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Bastia-Corsica 2028, an island anchored in eu and mediterranean souls

Bastia Bastia

In France, many cities have decided to participate in the competition to become the European Capital of Culture in 2028 together with a city in the Czech Republic. With EcocNews also for 2028 we discover which are some of the candidate cities and how they are moving to involve citizens and to change the destiny of their cities. Also in this circumstance we asked all the French candidate cities the same questions. After Rouen, Montpellier, Clermont – Ferrand and Reims today we discover Bastia – Corsica 2028.

Bastia, about 50 thousand inhabitants, is a city on the French island of Corsica.

Bars and restaurants line the Old Port, with the twin-towered Church of St. Jean-Baptiste rising behind it. Terra Nova, a centuries-old citadel with ramparts, was built by Genoese rulers. Nearby is the Cathedral of Ste. Marie, filled with paintings and marble statues.The Governor’s Palace houses the Bastia Museum, showcasing the city’s history.

City of Art and History, enigmatic, indifferent to time, modern and creative Bastia reveals its many facets to visitors. Bastia was founded in 1378 when the Genoese governor Leonello Lomellini left Biguglia Castle to settle in a stronghold in Bastia.

This site dominated a fisherman’s navy that was then called Porto cardo (the current Old Port). His successors kept this residence. From the installation of Genoese citizens and the construction of ramparts protecting the new settlement, a district was born: Terra Nova (the present Citadel).
The old Porto Cardo then became Terra Vecchia. The ramparts were completed in 1480 and it was not until fifty years (1530) that the palace of the Governors was completed, next to the old keep.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the upper town followed the tradition of Genoese towns: a checkered floor plan and straight streets.
Many religious brotherhoods are born and a very intense cultural life develops. At the end of the 18th century, the city prospered and its population grew considerably. During the 19th century, the city extended to the north and the heights. The urban landscape was then in full transformation: construction of the courthouse, extension of the Place Saint Nicolas, construction of many bourgeois buildings bordering wide boulevards.
The heart of the city then has the look that can be admired today.

The interview is with the team of Bastia – Corsica 2028

Why did your city decide to apply for the European capital of culture?
Expressing the uniqueness of Bastia and the whole of Corsica in a European and global environment is a challenge to which the title of European Capital of Culture can provide an answer. Our societies need to get closer to the earth, to understand each other, to exchange, to dream too. This part of the dream that becomes reality is an important promise that the title of European Capital of Culture, for which we have decided to compete, makes possible.

What do you think are the keywords of your application?
We try to interpret the desires of the population through real stakes more than key words: to mobilize the youth, to make the link between culture and heritage, to develop the force of action and influence of Bastia and Corsica, and of our polys, to make art and culture enter the daily life of the population. They are defined and refined through the workshops of the Fabrique du projet that we carry out throughout Corsica. A public restitution will take place in October and we will deliver there all the key words and the concept of our candidature

How are you involving citizens in this competition?
Citizens are not involved in the bid, they are the lever, the centre and the force. The Project Factory is being made for them and by them. The citizens are also the cultural, environmental, social and economic players - all those people who respond to the project and create the dynamics that will be carried forward in Europe.

What are the next steps on your journey?
We continue to build the project with the population and work on concrete projects as results of the workshops of the Project Factory. At the same time, a committee of patrons was created. The Bastia-Corsica team also plans seminars in Europe to present itself to the world and exchange with its European partners. All of this in consultation and thanks to the strong political will of the City of Bastia, the Collectivité de Corse, the Communauté d'agglomération de communes de Bastia and the Université de Corse.

What are your thoughts on the European Capital of Culture competition?
Bastia has a football team that is in the hearts of its inhabitants, the feeling of competition is expressed ! But aside of joke, more than a competition it’s a great emulation so that we question ourselves and move forward on themes that cross our past, our present and our daily life. This seems to be the case for all the cities that have in the past or are currently competing. Being a european capital has its duties, the challenge is to be a model for the citizens and europe in terms of development and the creation of cultural links that go beyond borders while including the population.



Serafino Paternoster

Ecocnews Founder, Journalist, repentant jazz guitarist, music critic and film lover.

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