Visit the Citadel of Calvi

A bit of history

500 years under Genoa rule

In the second half of the fifth century, barbarian invasions stormed the Corsican coast and destroyed the village of Calvi, which was still only just beginning to develop. It would begin the recovery process under the Pisane administration.

In the thirteenth century, the lords of Cirnaca argued over the city and its promontory. Giudice di Cirnaca besieged Lord Giovanninello Nebbio, who took refuge on the rock where the first fortifications of the Upper Town would be built. Sieges and slaughters followed one after the next from 1245 to 1272. Infuriated, the residents of Calvi requested protection from Genoa in 1278 to begin rebuilding the Citadel.

During Alfonso V of Aragon's expedition, Calvi - after a long resistance - was finally conquered in 1420. But the following year, of Aragon's failure in Bonifacio, Calvi residents rebelled and massacred the Spanish garrison. Pietro Baglioni who led the uprising, won the nickname "libertà." Calvi would thereafter remain faithful to Genoa.

In 1453, the Office de l'Administration de Saint-Georges took over the management of the city and the rest of Corsica.

Enjoy an interactive tour of one of the most beautiful sites of Corsica

  • For adults: the Tourist Office of Calvi now offers an audio tour of the Citadel. Former audio devices have been replaced by new generation ones, which are easy to use.

They are available in four languages: French, English, German and Italian - and are accompanied by a map that lists the 11 landmarks of the course.
Traditional music punctuates the visit and embellishes the story of the Genoese fortress, and characters that have contributed to its reputation (Christopher Columbus, Admiral Nelson, Giubega Lawrence, Napoleon's godfather), which truly brings the story to life. The system offers full autonomy to the user, who can take a stroll along the historic cobblestone streets at their own pace.

Price: 7€

  • For children: a guided audio tour of the citadel in the form of treasure hunt using an MP3 player. It is designed for children 7 to 14 years old (individual or groups), and is available throughout the year (during the opening hours of the tourist office). Available in French only

Price: 4€

  • For groups and individuals: Association of Guides Calvi -Balagne : Guided tours by qualified interpreters, for adults and children, in English, German, Italian, Russian, French, and Corsica

    Bianconi Scuperta : Guided tours last 2 1/2 hours, in French or English

You can also obtain a Heritage Guide on sale at the Tourist Office of Calvi, that costs only 2€

Information and reservations

Andree Siniblad
Tourist Office
Port de Plaisance
20260 Calvi
Tel: +33(0)4 95 65 16 67 / Direct line: +33(0)4 95 65 92 91


Route de la Citadelle, 20260 Calvi