Information for visiting the archipelago of La Maddalena, what are the islands that compose it, where it is and interesting places to see the main attractions.
Guide Maddalena Archipelago
The archipelago consists of several islands including the island of La Maddalena, which is the largest and gives its name to the archipelago, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spread, Casings, Santa Maria, Razzoli and several smaller islands. Located off the Emerald Coast, northeast of Sardinia, the archipelago from the administrative point of view is the town of La Maddalena in the province of Olbia-Tempio. Since 1996 has been established the National Park of La Maddalena, in order to safeguard the great environmental heritage, landscape, historical and cultural heritage of these extraordinary islands and their sea.
The territory of the islands, which are all granitic, consists mainly of rocks shaped by the wind, surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, from rocky shores characterized by significant protrusions and coves with beaches on the particular colors that overlook a clear sea transparent. On these islands were found traces of human settlements dating back to the Neolithic period, as evidenced by the tools of obsidian found during excavations carried out on the islands of Santo Stefano and Spargi.
In Roman times, the islands were assiduously frequented, because the routes of ships involved the crossing of the Strait of Bonifacio to reach the northern Sardinia and then the Gallic and Iberian coasts. The collapse of the Empire was a long period when the islands were uninhabited and therefore subject to pirate raids. Around the thirteenth century, the archipelago was repopulated with the arrival of some hermits and the founding of small communities of monks who chose these islands to live in solitude.
There are traces of a church on the island of Santa Maria, at the back of the cove of the Church. At the end of the sixteenth century again raged the pirate raids and only towards the end of the seventeenth century, some families of shepherds from the nearby Corsica landed on the archipelago and settled there.
Meanwhile, the islands were no man’s land, as at the time of the annexation of Sardinia to Piedmont, the islands were not mentioned in the Treaty of London of 1720, so in the second half of the eighteenth century, in the delicate moment in which he was about to go to Corsica by the Republic of Genoa to France, the Piedmontese government agreed with the pastors courses, inhabitants of the islands, their submission to the Kingdom of Savoy and in 1793, when France attacked Sardinia, the opportunity presented itself to show the attachment of the community maddalenina the Savoy dynasty, with the firm opposition from La Maddalena to attempt the conquest of the French, among whom was a colonel still unknown named Napoleon Bonaparte, between local militias distinguished helmsman Maddalena Domenico Millelire, awarded the first gold medal of the Italian Navy.
During the Napoleonic period, La Maddalena was the seat of the Sardinian Navy, from which would be born in 1861, through the union with regional navies, the Italian Navy. During this time the English fleet, led by Admiral Nelson, landed on the coast of La Maddalena, an ideal place to watch the Napoleonic fleet and to sort the goods concerned that Britain, following the continental blockade imposed by Napoleon Bonaparte.
After the Congress of Vienna in 1815 Liguria was assigned to the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Marina from La Maddalena was moved to Genoa causing a crisis, overcome with the arrival of a migration to Europe from Liguria, Tuscany, Ponza and Naples, invoked by the presence of granite quarries and fishing. But the real growth of the Magdalene began in 1887, when the archipelago was chosen as the third largest base of the Italian Navy.
The military base is developed and worked hard until the end of World War II, then gradually lost importance and today the Magdalene is no longer within the admiralty, remained only a few structures with detachments and activities. From 1972 to 2008, the waters of the archipelago Maddalena hosted an American military base.
Around islands archipelago of La Maddalena
A Maddalena island you can see, in addition to the extraordinary natural beauty, an interesting historical center which includes Piazza Garibaldi, City Hall and the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena located near Cala Gavetta where are the oldest buildings dating from the late eighteenth century.
A scenic drive of about 20 Km allows a striking view of the coasts and islands of the archipelago. On the island are the beautiful beaches, including the most beautiful are Lower Trinity, Giardinelli, Spreader, Monti d’Arena, Cala Lunga (Porto Massimo), Cala d’Inferno, the inlet of the Strangled, Punta and Punta Abbatoggia Law . The island La Maddalena is connected by a bridge to the island of Caprera.
Caprera, which reaches the highest point with Mount Teialone (altitude 212 meters above sea level), is the second largest island of the archipelago after La Maddalena and is covered by many forests, mainly pine forests. Beautiful bays along the coast of beach alternate with rocky cliffs and are reflected in a crystal clear sea. Caprera is famous for being the final resting place of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the place where he has lived for over twenty years and where he was buried.
In a large estate is his house, known as the “white house”, with the museum that collects items that belonged to him, the stable that retains its work tools, and its boats. The rugged coastline conceals extraordinary bays as the beautiful Cala Coticcio, nicknamed Tahiti for the beautiful waters, Cala Garibaldi, Cala Napoletana, Porto Palma, Cala Brigantina, Punta Rossa and Cala Portese.
Santo Stefano in size is the fourth island of the archipelago, the highest point is Mount Sugar with its 101 meters above sea level. The island is formed by granite rocks of pink and white and you can also admire the ferry along the path that connects Palau to La Maddalena. On the island are many erosions tafoni used as shelter by humans since the Neolithic period.
The island is dominated by the Fort St. George, built in 1773 to defend the archipelago. The fort was occupied by Napoleon in 1793 who managed to settle artillery puntandole, though unsuccessfully, against La Maddalena and why the building is also known as Fort Napoleon. At Cala Villamarina is the granite quarry same name, where stands the unfinished statue of Costanzo Ciano, who was commissioned by Benito Mussolini to the mausoleum of Livorno and has remained there since 1943. Until January 25, 2008, the eastern part of the island was home to a US military base.
Spargi is for size is the third largest island of the archipelago and its highest point is the hill Guard Officers high 153 meters above sea level. It’s a very beautiful island, looking wild and rugged. The territory of granitic, overgrown, has beautiful rock formations that run along the rugged coast. Beautiful bays open on the south and east of the island, while the west coast is more rugged and is characterized by spectacular granite masses eroded by wind and sea, which are reflected in a crystal clear sea.
Among the most beautiful beaches we must remember Granara Cala, Cala Corsara, Cala Soraya, Cala Conner, Cala Canniccio, and Cala Cala Ferrigno Bonifazzinca. On the island there are, well camouflaged, many military fortifications of World War II, such as batteries and Pietrajaccio Zanotto. The sea bed near Spread in dry privateer about 18 meters deep, was found a wreck of a Roman cargo ship of the second century BC, with an extraordinary load of amphorae, pottery and various objects, partly exposed to the Archaeological Museum Naval ” Nino Lamboglia “on the island La Maddalena Mongiardino town, along the coast road.
Casings, island located just north of Spargi, reaches the highest point with Mount Gut, 87 meters above sea level. Casings is famous for its beautiful beach Rosa, located in the southeastern part of the island and is
subjected to full protection within the National Park archipelago. The color coral sand is due to high presence of fragments of crushed coral and shells that special, joined to the intensity of the colors of the sea and the spectacular granite rocks that surround the bay, make this place unique in the world.
Island of Santa Maria
Santa Maria, in terms of elevation, is the lowest of the islands of the archipelago, as its highest point is only 49 meters above sea level in the Turkish Guard. On the island lies the beautiful beach of Cala Santa Maria, characterized by very fine sand, white and transparent sea.
On this island in the XIII century was built a church dedicated to Sancta Maria de gut and a monastery of the Benedictine order, which was abandoned in the sixteenth century., In 1800 it was partially demolished and converted to residential use. The island of Santa Maria is separated from the island of Razzoli by a narrow strait called Step Asinelli.
Razzoli reaches the highest point with Mount Hat 65 masl. The island of Razzoli is notable for its beautiful and high cliffs eroded by wind and sea in multiple forms. At the highest point of the northern end of the island, in a panoramic position, is placed the lighthouse, while Cala Lunga is a smooth landing point.
Port of Madonna
Between the islands of Budelli, Razzoli and Santa Maria relaxes, accessible by sea, a beautiful mirror of crystalline water called Porto della Madonna.