1. An island in the Mediterranean; with adjacent islets it constitutes a region of France; birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.
2. Borough in Pennsylvania (USA); zip code 15829.
3. City in South Dakota (USA); zip code 57328.
(French Corse) Island region of France, in the Mediterranean off the west coast of Italy, N of Sardinia; it comprises the départements of Haute Corse and Corse du Sud.
area 8,700 sq km/3,358 sq mi.
capital Ajaccio (port).
physical mountainous; maquis vegetation.
features maquis vegetation. Corsica’s mountain bandits were eradicated 1931, but the tradition of the vendetta or blood feud lingers. The island is the main base of the Foreign Legion.
government its special status involves a 61-member regional parliament with the power to scrutinize French National Assembly bills applicable to the island and propose amendments.
products wine, olive oil.
including just under 50% native Corsicans. There are about 400,000 émigrés, mostly in Mexico and Central America, who return to retire.
language French (official); the majority speak Corsican, an Italian dialect.
famous people Napoleon.
history the Phocaeans of Ionia founded Alalia about 570 BC, and were succeeded in turn by the Etruscans, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Vandals, and the Arabs. In the 14th century Corsica fell to the Genoese, and in the second half of the 18th century a Corsican nationalist, Pasquale Paoli (1725–1807), led an independence movement.
Genoa sold Corsica to France 1768. In World War II Corsica was occupied by Italy 1942–43. From 1962, French pieds noirs (refugees from Algeria), mainly vine growers, were settled in Corsica, and their prosperity helped to fan nationalist feeling, which demands an independent Corsica. This fueled the National Liberation Front of Corsica (FNLC), banned 1983, which has engaged in some terrorist bombings (a truce began June 1988 but ended Jan 1991).