La lista dei desideri – 9.

Sardegna again 🙂 This island is an unlimited source of inspiration!! Today I will introduce you a little island, which called Tavolara. It is one of the most beautiful Sardinian islands. And it is one of the most recommended excursions. You want to visit it because you like to, even just for a day, see a pristine place far away from modernity. To reach Tavolara, you have to take a ferry from one of these three towns:

  • Porto San Paolo
  • Olbia
  • Golfo Aranci

From Porto San Paolo, the journey by ferry takes about 15-20 minutes. From Olbia and Golfo Aranci, the journey by ferry takes, respectively, one hour and one hour and thirty minutes. There are, at least, four main reasons to visit Tavolara Island while you’re spending a holiday along Sardinian north-eastern coast:

  1. The island is a real paradise for diving. Punta Filasca, cala Corsi and the so-called Frana dei mufloni are some of the most renowned dive sites. The wreck of the Thalassa, at a depth of about fifty meters, is only for experienced divers. Teddja Liscia is full of colours and marine life.
  2. Tavolara is divided into two parts. The northern coast, military zone, is off limits. The other part of the island, called Spalmatore di Terra, is the tourist area. Here you will find pristine beaches, a marina and some small restaurants.
  3. The hiking path towards the peak of the island is one of the best things to do. The first part is simple but becomes more difficult as you go up. Since the island is protected in Area marina protetta Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo (a marine protected area), you have to be accompanied by a guide.
  4. Near Tavolara there are two other small islands to see: Molara and Molarotto.

Its highest point, Monte Cannone, is 565 metres (1,854 feet) above sea level. A cove and beach can be found at each end of the island, Spalmatore di Fuori at the northeast, and Spalmatore di Terra at the southwest. Currently, the island is inhabited by only a handful of families, and has a small cemetery and summer restaurant. There are no roads or hotels, and the only inhabitable stretch is a white-sand tongue that’s best measured from end to end in steps.

65406-tavolara.jpg

History

The Kingdom of Tavolara is a tiny kingdom claiming independence in the 19th and 20th centuries in Tavolara Island, off the northeast coast of Sardinia. Set up by the Bertoleoni family, sanctioned by Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, it claimed to be one of the smallest kingdoms in the world. Giuseppe Bertoleoni claimed to be its monarch. When he died in the 1840s, his eldest son became “King” Paolo I. During his reign, in 1861 the Italian government paid 12,000 lire for land at the northeast end of the island to build a lighthouse, which began operating in 1868. After Paolo’s death in 1886, a number of newspapers published the report that according to his will, the island had become a republic. The New York Times described a government with president and council of six elected every six years by a vote of the people, male and female. Others reported on Tavolara’s alleged third presidential election in 1896. These reports, however, did not end the Bertoleone “kingdom”. The third “king” of Tavolara was Carlo I, who was succeeded upon his death in 1928 by his son “King” Paolo II. Paolo went abroad, however, and left Carlo’s sister Mariangela as regent in his absence. Mariangela died in 1934, leaving the “kingdom” to Italy. Her nephew Paolo II still claimed the kingdom until his death in 1962, a year that marked the installation of a NATO station on the island. The present head of the Bertoleoni family is Tonino Bertoleoni, who runs “Da Tonino“, a restaurant on the island. Politically, the interests of the micronation are represented in its external dealings by Ernesto Geremia of La Spezia, Italy, who has written a history of the island.

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