Thursday, May 18, 2006


Is Corsica safe for tourists?

It's one of the most often asked questions when the subject of Corsica crops up in conversations. "Will I be safe if I go to Corsica?"

The answer is a resounding YES. It's true that there are some extremist elements in the Corsican nationalist movements, but they confine their attentions to politicians and empty buildings - usually isolated villas left unattended by their non-Corsican owners.

There have been exceptions. A correspondent in Tripadvisor's Corsica Forum today ( tells of an incident when he was a travel rep for Falcon Holidays in the 80s. It seems the nationalists attempted to blow up a seemingly unattended hotel on the low season when there were no visitors around; unfortunately, a single Falcon representative was in the building when the bomb went off, and sustained minor injuries in the explosion. The perpetrators were distraught, and sent a letter of apology to the travel company when they found out what had happened.

We use two words in English that do Corsica a disservice. Corsair (a form of pirate said to frequent these parts) is one. Vendetta - a word with Corsican origins - is another. The proud and courteous people that live on the island today won't give the visitor many clues as to the origins of these words.

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