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About this region
Corsica (; French: Corse, French: [kɔʁs] (listen); Corsica in Corsican and Italian, pronounced [ˈkorsiɡa] and [ˈkɔrsika] respectively) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and politically one of the 18 regions of France. It lies southeast of the French mainland, west of the Italian Peninsula, and immediately north of the Italian island of Sardinia, the land mass nearest to it. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island. The island is an administrative region of France. The regional capital is Ajaccio. Although the region is divided into two administrative departments, Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud, their respective regional and departmental territorial collectivities were merged on 1 January 2018 to form the single territorial collectivity of Corsica. As such, Corsica enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than other French regional collectivities, for example the Corsican Assembly is permitted to exercise limited executive powers. Corsica’s second-largest town is Bastia, the prefecture city of Haute-Corse. Corsica was ruled by the Republic of Genoa from 1284 to 1755, when it became a self-proclaimed Italian-speaking Republic. In 1768, Genoa officially ceded it to Louis XV of France as part of a pledge for debts and in 1769 France forcibly annexed it. Napoleon Bonaparte was a native Corsican, born that same year in Ajaccio, and his ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is today a significant visitor attraction and museum. Because of Corsica's historical ties to the Italian peninsula, the island retains many Italian cultural elements, and the native tongue is recognized as a regional language by the French government.
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