If you told residents of Calvi that Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, they would laugh out loud.
The house, where discoverer of the New World once lived, is still visible, even if a bit in disrepair not far from the famous Citadel. A plaque attests - if you had any doubts - that the famous figure was born in Calvi, in Corsica, around 1436.
This conviction lies on the oral tradition, still very much alive in Corsica, which states that Colombus was the son of a fisherman living in the times when Calvi was ruled by the Genoese.
The advocates of this theory note that Columbus gave his discoveries the names of Corsican villages like Haiti, inspired from the village of Aïti.
They add that Columbus hid his Corsican origins from his Spanish supporters, because Calvi inhabitants had massacred a regiment from Aragon in 1421.
In Search of Evidence
In the absence of a credible birth certificate, several theories circulated about the explorer’s birthplace. Most historians believe he was actually born in Genoa in 1451.Others contend that he was Portuguese. Some say he was Catalan. Other thought he was Jewish.
In Calvi, such doubts are irrelevant. Signs have been installed in town, claiming Columbus as a local, while his effigy can be seen on the walls of the citadel. Another recent theory revived the controversy, claiming Columbus was indeed Corsican, but from Cap Corse.
Maison Natale de Christophe Colomb