The town of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica is only 390 kilometres from Marseille. It has a good port which is accessible by large ships. It produces cigars, pasta, and has shipbuilding and fishing industries. It is also the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.
We spent a damp night there by the port and in the morning wandered about the town waiting for the museum in the house of Napoleon’s birth to open.
We watched the huge ferries arriving from France.
The harbour is quite pretty.
We came upon a Saturday morning market.
The Corsican pork sausages are apparently good because the pigs wander freely and feed on acorns and chestnuts according to the time of the year….sounds a bit like the Cinta Sinese from the Garfagnana area.
The cheese looked good too.
And the terrines.
The vegetables always look good.
Napoleon kept watch over us.
Soon it was time to make our way to the modest 4 level house that was the birthplace of the little Corsican.
Napoleon was born in Ajaccio in 1769. He became a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Corsican National Guard, and the rest is history.
The family moved in and out of the house, so there is not much of the original furniture, but care has been taken to represent the era and there are some personal effects.
The first room we entered had a large hand painted map of Corsica with coats of arms, and weaponry of the day.
There were busts of Napoleon.
A little bed like the one he may have slept in.
A portrait of his mother.
A replica of his crown.
A flattering portrait of Napoleon.
Some furniture that looks remarkably like the pieces in the casino in Bagni di Lucca.
A possible death mask.
And some touching very personal things.
Ajaccio is a fairly ordinary town ( and I had one of the worst meals I have ever eaten) but Napoleon’s house made it worthwhile and I am glad we went there. I bought some of that fig jam at the markets and I think it is the best fig jam I have ever eaten. It is a bit far to go back for more…..pity.