Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 14, 2012

Napoleon was here


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.


  1. Great photographs as usual!!

    • Having good subjects helps.

  2. Great post, Deb! The fresh produce looks wonderful, and the Corsican sausage reminds me a bit of Chinese lap cheong. Love the Napoleon photos, thank you, Small Man is studying the French Revolution at the moment, so I shall make a point of showing these to him! 🙂

    • The sausage was delicious.

  3. I love the colorful boats and produce.

    • It was a pretty harbour.

  4. I think I would very much like to graze my way around those market stalls 🙂

    • We had some very nice samples there.

  5. Part of what amazes me is how delicious the vegetables always look in your photos. And the harbour was lovely, as well.

    • The markets around the whole area are great.

  6. Have visited many of his homes but not his childhood place. The two homes on Elba were a highlight of our visit there. Wasn’t he more handsome when his face was thinner in his youth. Love the look of it all, by the way there is a major exhibition of Napoleon in Melbourne right now. Roz ps the weather here is stunning I am sure Jim has told you so.

    • I have yet to visit Elba

  7. Great images.

  8. Love the green boat photo.

  9. amazing.. i do envy you this trip.. i wonder was he actually that handsome!1 the market shots are as usual, my favourites! and the boats.. lovely .. c

    • Food markets are always a delight.

  10. I’ve been wanting to go to Corsica for a while now. Your photos have inspired me to make it happen sooner rather than later! Love the little green boat!

    • There is a post on the beautiful cemetery at Bonafaccio and there will eventually be a couple more on Corsica.

  11. I love the veggie pics. I must admit, some of the those representations of Napoleon are so flattering I snicker a bit.

    • I wonder what he really looked like. We have to rely on artists’ impressions.

  12. Saturday morning food markets in Corsica? Oh I surely would have died any gone to heaven.

  13. What interesting Napoleonic treasures. He looks a lot like his mum!

    • The museum was great, I’m glad I went.

  14. I have the urge to find a cruise to includes Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, etc …

    • You won’t be disappointed.

  15. I just love coming here and seeing all the sights and scenes of Italy. Thank-you!

    • Corsica belongs to France, but you can see it from Sardinia.

  16. […] The little green boat captured my attention in Ajaccio, Corsica. […]

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