Porto-Vecchio (Corsican: Portivechju) is a town in the Corse-du-Sud department of France on the island of Corsica.It is the seat of the canton of Porto-Vecchio, which it shares with Sari-Solenzara, Conca and Lecci. Port-Vecchio is a medium-sized port city placed on a good harbor, the southernmost of the marshy and alluvial east side of Corsica. The inhabitants are called Porto-Vecchiais in French, and Portivechjacciu in Corsican.The canton of Porto-Vecchio has a population of about 12,900 living in four communes making up a total of 34,787 hectares (85,960 acres). It is divided in two by the commune of Zonza, which holds a section of the coast around the Gulf of Pinarellu. Porto-Vecchio has two communes to the north, Sari-Solenzara and Conca, and two to the south, Porto-Vecchio and Lecci.
The commune of Porto-Vecchio is 64 kilometers (40 mi) east of Sartène. The north shore of the gulf has many resorts, such as Poretta, Fiori Marina, and others of the commune of Lecci. The east coast, a shore with cliffs, is less habitable; beyond Chiappa Point (a naturist site) the coast goes southwest to the border of Bonifacio commune.Off the southeast shore are the four îles Cerbicale (seldom shown on the map but visible from satellite photographs), protected by a nature reserve of 36 hectares (89 acres), which are part of the larger reserve of Bouches de Bonifacio. From north to south are: Forana; Maestro Maria, the smallest; Piana, the largest, which ascends to 36 meters (118 ft) and Pietrocaggiosa a little more distant.Hills to the northwest are included in the national park; the village of Ospedale there probably takes its name and origin from a large ancient hospital of the Roman era. It never lost that function but continues as a health center employing about 150 people. Nearby is a reservoir, the Lac de l’Ospedale, created with a dam at the foot of punta di Corbu in the forest of Ospedale. These hills culminate at the 1,314 meters (4,311 ft) “peak of the dead cow” (punta di a Vacca Morta).The heights of Ospedale (or Spedale in earlier literature) are noted for their forest of Corsican Pine. Between them and the coast extends a plain drained by the Stabacciu, which flows into the end of the Gulf of Porto through salt marshes, where Cork Oak and Eucalyptus grow. These marshes were a barrier between the Roman settlements along the Via Corsicana of the eastern plain and the Roman ports of the south. Some marshland was filled to make the modern city and commercial salt pans were constructed on other parts (from which the commercialized slogan “city of salt”); the rest remains. Crossed by Highway N198 south, it is no longer a barrier
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