TowardsG8

Maddalena archipelago’s

Seven islands hanging between sea and wind, crossroads for centuries of history. La Maddalena archipelago is 20 square Km and has 11.000 inhabitants; it has been on the obsidian route since Neolithic and the adjoining Capo d’Orso is often identified with Omero’s Lestrigoni Land. Quoted by Pliny the Elder, the islands are a den of pirates in Middle Ages. In 1200 is testified the presence of hermits and King and Queens made pilgrimages there. Years of incursions and neglect followed, then, in ‘600 children born in La Maddalena were christened.
When Sardinia was annexed to the Savoy reign, in ‘700, in the archipelago lived Corsican shepherds and fishermen communities. The language still spoken nowadays, something between “gallurese” and Corsican, developed in this period.
In 1803, La Maddalena was a naval base for Nelson English fleet. Nelson said it was “the most beautiful port in the world”. Many great men are connected with these islands, from Napoleon to Garibaldi, who chose Caprera to spend his last years of life; his tomb and antiques museum are constantly visited. In 1887 La Maddalena officialized its role as military fort, with the location of a naval base. This role was strengthened by the institution, in 1973, of the American base at Santo Stefano island, forever abandoned in 2008.
Only one town is inhabited, and its architecture is framed by a generous and wild nature.
The little islands in the sea park, with their beaches of thin sand and colours that shade from golden to deep pink, are encircled by clear waters, with its depths full of fish and archeological finds.