Bastia (French & Corsican: Bastia), is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica. It is the capital of the department. Bastia is also an important Corsican port and is famous for its wines.
Before the occupation of Corsica by the Genoese, Cardo was a large city. Around the city were little villages where the fishermen of Cardo lived. This little port was called Porto Cardo, which means "the port of Cardo."
The Genoese felt the need for shelter from the sea storms and began to construct, in the time of governor Leonello Lomellini, in 1380, a bastiglia, also known as a stronghold or citadel.
With time, the bastiglia (Bastia) became more prosperous and important than Cardo.
Bastia was the capital of Corsica until 1791.
The census of 1999 gives the figure of 39,016 inhabitants, an increase of .01% since 1990. Ten percent of the population consists of foreigners. The unemployment rate is very high, 20% in 2004.