Discover Calvi

Activities and leisure in Calvi

From your apartment in Calvi you can take the coastal footpath to the center of Calvi(30min) or in the oposite way to the tip of the Revellata (1h30). Once you arrive at the beautiful headland, you can contemplate the fortified city of Calvi and its citadel, which appears clearly in its role as the capital of the Balagne region.

Beyond the ramparts, the vast old residences seem to supervise the coasts. The Phoenicians, people of maritime traders, would have used that 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 beaches of the Gulf of Calvi extend for miles,the city itself is quite small(apartment rental at only 1km 200 from Calvi center, 20 minutes by foot). However, one gets lost with great pleasure in the alleys and staircases of the citadel, among some crooked houses, all plastered in soft colors.

A little advice: if you didn't come by train, but by car, it is better to park it before visiting Calvi, maybe at your free parking place that is reserved for you when uou stay at one of our hotels in Calvi. That will be wise. No doubt your steps will take you immediately to the port: The dock offers the best viewpoint on the Citadel. You will see an isolated dungeon, just in front of the ramparts, which is the tower of salt. It used to be a warehouse, after being erected as a fortification.
CALVI BETWEEN BEACHES AND REMPARTS (only a few steps away from your hotel)

In fact the ramparts 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.

Between both, on the left, 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, people of Calvi 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 xill indeed see a plaque fixed near the vestiges of walls that it identifies as 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 supporters of Paoli, before leaving Corsica to the destiny that we all know.

In Calvi, history waits for you at the corner of its streets, its stairs and your room in our hotel.

From your appartment in Calvi, go down to the city. Then take a look at the most extraordinary monument of Calvi: the tower of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. That sharp tower was built in the nineteenth century near a circular building housing among other things, a remarkable organ of the eighteenth century. The church itself, is beautiful and baroque and stands between the squares Crudeli and Dr Marchal: their terraces are ideal for observing the bustle of Calvi in summer, waiting for the time to catch the train or to return to your room at your hotel in 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 accepted, and to voluntarily 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.

If Calvi, its cultural heritage and history interests you, and you want to discover our beautiful city but don't know where to stay, don't hesitate to contact us and we will suggest you a room in our residence in Calvi.