La Maddalena is the main island of our archipelago, made up of numerous islands and islets. We also call it “Mother island” because it is the largest in size and also the only one with a stable human settlement in the whole archipelago. La Maddalena island overlooks the northern coast of Sardinia to which it is conveniently connected by ferry. Beaches are undoubtedly its main attraction, but we suggest you explore the old town of La Maddalena and let yourselves be seduced by its captivating charm.
The old town of La Maddalena
The marina of Cala Gavetta is the perfect starting point for a walk to discover our town. La Maddalena is few square kilometers wide: a small patch of land overlooking depths that seem to be infinite.Looking northwards from the historic marina Cala Gavetta we see the Colle Guardia Vecchia, the highest, but gently-sloping mountain on the island. From the summit you have a panoramic view encompassing the whole island. The first urban settlement on the island on the island. Shepherds moved their herds there during the summer and then went fishing in the sea. A walk around the old town can start right from the seafront and follow the alleys and stairways of the old town. In few minutes you will arrive in Piazza Garibaldi. The main square is constantly buzzing with chatter, with madalenini and tourists relaxing while drinking an espresso.
A walk through the history of La Maddalena
You will immediately notice that the old town of La Maddalena still tells the history of a distant past, when the fishermen lived next to important personalities. Many places testify to our history:
- The granite column dedicated to Garibaldi, built on the centennial of the birth of the hero of the two worlds che visse a lungo a Caprera, who lived in Caprera for a long time, is found in piazza XXIII febbraio;
- The remains of the Balbiano Battery Fort, built between 1790 and 1792, are located a few hundred meters from Cala Gavetta. From there it was possible to control the channel between the island of La Maddalena and Santo Stefano and defend the island;
- The Palazzo del Comune, (City Hall) in piazza Garibaldi, to the left of the civic market, houses a tombstone recalling the letter that Garibaldi wrote in 1849 to the Mayor of La Maddalena. Inside the palace is found one of the Napoleonic bombs that hit the city in 1793 and the flag of Domenico Millelire, in addition to memorabilia belonging to Garibaldi.
- Piazza Umberto I houses a memorial to fallen sailors and the elegant Palazzo dell’Ammiragliato della Marina Militare, built at the end of the 19th century. In the square there are also a bust of Anita Garibaldi and a monument to the fallen of Nasiriyah.
- In via Montebello there is a plaque indicating a house that was owned by Agostino Millelire, the defender of the island from the aggressors and its first governor.
Emotional tourism in La Maddalena
Long rows of palm trees swaying in the wind, the scent of the sea that amplifies each emotion: La Maddalena enchants us with its enchants us with its and picturesque alleys lined with exquisite 18th and 19th century buildings. We recommend a visit to the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, where you will find one of our most precious treasures, a crucefix donated to our community by Admiral Nelson in 1804. Before leaving for Trafalgar, the famous British admiral paid homage to our town to give thanks for the hospitality received by his fleet. We know that your gaze will always be captivated by our marvellous sea, but do not yield to its call immediately and head instead towards the suburb of Moneta. Here you will discover the heart of our tradition, where our dialect is still authentic and resounds like ancient music. If what you have experienced so far has already gone straight to your heart, all you need to do is to continue along the panoramic road that runs around the whole island. We are happy to give you some of our sea and our wild and fragrant nature.