July 31, 2013

0776 FRANCE (Corsica) - Calanche of Piana (UNESCO WHS)

After longer or shorter periods of time when was occupied successively by Carthaginians, ancient Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Saracens, Lombards, and Franks, island of Corsica, located in the Mediterranean Sea, north of the (now Italian) island of Sardinia, was taken into possession by Genoese in 1347, who governed it until 1729. Independently for few years, it was conquered by France in 1769. In general, Corsica is known for its pirates and smugglers, and because it was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, but this island has many other things which worth known and appreciated, from natural beauties, to the history and traditions.

One of the wonders of Corsica is the Scandola peninsula, an impressive, porphyritic rock mass, with clear waters, wonderful islets and inaccessible caves, host a rich marine life, but also with an specific vegetation (an outstanding example of scrubland), seagulls, cormorants and sea eagles. The area includes a geological complex that appears to have undergone two distinct cycles of volcanic activity, but also to alternating cycles of erosion and rejuvenation.

Calanques de Piana (in the postcard) are Corsican calanques (a steep-sided valley formed within karstic regions either by fluvial erosion or the collapse of the roof of a cave), located between Ajaccio and Calvi, in the gulf of Porto, on the west coast of the island. Rocks of reddish granite lie approximately 400m above sea level on the coast, and seem to glow red when the corresponding sunshine. These tormented rock formations have long been associated with different animals and figures, of which the most famous is the Tête de Chien (Dog's Head). Other figures and creatures conjured up include a Moor's head, a monocled bishop, a bear and a tortoise. Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

About the stamps
Besides a stamp from the definitive series about which I wrote here, on the postcard is also a very special stamp, with an unusual length, issued by La Poste on May 21, 2012, as part of the Europa Stamps 2012, with the theme Visit... 

In addition, on the postcard has been applied a special postmark, with the occasion of the festival Porto Latino in Saint-Florent, which in 2013 will take place between 3 and 6 August.  

Corsica - Wikipedia
Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve - UNESCO official website

sender: Mircea Ostoia
sent from Saint-Florent (Corsica / France), on 27.07.2013

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