The village of Porto is located in the centre of one of the most beautiful places of the island !
Situated in the the North of Corsica but in the french Department of Southern Corsica, in half-way between Ajaccio and Calvi,
The village of Porto, with its proximity not only to the Calanche of Piana (an absolute must) and its crimson red rocks but also to the nature reserve of Girolata, makes it one of Corsica’s gems.
The municipality of Porto Ota is nestled at the bottom of a lush valley that is surrounded by impressive cliffs and rock formations.
It gives way to the magnificent Gulf of Porto, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.
A FEW NUMBERS
Population : 583 inhabitants (FNISES 2014 Sources)
Surface Area : 38.16km
Porto Ota Region has no port and no airport.
The town is then accessible from the ports and the airports of Ajaccio and Calvi.
By the road from Ajaccio, it is possible to reach Porto either by the coastal linking up Ajaccio to Calvi (D81), or by the inland by taking the lead of Corte (NR193).
HISTORY OF PORTO-OTA
Little is known about the history of Porto-Ota before the 11th century.
There are very few traces of Roman settlement in the region of Porto Ota, and it is the discovery of some funerary urns in a vineyard in 1930 that provides the only evidence of Roman occupation in the region.
During the Middle Ages a sense of insecurity prevails in this region. Nevertheless, from 1077 to 1289 under Pisan rule, there is a certain political stability and herders and farmers start settling in the area.
During this time the Pisans create administrative departments, i.e. parishes (“Pieves”), such as the “Pieve de Sia” where the church, « A Vecchia Chiesa» dedicated to St. John the Baptist, will be built close to the cemetery of Ota.
From the 15th century on the region will be under the rule of the Leca family, who builds the castle “Castellu Di Rocche Di Sia” on a rocky spur overlooking the valley.
Today only a few ruins are left of the castle.
The fort of “Castellu di Foce d’Orto” is also built at the foot of Mont Capo d’Orto near Piana. Unfortunately the Genovese become increasingly interested in this region and decide to invade it.
At the end of the 15th century the castle is stormed and the Leca family massacred.
The region comes under Genovese rule and the villagers flee to Balagne or to the territories near Niolu and Evisa.
Until the beginning of the invasions of the Barbarians and Turks in 1520, the region experiences a short period of calm, during which the villagers return to their territories. Because of the constant pillaging of the region, the fort of Girolata and the tower of Porto are built in order to warn the inhabitants of the attacks.
St Jean-Baptiste of Ota Church (end of 18th century), situated in the centre of the village
Small Fort of Girolata
Genovese Tower of Porto
The Calanques of Piana
Nature Reserve of Girolata
Forest of Piana
Natural site of Capo Rosso
Aquarium of Porto
Navy of Ficaghjola
Genovese Tower of Turghju on the summit of Capo Rosso ( 16th century )
SPECIFICITIES OF THE TOWN OF PORTO
The village of Porto disposes of a very small fisher port where are proposed many boat trips of which the visit of the Nature Reserve of Scandola.