"Drive above Bastia" Top 5 Page for this destination Bastia Off The Beaten Path Tip by intl_dan
Bastia Off The Beaten Path: 1 reviews and 0 photos
Bastia is a city between sea and mountains, and offers some amazing scenery. From the little roundabout at the top of Boulevard Pascal Paoli take a sharp right to the direction of St. Florent (D81). As you ascend above the city watch for the Monserato sign. This little oratory has a very good panoramic view of Bastia and an interesting story to tell.
In 1803 Napoleon restored the Catholic church official status to France, but like any totalitarian control freak, he wanted everything his own way, and those who disagreed (424 of them) were sent on a one way vacation ticket to Bastia's keep. Les Bastiais were angered and shocked, demanded their release, this was forthcoming on the condition that they house the priests in their own home, to which the city folk willingly dedicated. Pope Pius VII was touched by their kindess and granted a copy of the Lateran's Scala Santa (the stairs trodden on by Christ at Pontius Pilate's palace) to lead up to this oratory. Hence its name "Chapelle Notre Dame de Monserato" or, as the Bastians economically call it: "Chapelle de la SCALA SANTA".
If you've had fun in Corsica and you, for whatever reason feel guilty, stuff your therapist and climb up the stairs on your knees (well, maybe you do need a therapist after all...), like the Scala in Rome, you are promised to be absolved of all your sins! Merry masochism! G'd bless!
You can take from here the D64 towards Cardo (and then to the Cap Corse via Ville de Pietrabugno & San Martino di Lota), a lovely village perched above Bastia, which was founded by the Romans in Porto Cardo fleeing from destruction. It has a Genoese tower and a fountain. Otherwise you can continue on the D81 to St. Florent.