The Valley Of The Moon Of Capo Testa 0 Comments
In the enchanting promontory of Capo Testa, on the Strait of Bonifacio, up north near Santa Teresa di Gallura, there is a place called "Valle della Luna" (Valley of the Moon). Just 72km. from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites and an hour and a quarter by car, Capo Testa (in Gallurese and in Corse Capu Testa) is not a small peninsula but it's actually an island, later connected to the mainland by an artificial isthmus.
With the granite smoothed by the wind and the sea and where the Mediterranean Scrub scent dominates and the water is the crystalline sea of Sardinia, it truly looks like a lunar landscape, because its stones are tending towards white at night, giving precisely this sensation.
Capo Testa was appreciated in Roman times both for its strategic position and for the supply of granite that was extracted and transported to Rome. They did it in two periods: in the first century AD. and in the late imperial age, third and fourth centuries. The columns of the Pantheon in Rome are probably built with granite from Capo Testa. The "stepped" cuts in the cliffs made for quarrying and huge unfinished boulders scattered around, are still distinctly seen today.
Even in the Middle Ages, the Capo Testa quarries supplied their granite. It is known that Pisan workers extracted the granite necessary for the columns that were used for the construction of the Cathedral (1063) and the Baptistery of Pisa (1152). The quarries were exploited until the early twentieth century but local disputes prevented the extraction from continuing.
The tourism development of the seventies also reached Capo Testa, being one of the most beautiful and favourite places in Sardinia. A large improbable totem, symbol of a clan, borrowed from the Native Americans of the Great Lakes between the USA and Canada, indicates the main beach. It attracts both sea enthusiasts and hikers, because there are beautiful hiking trails on the promontory. It is a destination for naturists and a community of hippies, now the grandchildren of flower children, have lived for decades in the caves of the promontory far from the town and it seems that the name "Valley of the Moon" comes from them.
Something special has made this place a destination for the Sardinian hippy community, who have chosen it since the 1960s to live there in simplicity, inside caves shaped by the wind and in wooden huts. It is a nucleus of kind people who share the beauty of this fantastic place, which was formerly private property, with all visitors.
“The man who is blind to the beauties of nature has missed half the pleasure of life”. (Robert Baden-Powell)
Written by Daniela Toti
Photo by Gianfranco Mattu