The Maddalena Archipelago 0 Comments

The Maddalena Archipelago

The islands forming the Maddalena Archipelago - 62 counting islands and islets - were baptized by the Romans Cuniculariae Insulae, "middle islands", for their position between Sardinia and Corsica. Someone hypothesizes it was the mythical land of the Lestrigoni, a population of anthropophagous giants who killed all Ulysses’  sailors piercing them through with huge spits, while Ulysses, who remained on his anchored ship, escaped death. 

The Islands were long-time depopulated due to recurring raids by pirates, the first settlements happened to start with the twelfth century when Pisani and Genovesi freed the waters and the Benedictine monks founded a convent on the Santa Maria island. Later, in 1814, the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena was built, patron of the city and of the homonymous island. 

The water is turquoise, the granite rocks are guardians of ancient stories, the air is filled by scents of juniper, maritime pine, rosemary, lavender and myrtle because low Mediterranean vegetation covers the territory. On the islands of the archipelago, you may see the peregrine falcon, the endangered Corsican seagull, the cormorants and the tufted marangones. With a little luck, you could meet the very rare Bedriaga lizard. The Spiaggia Rosa, on the island of Budelli, (see the Pink Beach article): is the most famous one taking its name from the wonderful pink colour sand, brushed by the incredible blue colour of the water. The island of Spargi, one of the largest islands in the archipelago, has been chosen by many birds species to live; in the depths of its water ancient wrecks of Roman ships have been found. Characteristic are the granite rocks one of which carved by the wind, the "Head of the Witch", takes its name from a witch profile. The Island of Caprera, famous for being for over 20 years where Giuseppe Garibaldi lived until his death, is connected to Maddalena by an artificial isthmus. The Hero of the Two Worlds, how Garibaldi has been called, bought the island and built his famous "white house" in the South American fazendas style, now a museum. 

The Maddalena Archipelago was declared National Park in 1994 and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and untouched areas of Sardinia. Daily excursions, departing from the port of Palau, 46 Km. far from the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites and an hour by car, allow you to visit the national park of the La Maddalena archipelago and to swim in its marvellous crystal clear waters.

Sardinia… Lost between Europe and Africa, it belongs to nowhere. It belongs to nowhere, never having belonged to nowhere. To Spain and the Arabs and the Phoenicians more than anything. But as if he had never really had a destiny. No fate. Left out of time and history”. (David Herbert Lawrence)


Written by Daniela Toti


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