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Aleria is situated south-east of Corte on a natural inlet called the Etang de Diane, on the eastern coast of Corsica (between Bastia et Porto-Vecchio).
Brief history of Aleria
Little remains of the Greek settlement that once stood here, although excavations continue to make new finds, and it is apparent that the site has been occupied for at least 8,000 years.
The most notable event in the history of Aleria was in 565 BC when Phoenicians were chased from their homeland by the Persians and established theor community here - the origins of the current 'town'. This period was followed by a long period of occupation by the Ancient Romans, and when the Roman Empire fell the town fell into ruin.
A very long period of neglect, with malaria in the surounding swamps preventing re-development, only came to an end after the Second World War, during which the marshes had ben drained.
The most impressive ancient ruins at Aleria include remnants of the Roman town, villa and necropolis that once stood here.
Also at Aleria is a fort constructed towards the end of the 16th century by the Genoans to keep watch over the harbour. The fort is now a classified historic monument.
The Museum Jerome-Carcopino within the fort contains some fascinating finds from archaeology explorations, ranging from busts and sculptures to money and pottery, and provides a fascinating glimpse of how life would have been in the town.
The pottery animal heads especially give a real feeling of contact with the earlier residents of the area around Aleria. There are also some Etruscan sculptures that predate the Roman occupation of the area by several hundred years.
Both the ruins and the fort at Aleria have excellent views over the sun baked Corsica countryside.
Places to visit near Aleria
You will find most facilities at the nearby, more recent village of Caterragio.
The eastern coast of Corsica is less visited than the other regions. Those following the Corsica coast road pass along the coast here of course.
One particular place of natural beauty is Castagniccia and the villages inland in eastern Corsica - lovely traditional villages and perhaps the least affected by tourism and the changing times that have affected many of the villages in Corsica.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.