Pisani and Genoese

1) The Pisans

The administrative and religious organization. Pope Urban II gave the island administration to the Pisans in 1091. They were responsible for setting up an administrative and religious organization after the anarchy of the Saracen era. The island was divided into “pieve” (geographical areas that generally corresponds to a valley). A church is built In the center of each pieve, where the Corsicans can practice their religion again. The monks participate in the religious organization and the agricultural development of the island


During the Pisan period, a period of peace and development was built in the Romanesque churches. Artists and architects come to work there from the Italian continent and the Corsicans also devote themselves to artistic creation.


The Cinarchesi. This is the era of feudalism: the Corsicans who possess lots of land receive titles of nobility. They constructed castles and sought to impose their power in the whole of Corsica, by being supported sometimes by Genoa, sometimes by Pisa, and finally by the Aragon (Spanish kingdom). In this family, known as I Cinarchesi, the most famous are Arrigu Bel Messere and Giudice di Cinarca.


2) The Genoese

The struggle between Genoa and Aragon. Genoese and Pisans fought for the possession of Corsica, during two centuries. In 1284, the Pisan fleet was destroyed by the Genoese navy at the battle of Meloria. Genoa becomes master of the island. But the struggle continues with the kingdom of Aragon. In 1297, the Pope gave Corsica to the King of Aragon; in 1421, Vincintellu d'Istria made the siege of Bunifaziu with the help of the Catalans.


At that time life was very difficult for the people: endless wars between lords, between Genoa and Aragon, taxes to be paid to the Church, to the lords; a religious revolt, then a social revolt.

In 1357, in Carbini, the Ghjuvannali challenged the pope and lived by pooling everything they possessed. They were exterminated by the Pope's army which makes them chase down all the way to Alisgiani.


In 1358, in Cismonte, a popular revolt was born against the lords. The peasants, led by Sambucucciu of Alandu, destroy the castle and organize the collective ownership of the areas to be cultivated under the protection of Genoa. In the villages, the capurali are chosen. They will defend the peasants against the pretensions of the lords.


From 1453 to 1562, the Republic of Genoa ceded the administration of the Corsica to a bank, the Ufflziu di San Ghjorghju. The office promotes economic development, in plain and mountain. It is the moment when most chestnut trees will be planted in the mountains. But the most beautiful lands are distributed to the Genoese settlers and the Corsicans became poor. To protect the plains, the Office built defensive towers that are still visible along the coast.