U CHIURLINU: The Nature Reserve
Facing the Tuscan archipelago, the Lido de la Marana is more than 16 km long, with its gentle sandy beaches. It is considered as the "green lung" of the neighbouring town of Bastia and combines numerous animations, sports activities, beach games, its wild nature favourable to pedestrian walks.
The Pond of Biguglia or "U CHIURLINU" is the largest lagoon of Corsica and constitutes with its 1450 Hectares a fauna and flora site of importance, it counts in the ornithological inventory more than 250 different species, to which are added with the avifauna, 450 listed plant species.
At the extreme south of the Lido, an important ZNIEFF (Zone Naturelle d'Intérêt Ecologique Faunistique et Floral) - classification"Natura 2000", will meet the expectations of enlightened amateurs. This recognized area of international importance has been classified as a Nature Reserve since 1994.
On the reserve, various areas have been set up to welcome the public, including the"Tombulu Biancu" footpath, which is a route of about 3 km along the bank of the pond.
This lagoon of lagoon origin was formed more than 6000 years ago by the marine reworking of the alluvial deposits of the Golo.
Although the existence of this wetland is long term, its history really begins in antiquity. Indeed, Marius founded a Roman colony made up of legion veterans around 100 B.C. in order to control the island. He bases his colony south of the pond.
This vast expanse of water surely constituted a large harbour well sheltered from easterly winds.
It is on part of the Roman ruins of Mariana that the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta was built in the 9th century, still south of the pond: it was consecrated by the Archbishop of Pisa in 1119.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town of Mariana disappeared and the wetland was abandoned because of malaria carried by Anopheles mosquitoes.
In the 16th century, the Genoese tried to enhance the wetland and turned the pond of Biguglia into a commercial centre where fish farming was of major importance.
The fort of the fishermen's island, located in the northern part of the pond, was the stake in the battle of Ischia Nuova in 1558 between Genoese and French.
In the centuries following these military episodes, many works were undertaken to clean up the pond (draining, digging drainage channels, etc.).
It is only during the 20th century that an anti-vectorial solution will be put in place by the Americans to eradicate malaria (1943/1944).
GPS: 42.625556, 9.464489