Archipelago of Sulcis: Sant’Antioco Islands, St. Peter and Piana


The archipelago of sulcis, also called sulcitano, is located near the southwest coast of Sardinia, in the province of Carbonia-Iglesias, and consists of two main islands. The islands that compose it are island Sant’Antioco, San Pietro island, island of Toro, Cow Island, Horn Island, Island of Rats and Isola Piana.

Sant’Antioco Island

The island is connected to Sardinia through an artificial isthmus and a bridge at the entrance to the island, where it is still visible, renovated several times, the old Roman Bridge. The island consists of two municipalities, Sant’Antioco and Calasetta, with their smaller settlements of Maladroxa Cussorgia and, for the rest there are few houses scattered in the countryside.

The territory of the island is hilly, mostly rocky coastline offers varied and picturesque beaches. The island was inhabited in prehistoric times, in fact, have been unearthed artifacts that date back to the III mellennio BC belonged to a population which historians believe originated from Africa. Around 1500 BC began Nuraghic, famous for the characteristic buildings called nuraghi, which are still present in the area.

In the eighth century BC the Phoenicians first landed on the island to exchange their products with those of Nuragical and to found in 750 BC the city of sulci or Sulky. In the second half of the sixth century BC the island was conquered by the Carthaginians.

Following the Punic Wars, in 258 BC, the island came under Roman rule, until the end of the empire which was followed by the barbarian invasions, in particular that of the Vandals in the year 534 AD by the Byzantines were defeated and the island came under the rule of Constantinople. Some centuries earlier, in the second century AD, had been exiled to the island the Christian physician Antiochus native of Numidia, martyred and later proclaimed a saint, from which derived the name of the island and the town.

In the eighth century began the Arab invasions which forced the population to leave the island. Was required protection of maritime republics of Genoa and Pisa which soon turned into a dominance which was followed by the domains of the Aragonese and Spanish, in addition to frequent pirate attacks, until the island became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia Savoy.

During the eighteenth century Carlo Emanuele III decided to increase the population by getting on the island of San’Antioco and on that of St. Peter immigrant origin and Ligurian culture, said Tabarchini, because coming from the island of Tabarca located off Tunisia , where they had settled around 1540, having been granted in the island.

The town of Sant rises on the ancient city of sulci or Sulky. The town was founded by the Phoenicians who made him a very important center in the Mediterranean, and continued even after the age essero Carthaginian and Roman. Traces of these civilizations are still visible today in the country.
Era Phoenician and Punic remains the most significant are represented by the Tophet, a sacred area where they were found urns containing burnt bones of children, sometimes together in small animals and often accompanied by stone stele. It ‘an open area located at the northern end of the town on a hill, in the “Sa Guardia de is pingiadas”.

Nearby is the Punic necropolis, also used in Roman times where they were found numerous subterranean tombs, with cave rooms which were accessed through a corridor of steps down. A Sant’Antioco is made a very special processing, spinning and weaving of fine linen, fiber made from a mollusk found in lagoons local sandy bottom.

San Pietro Island

The name comes from ‘apostle Peter, who according to tradition there was shipwrecked on the way to Rome. The island has a hilly terrain, the highest points are the hills Guardia dei Mori, and Tortoriso m.211 above sea level, m. 208 slm E ‘characterized by the typical Mediterranean, mountainous areas covered with forests, salt marshes, ponds and a few sources.

The coasts are high, rocky with cliffs, coves and caves carved from the sea to the north and west, low and sandy in the east and south. The recent history of the island, which was known since antiquity, welcoming place of call of ancient routes, began with the arrival on the island of a population coming from the island of Tabarca Tunisian.

This community of “tabarchini” was from Liguria, largely coming from the town of Pegli, and in 1738 at the invitation of Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia moved from the island of Tabarca to the island of San Pietro, where construction began of what is still the main town on the island, the town of Carlisle, named in honor of the king of Savoy.

The island of San Pietro is also interesting from the point of view of wildlife along the coasts of the island on the high cliffs overlooking the sea, to a breeding colony of Eleonora’s falcons, which migrates in the fall in Madagascar where winters, there are also various species of birds, including the pink flamingo.

The sea that stretches along the coast outside dell’isole Sant’Antioco and San Pietro is affected by the migration of tuna, in the period that goes from mid-May to mid-June, during their passage is made ​​the traditional fishing of the prized bluefin tuna .

Isola Piana

Not far from the island of San Pietro is the island Piana. It ‘a nature reserve for the presence of protected species such as Eleonora’s Falcon. In the past, the island housed the most important systems of the trap of the area, now turned into private residences. The whole island is private and to be able to access it must report to the office administration, at the port.

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