One of the few Corsican towns with true urban energy, Ajaccio (pop. 60,000) has excellent museums and nightlife to compliment its palm trees and yellow sunlit buildings. Inside the HMusee Fesch, 50-52 r. Cardinal Fesch, you’ll find an impressive collection of 14th- to 19th-century Italian paintings gathered by Napoleon’s uncle Fesch, a merchant during the Revolution who later turned to the cloth and spent his worldly wealth acquiring artistic treasures. Also within the complex is the Chapelle Imperiale, the final resting place of most of the Bonaparte family though Napoleon himself is buried in a modest tomb in Paris. (Open July-Aug. M l:30-6pm, Tu-Th 9am-6:30pm, F 9am-6:30pm and 9pm-midnight, Sa-Su 10:30am-6pm; Sept.-June reduced hours. Museum 5.40, students 3.80; chapel 1.50 0.75.) Napoleon’s first home, the Musee National de la Maison Bonaparte, r. St-Charles, between r. Bonaparte and r. Roi-de-Rome, is now a warehouse of memorabilia. (Open Apr.-Sept. M 2-6pm, Tu-Su 9am-noon and 2-6pm; Oct.-Mar. M 2-4:45pm, Tu-Su lOam-noon and 24:45pm. 4, ages 18-25 2.60. Under-18 free.) Several lively bars crowd around boulevard Pascal Rossini.
Trains (04 95 23 11 03) leave pl. de la Gare, for Bastia (4hr. 4 per day, 24) and Corte (2hr. 2 per day, 13). The tourist office is at 3 bd. du Roi Jerome. (04 95 51 53 03; www.tourisme.frajaccio. Open July-Aug. M-Sa 8am-8:30pm, Su 9am-lpm and 4-7pm; Sept.-June reduced hours.) The serene and centrally located HHotel Kalliste O is at 51 cours Napoleon. (04 95 51 34 45; www.cymos.com. Singles in Aug. 56; doubles 69; triples 89. Reduced prices off-season. AmExMCV.) To camp at Les Mimosas O, take bus #4 from cours Napoleon to Brasilia and walk straight to the roundabout, take a left on chemin de la Carrossacia and follow the signs. ( 04 95 52 01 17. Electricity 2.80. July-Aug. 4.80 per person, 2 per tent or car. Prices 10% lower Apr. June and Sept. to mid-Oct.) Pizzerias, bakeries, and one-stop panini shops can be found on rue Cardinal Fesch; at night, patios on the festive quai offer affordable seafood and pizza. Get groceries at Monoprix, 31 cours Napoleon. (Open M-Sa 8am-7:15pm.) Postal Code: 20000.