Last modified: 2012-05-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: corse-du-sud | zonza | moor's head | dolphin (white) | mouflon |
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Flag of Zonza - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 2 October 2011
The municipality of Zonza (2,226 inhabitants in 2008; 13,446 ha) is located in South Corsica, spread on 20 km WE and 12 km NS. The municipality is made of a number of settlements including two main villages. Zonza, the seat of the municipal administration, is landlocked in the center of Corsica, 1,000 m asl, dominated by the scenic Bavella Needles mountains enjoyed by hikers from all over the world; Sainte-Lucie-de- Porto-Vecchio (Corsican, Santa Lucia di Porti Vecchju) is located close to the sea shore, with access to the sea by the port and beach of Pinarello, and to the town of Porto-Vecchio. The shortest distance between the two main villages is hardly 20 km, but there is no direct road connecting them; accordingly, the road distance is 50 km requiring a one-hour drive. Most of the population (80%) of the municipality lives in the lower area and the two parts of the municipality have two independent economical developments.
Zonza is located in the region known as Alta Rocca, the eastern, upper
part of the former feudal domain ruled by the Rocca family before the
set up of the Genoese rule over Corsica in the 16th century. The
Genoese administration mainly developed the sea shore and favored
Porto-Vecchio as a local capital, so that Sainte-Lucie di Cavo (named
for a river) was renamed Sainte-Lucie-de-Porto-Vecchio. The port of
Pinarello was created at this time to export cork, pinewood and
charcoal to Italy, especially to neighboring Sardinia. The St. George
Office (indeed a bank in charge of the management of Corsica for the
Republic of Genoa) set up a system of watch towers built all along the
coasts of Corsica to prevent raids from the Barbary Coast; the
municipality of Zonza owns two of these "Genoese towers", located in
Fautea and Pinarello / Isoli di Corsi.
The village of Zonza, originally known as Zonza di Carbini, took its present shape in the 17th century. It was an important mountain crossroad and a place of sheep and goat transhumance; in summertime, the wet areas around Sainte-Lucie became very unhealthy because of the proliferation of mosquitos.
Zonza was visited in 1736 by Théodore I, the self-proclaimed and short-lasting King of Corsica. In 1952, Mohammed V, the Sultan of Morocco overthrown by France, was "invited" to stay in Zonza for five months. Zonza is today the site of the Viséo horse track, the highest in Europe (950 m), active in July-August only.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 2 October 2011
The flag of Zonza, as seen in July 2007, hoisted
on the Town Hall and the municipal camping place, is white with the
municipal "coat of arms" in the middle.
The coat of arms, indeed an emblem, is an elongated oblong shield filled with picturesque elements recalling the place, from top to bottom; the Corsican Moor's head on a blue sky, the Bavella Needles, a mouflon, river Cavo, a Genoese tower on a rocky spur, a pine, a port, the sea and a dolphin. The names of the two main villages are written at the top (ZONZA) and bottom (Sta LUCIA / di / PORTI-VECCHJU), respectively
Olivier Touzeau, 2 October 2011