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It is the only town located south of the homonymous island and main town of the Archipelago made up by the so-called Sette Sorelle (seven sisters): La Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, S. Stefano, Budelli, S. Maria and Razzoli, in ancient times called Isole Cunicolarie and in the middle age called Isole Carugi by the Pisans and the Genoese.
After being for many years landing ground for Corsica’s shepherds who settled in the centre of the island, in 1767 the SAVOIA claimed it, taking it from the Genoese. The village was officially born in 1770, founded by a small nucleus of fishermen and sailors, and in 1773 the Sardinian-Piedmontese government installed a military detachment as the beginning of an important fortification work and thanks to it in 1793 they were able to resist a military attack led by napoleon Bonaparte who wanted to take over the Archipelago.
In 1804 Horace Nelson stationed here the English Fleet fighting the French fleet. During the 19th century the island enjoyed a period of prosperity due to the Cala Francese granite mines and the development of the military navy base which involved the building of many facilities.
The 1960s saw another significant moment, when Italy became part of NATO and an American military navy base was stationed on the Island with nuclear submarines under S. Stefano, raising back then as well as today a more than reasonable disapproval by the locals and all those who appreciate the environmental wealth of the archipelago, now a National Park.
Who know if in the future the reason of wise men will prevail!
Crossed by romantic Genoa style “carrugè” (little Lanes), La Maddalena, the only town in the Island, maintains the atmosphere of a fishermen village developed around the historical Cala Gavetta port, where wonderful yachts and colourful fishing boats dock year round. From the Via Amendola seafront you make your way to the town centre, with Piazza Umberto I, Via Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza Garibaldi, with typical granite pavements, the Via Garibaldi promenade and piazza S.Maria Maddalena with the homonymous baroque church where you can see 2 chandeliers, a cross and an autograph letter donated by Horace Nelson to the locals for their welcome in 1804. You cannot miss shopping in the many shops that invite you to buy clothes, crafts, souvenirs, sailing equipment and more…
To leave the town and visit the island, you follow the seafront eastward which allows you to access the strada panoramica, a 20 km road that shows the coast and the interior, touching some of the most important fortification works, among which there is Forte di S. Vittorio on Monte Guardia Vecchia, the island’s highest point.
Going north you meet the little Chiesa Della Trinità, parish church of the first colons (1769). The coast route starts from Piazza Umberto I, where there is a bust of Anita Garibaldi and where you can find the Military Navy Headquarters. Past the Moneta suburb, following the road to Caprera, you reach the north east outskirts of La Maddalena where stands the Museo Navale Nino Lamboglia. Opened in 1982 and housing the remains of a ship wrecked near Spargi at the end of the 2nd century B.C. Going on, a detour to the right takes you to Giardinelli island, connected to the main land by a narrow isthmus. Back on the main road, you reach the inlet of Spalmatore and, farther north, Porto Lungo, with nice little beaches with clear water. Going on along the stretch of road directing to western coast, you touch Abbatoggia – Stagno Torto inlet and Monte dell’Arena beach, after which you go in the interior, leaving at your right the wilder areas of Cala d’Inferno and Macchione delle Femmine, arriving at Forte dei Colmi from where you can see all the islands of the archipelago and Corsica to the north. The road descends toward Cala Francese, and leaving Cala Francese, Forte Nido d’Aquila, Forte Tegge, you go back to Cala Gavetta.

il centro
il centro
la maddalena
la maddalena

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