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Coordinates: 41°55′36″N 8°44′13″E / 41.92667°N 8.73694°E / 41.92667; 8.73694

Ajaccio (Latin: Adiacium; French: Ajaccio, [aʒaksjo]; Corsican: Aiacciu [aˈjattʃu]; Italian: Ajaccio, [aˈjattʃo]), is a commune in France. It is the capital and largest city of the region of Corsica and the prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud.

The geopolitical arrangements of the commune are slightly different from those typical of Corsica and France. Usually an arrondissement includes cantons and a canton includes one to several communes including the chef-lieu, "chief place", from which the canton takes its name. The city of Ajaccio is one commune, but it contains six cantons, Cantons 1-6, and a fraction of Canton 7. The latter contains five other communes: Bastelicaccia, Alata, Afa, Appietto and Villanova, making a total of six communes for the seven cantons of Ajaccio.[1]

Each canton contains a certain number of quartiers, "quarters". Cantons 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 are located along the Gulf of Ajaccio from west to east, while 4 and 5 are a little further up the valleys of the Gravona and the Prunelli Rivers. These political divisions subdivide the population of Ajaccio into units that can be more democratically served but they do not give a true picture of the size of Ajaccio. In general language, "greater Ajaccio" includes about 100,000 people with all the medical, educational, utility and transportational facilities of a big city. Up until World War II it was still possible to regard the city as being a settlement of narrow streets localized to some part of the harbor or the Gulf of Ajaccio; such bucolic descriptions do not fit the city of today, and travellogues intended for mountain or coastal recreational areas do not generally apply to Corsica's few big cities.

The arrondissement contains other cantons that extend generally up the two rivers into central Corsica.


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