The majority of Corsica's museums focus on the amazing number of prehistoric sites on the island and the artefacts which have been excavated, including the famous Dame de Bonifacio, the oldest human skeleton found here.
Other facilities let you explore the development of Corsica over its 8,000 years of human habitation, covering its fascinating history, its changing culture and its unique geographic wonders. Those with a interest in the achievements of famous French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 to 1821) will be pleased to discover a museum in Ajaccio, the Musée National de la Maison Bonaparte, which is dedicated to his life.
National Museum of the Bonaparte House (Musée National de la Maison Bonaparte)
Address: 18 Rue Saint Charles, Ajaccio, Corsica, France, FR
Tel: +33 0495 21 43 89
This definitive museum to the life and times of Napoleon Bonaparte is located in the 18th-century house where the one-time Emperor of France was born and spent his early childhood. Displayed are memorabilia, period furniture, portraits, weapons, household items and important family documents. Of note, soon after Napoleon's death in 1785, the family fled and the house was looted, being badly damaged by fire. Around 12 years later, the Bonapartes returned and restored their house to its present glory.
Open hours: May to September, Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 18:00, Saturday - 14:00 to 18:00, Sunday - 09:00 to 12:00; October to April, Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 14:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 12:00
Museum of Corsican Ethnography (Musée d'Ethnographie Corse)
Address: Place d'Armes, Calvi, Corsica, France, FR
This fascinating anthropology museum is located in the imposing Governor's Palace (Palais des Gouverneurs), within the 16th-century citadel on the Calvi headland. There are exhibits dating from the 7th millennium BC (pre-Neolithic era), right through to the Middle Ages, with excavated skeletons, pottery, tools, weapons, Iron Age jewellery, coins and much more, documenting the 8,000 years of human habitation on the island.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 11:00 to 16:00
Museum of Corsica (Musée di a Corse)
Address: Citadel, Corte, Corsica, France, FR
Tel: +33 0495 45 25 45
Situated in the fortified town of Corte and something of a recently established facility, the Museum of Corsica charts the development of the island through to the present day. Exhibits are divided into two sections - the rural life of yesteryear, focusing on customs and beliefs, and the modernisation of the island, including its wine industry. Particular highlights include a small cinema room screening relevant documentaries, changing exhibitions on the ground floor, and an outside viewing platform offering superb views.
Open hours: mid-June to mid-September, daily - 10:00 to 20:00; mid-September to late November, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00; early November to late December, Tuesday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00; mid-January to late March, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
A Bandera Museum (Musée A Bandera)
Address: 1 Rue General Levie, Ajaccio, Corsica, France, FR
Tel: +33 0495 51 07 34
The A Bandera Museum tells of the history of Corsica from ancient times through WWII, focusing on major figures in the island's history. On display are a mixture of interesting collections, such as important local documents, antique weapons, period costumes, valuable coins, themed dioramas and some detailed models. The Musée A Bandera is to be found within Ajaccio, next to the Place de Gaulle street.
Open hours: May to September, daily - 10:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 19:00; October to April, Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00
Mnemosyne Museum (Mnémosyne Musée)
Address: Prunelli di Fiumorbo, Corsica, France, FR
Named for the goddess of memory, the Mnemosyne Museum traces Corsican history through its traditional crafts of shoemaking, weaving, ironwork, saddlery and more. Visitors are offered an atmospheric night walk through a political prisoner internment camp established in 1943. The workshop (atelier) offers an insight into the island's industrious past, while a series of photos depict some local architectural gems.
Open hours: seasonal hours
Levie Museum (Musée de Levie)
Address: Levie, Near Bonifacio, Corsica, France, FR
Tel: +33 0495 78 46 34
The Musée de Levie's main claim to fame is its Dame de Bonifacio (Lady of Bonifacio). This is actually the oldest human skeleton excavated on the island, being discovered in the cliffs of Bonifacio and believed to be more than 8,500 years old. Also of interest are a number of exhibits relating to the geology and climate of the island, including its wealth of indigenous flora and fauna.
Open hours: July to mid-September, daily -10:00 to 18:00; mid-September to June, Tuesday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:30