first weekend in February, A Tumbera is held at the Col Saint-Roch, in Renno(www.ouestcorsica.com) around the AOP Corsican charcuterie. At the end of March, beginning of May, the Festa di l'oliu novi takes place around the new oil of Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano, capital of olive oil. In Venaco, farm cheeses are honoured at the beginning of May(www.fromages-corse.org). The Fiera di U Casgiu, Venaco's cheese fair, brings together some forty shepherds to celebrate cheese and pastoralism. In Cervione, the local hazelnut, IGP, is celebrated at the end of August. Then at the end of September, in Murzo, it is U Mele in festa, the honey in festival in the streets of the village. The visitors appreciate the local specialities, but also the hospitality of the villagers. To end the year, Bocognano honors the chestnut during its Fiera di a castagna (www.fieradiacastagna.com). All the typical products of Corsica are invited to the festival.
How to get there :
Find a flight on Air Corsica - www.aircorsica.com
Rent your car at the best price - www.autoeurope.fr
Find a cultural or sporting activity - www.visit-corsica.com/fre/Mon-sejour-en-Corse/Bouger-visiter
Consult the calendar of events: www.visit-corsica.com/fre/Mon-sejour-en-Corse/Agenda and www.isula.corsica/culture/agenda
Get a tailor-made trip with a local agency - www.corsicatours.com/