Rendez-vous at the Christopher Colombus house in Calvi

Do not tell Calvi people Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, they would laugh out loud.

The house, in which lived the discoverer of the New World, is still visible, even if in a poor state. It's near the citadel, and a plaque states, it you still had doubts, that the great man was definitely born in Calvi around 1436. This conviction lies on the oral tradition, still very vivid in Corsica, according to which Colombus was the son of a fisherman living in the times when Calvi was ruled by the Genoese. The advocates of this theory note that Columbus gave his discoveries the names of Corsican villages like Haiti, inspired from the village of Aiti. They add that Columbus hid his Corsican origins from his Spanish supporters, because Calvi inhabitants had massacred a regiment from Aragon in 1421.

In the absence of a credible birth certificate, several theories circulated about the explorer’s birthplace. Most historians believe he was actually born in Genoa in 1451.Others contend that he was Portuguese. Some say he was Catalan. Other thought he was a Jew.

In Calvi such doubts are irrelevant. Signs have been installed in town, claiming Columbus as a local, while his effigy can be seen on the walls of the citadel. Another recent theory revived the controversy, claiming Columbus was indeed Corsican, but from Cap Corse.