Stephane Mattei, TV producer
Breakfast at Le Ceylan, tel: (33-49) 551 4240, is a must for its first-class people watching nearly all of Ajaccio stops by. Next, take a stroll along rue Fesch, the main commercial strip, stopping at the Fesch Museum, tel: (33-49) 521 4817, which boasts one of the largest collections of Italian paintings in France. For visuals of a more modern kind, head to the nearby Caffé Pacifico, tel: (33-49) 521 4605, a former café turned into a boutique. T-shirts and cheeky accessories emblazoned with images of Napoleon are sold under the appropriate brand name Empire. In the afternoon, go to the beach I suggest Liamone beach, near Sagone. After a few hours in the sun, I'd take a pause gourmande at Le Bowling, tel: (33-49) 528 0108, where homemade ice creams and unique pastries like the frangipane-filled Picasso are especially appetizing after a salty dip. Just before sunset, I'd head to the Tino Rossi port back in downtown Ajaccio for an aperitif with a view, and polish off a pizza at Papacionu, tel: (33-49) 521 2786.
Isabelle Ciaravola, prima ballerina, Paris Opera Ballet
I'd begin my day in the Gardens of Casone, where there is a majestic statue of Napoleon. I enjoy walking up the steps and admiring the leafy landscape, elbow to elbow with our Emperor. Then I'd head to Marinella, a white-sand beach with crystal-clear waters, just seconds from the delectable Le Palm Beach restaurant, tel: (33-49) 552 0103. It offers gastronomy and sea views. Save room for ice cream at Le Glacier du Port, tel: (33-49) 9521 0813), with its endless list of homemade flavors. In the afternoon, head up to the Château de la Punta. Built from materials salvaged from the Palais des Tuileries in Paris after it burned down in 1871, the château is closed to the public but can be admired from the outside, as can the amazing views of the gulf of Ajaccio. Keeping with a palatial theme, I recommend you stay at the Palazzu U Domu, tel: (33-49) 550 0020, right in the center of the city.
Melissa Bianchetti, vintner
After coffee at the ever friendly Bar du Marché, tel: (33-49) 521 4212, stroll around Ajaccio's bustling outdoor market, the Grand Marché, tel: (33-49) 551 5303. Stock up on Corsican specialties such as fig preserves, canistrelli (a type of biscuit), brocciu (fresh cheese) and myrtle liqueur. When noon approaches, it's time for a wine tasting. If you follow the winding roads out of Ajaccio toward Pila-Canale, you end up in a wonderland of undulating vineyards. The classic varieties of the region, like Sciacarello, Nielluccio, Grenache and Vermentino, can all be experienced with a tasting at my family winery, Clos Capitoro, tel: (33-49) 525 1961. After an afternoon spent sampling our reds, whites and rosés, head toward the Sanguinaire Islands. Famous for their jagged rocks looming over the ocean, these islands are the perfect place for an early-evening picnic. I'd take a hike to the Pointe de la Parata for the best view, bring out the brocciu, bread, fig preserves and liqueur from the morning shopping, then sit back to enjoy the sunset.