La Maddalena is the name which is equally borne by an archipelago, an island and the town located on the island. It was a bit confusing for us when we arrived to Sardinia, but we made the connection with the tree entities as soon as we found out more about Sardinia. There is even a forth entity bearing the same name, a town, which is located on the other side of the Sardinia’s Island, near Cagliari, the island’s capital city.
Sardinia’s La Maddalena Archipelago is known as the European Caribbean because of its clear blue-emerald waters. I thought this was just a metaphor to attract tourists by applying digital filters to the images I saw before. I was wrong. The unusual water colours are real, so we had the chance to admire that rich blue-emerald chromatic variations.
La Maddalena, the town, is located on the island bearing the same name, which is the only inhabited island of the Archipelago. The island faces the Strait of Bonifacio, which waters both shores of Sardinia and Corsica.
The Maddalena Archipelago consists of about sixty islands, islets and rocks. La Maddalena Island is part of the National Park of La Maddalena, a famous and beautiful marine and terrestrial protected area.
We arrived to La Maddalena by boat. The only means of transport to get to the island are boats and car ferries. Our boat journey took about 30 minutes coming from Baja Sardinia.
La Maddalena, Napoleon, Nelson & Garibaldi
La Maddalena Island was not inhabited until the 17th century. Napoleon, the future French Emperor, attempted to conquer the island in 1793, but was stopped by a Sardinian flotilla headed by Maddalena Domenico Millelire, an Italian officer, who remained in history as one the first defeaters of Napoleon. Later on La Maddalena witnessed the military actions led by Admiral Nelson against Napoleon. The town preserves one of Napoleon’s unexploded bombs.
La Maddalena Island is connected to the Caprera Island, a neighbouring island, by a 600-meter bridge and causeway. Giuseppe Garibaldi was buried on the Caprera Island.
We visited the town’s old centre as well as the harbour and the Santa Maria Maddalena Church.
Photos: La Maddalena’s Harbour
Santa Maria Maddalena Church
The Church is famous for housing a pair of silver candlesticks and a crucifix offered by Nelson to the island inhabitants as a sign of recognition for their support against young Napoleon.
Photos: Santa Maria Maddalena Church