On our recent trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia we stayed on La Maddalena, the only inhabited island in the Maddalena Archipelago, a group of rocky, windswept islands off the north coast.
La Maddalena has had a long history…it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Romans were there, Benedictine Monks were there, Pisa and Genoa fought over the islands, shepherds brought their sheep, Ottoman raids destroyed the Benedictine communities, Horatio Nelson used the islands as a base for his fleet while fighting the French, Garibaldi lived on nearby Caprera, Mussolini was briefly imprisoned, an Italian navy base was established in 1887 and it ceased to be a US Naval base in 2008 after 35 years. It has had a busy time.
Now there is a beautiful town by the sea, also called La Maddalena. People come for the beautiful beaches nestled in rocky coves.
There is a pretty harbour and lots of interesting shops and restaurants.
In the centre of town is a little square where there is a sculpture of Garibaldi sitting on a bench.
He rarely sits alone.
Behind Garibaldi is a gelateria called Dolci Distrazione where the delightful owner makes the most delicious gelato every day on site. I tried the marscapone and fig and was most impressed.
The town was full of sailors. What could be better than 3 sailors in a row.
Our favourite place to eat was La Roca. We were attracted by the very cute building.
The interior was great too.
The food was excellent, we went twice.
The antipasto and the spaghetti with crab were delicious and the dolce was a sweet ravioli filled with ricotta and drizzled with heavenly Sardinian honey.
To cap it off the chef appeared and he reminded me of my son, especially when he took his chef’s hat off and shook out his long curls.
The only way to reach La Maddalena is by passenger or car ferry from Palau (unless you have a boat) The ferries operate regularly. We rarely had to wait more than 15 minutes.
Here is some more of gorgeous La Maddalena.
Check the Sardinia category for lots more on this gorgeous island.