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In 1539, the city (estate) of Porto-Vecchio was built by the genoas which finished, by this site, the defensive system of the island. Former (old) Genoese fortifications and bastions are still visible in the high city. The fortifications with them five bastions date the foundation of the city in 1539. The most famous, aujourd hui restored, are the Bastion of France.
The port, situated in the heart of the gulf brought the necessary safety against the barbaresques invasions who were nevertheless numerous. The citadel raised itself on the heights, enough far from the unhealthy swamps. Those this were responsible for terrible diseases which decimated all the population. Genoa repopulated the city, but the disease and the invasions had left the pale city until 1564, when Sampierro Corso seized it.
Porto-Vecchio remained for a long time uncommunicative on herself, the main activities concentrated around the crafts of the wood and the cork. The summer, the shepherds gained (won) the mountain. By 1935, the navy opened in the other activities, the exploitation (operation) of salterns and the transformation (conversion) of the cork.
The headland of Chiappa, put on by a lighthouse and by a semaphore close the gulf of Porto-Vecchio and offer a panoramic point of view on the south extreme. Far off are outlined island Cerbicale, site protected by the Marine Park of Bonifacio's Mouths. In the South of the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio, the beach of Palombaggia (Palumbaghja) and the bay of Santa Giulia (Santa Ghjulia), in the looks of Polynesian lagoons, are symbolic natural beauties of the south extreme. Real paradises of water sports, these sites record the highest summer attendance rate of Corsica. Between Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio, the handle of Rondinara and the gulf of Santa Manza, knew protects.
At a half an hour of Porto-Vecchio and its beaches, Ospédale (U Spidali) is the first small village of mountain in 900 metres in height. He owes his name to the ancient hospital of the region which was there formerly. At the exit of the village in the direction of Zonza, a small central reservation allows to be amazed at a panorama amazing on the gulf. Hamlets put off by Cartalavone (Cartalavonu) and by Agnarone (Agnaronu) in some kilometres from there offer numerous possibilities of excursions in mountain.
A little higher, nested in the heart of a forest of pines lariccio and of beeches, the artificial lake of Ospédale, draw a charming decoration, a homeland of the Mateo Falcone de Prosper Mérimée. This dam feeds with drinking water all the region of the extreme the South, it is thus strictly forbidden to bathe there. In some kilometres from there, on the right, a central reservation allows to leave the car to begin a stroll in the direction of Piscia di Gallu's waterfall, magnificence 70 metres high. The bathing is strongly disadvised from it for safety reasons.
The Tourist office of Porto-Vecchio is situated in the high city and remains opened all year long. Schedules of season (from May - October): From 9:00 am till 8:00 pm from Monday till Saturday and from 9:00 am till 1:00 pm Sunday. Off season schedules (from November - April): from 9:00 am till 12:30 am and from 2:00 pm till 6:30 pm from Monday till Friday as well as from 9:00 am till 12:30 am Saturday.