The The old citadel lies on top of a 70 m calcareous cliff overlooking the fjord and protected by a natural gulf The citadel has been for a long time under the Genoese domain, which resisted to all attacks, like the one in 1420 by the Aragons. Only a Corsican commando led by Sampietro Corso and supported by the French troops and the Turkish pirate Dragut, managed to break through the town in 1553, but just for 6 years, after which Bonifacio returned under the Genoese until 1768, when the city finally passed into the hands of the French government with the Treat of Versailles.
There are two staircases to reach the citadel, climbing from Porte de Gênes and Porte de France, near a parking lot for vehicles. Boniface draws throngs of visitors every year, but with the exception of a few unavoidable souvenir and gadget shops, the town has preserved its charm untouched. From the squares and terraces south of the city, one can appreciate the view of the gorgeous panoramas on the sea and the candid cliffs towering from above the channel. Two beautiful churches can be visited in the old town, the church of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, in Pisan style, and the other one outside the walls, in gothic style l’église Saint-Dominique, which is open only in summer.
Beyond the church, toward thecemetery, you can reach another stunning observation point. But to really enjoy the beauty of this place you should take advantage of one of the numerous boat excursionsavailable at the tourist port from April to October: you can choose between a tour of the fjord and the cliffs until the Cave of Sdragonato and admire from the sea the city and the rocky formations surrounding it; or you may reach thearchipelago of Lavezzi ,and stop on the island as long as you want, using one of the numerous boats which provide the connection to Bonifacio many times per day. In this case make sure to bring some food and drink with you. The offers vary from company to company, therefore make an accurate tour of all booths along the port, to choose the offer which suits you best.
From the crossroad between the Avenue Charles de Gaulle, Montée Rastello and Montée Saint-Roch, opposite the east gate of the citadel, a beautiful trail starts, which takes to the wonderful Cape Pertusatoin approximately one hour, with a breathtaking view of the channel and the city. The trail is wonderful,, but it is exposed to sun for the whole length, therefore we recommend to avoid walking in the hottest hours of the day. Cape Pertusato is also reachable by car from the port.
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