Ortale is located at 500 metres above sea level and is part of the ancient parish of Alesani in Upper Corsica. This small village is built on a rocky spur at the eastern entrance of the Alesani valley, on the left bank of the Bussu, in front of the Muteri mountain range. This village has a rich vegetation where trees and shrubs compete with each other.
This village is part of a second-generation natural area of ecological, faunal and floristic interest: Châtaigneraie – petite Castagniccia. Moreover, this village is part of the regional natural park of Corsica. In Ortale, you can have the chance to see u ghjattivolpe, an animal known in Corsica but observed very rarely.
Ortale has a rich history, especially since the 9th century.
Indeed, a legend tells that the Saracens were defeated at the mouth of river Bussu by Charles the Younger (772-811) – the second son of Charlemagne and the first by his second wife – and they had to fled to the mountain of Muteri.
The medieval period saw this village as one of the main protagonists in the fight between Corsica and Genoa: a chronicle mentions Ortale as one of the villages led by capurali: one of them, Guglielmu, fought alongside Gian-Paolo di Leca (1445-1515) against the Bank of Saint George, but the Corsicans were defeated in 1487. Ortale, and other villages of the parish of Alesani, was burnt on the orders of Genoa and the corporal Guglielmu was sentenced to death.
In the village you can visit the parish church of St Marie (17th century), which is in excellent condition and which is part of the General inventory of cultural heritage. You can also see the ruins of some watermills that were still in use until the 1950s and the old road of Theodore, which borders the modern road to Cervione and on which you can still see the arches of some Genoese bridges.
Ortale is located at 41 km from Aléria, at 64 km from Bastia and at 86 km from Corte. This village is crossed by the D71 road.