La Maddalena

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La Maddalena
Comune di La Maddalena
La Maddalena Panorama 2.jpg
La Maddalena-Crest.png
Coat of arms
Italy Sardinia location map IT.svg
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La Maddalena
Location of La Maddalena in Sardinia
Italy provincial location map 2015.svg
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La Maddalena
La Maddalena (Italy)
Coordinates: 41°13′N09°24′E / 41.217°N 9.400°E / 41.217; 9.400
Country Italy
Region Flag of Sardinia.svg  Sardinia
Province Sassari
Frazioni Moneta, Stagnali
  Mayor Luca Carlo Montella
  Total 52.01 km2 (20.08 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (89 ft)
Population (31 July 2017)
  Total 11,226
  Density 220/km2 (560/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Maddalenini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code07020, 07024
Dialing code 0789
Patron saint St. Mary Magdalene
Saint day July 22
Website Official website

La Maddalena (Gallurese: Madalena or La Madalena, Sardinian : Sa Madalena) is a town and comune located on the island with the same name, in the province of Sassari, northern Sardinia, Italy.

Sardinian language Romance language indigenous to the island of Sardinia

Sardinian or Sard is the primary indigenous Romance language spoken by the Sardinians on most of the island of Sardinia. Many Romance linguists consider it the closest genealogical descendant to Latin. However, it also incorporates a Pre-Latin substratum, as well as a Byzantine Greek, Catalan, Spanish and Italian superstratum due to the political membership of the island, which became a Byzantine possession followed by a significant period of self-rule, fell into the Iberian sphere of influence in the late Middle Ages, and eventually into the Italian one in the 18th century.

<i>Comune</i> third-level administrative divisions of the Italian Republic

The comune is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.

Province of Sassari Province of Italy

The Province of Sassari is a province in the autonomous island region of Sardinia in Italy. Its capital is the city of Sassari. As of 2017, the province had a population of 493,357 inhabitants.



A square in La Maddalena. La Maddalena Plaza.jpg
A square in La Maddalena.

La Maddalena is the largest town in the Maddalena archipelago, just 2 kilometres (1 mile) from the northeastern shore of Sardinia and sitting in the Straits of Bonifacio, between it and Corsica.

Maddalena archipelago group of islands in Italy off the north coast of Sardinia

The 'Maddalena Archipelago' is a group of islands in the Strait of Bonifacio between Corsica (France) and north-eastern Sardinia (Italy).

Corsica Island in the Mediterranean, also a region and a department of France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

The focal-point of pedestrian activity is around Piazza Umberto I (formerly known as Piazza Comando-the older generation of natives in town still commonly refer to the piazza by its original name). There is an adjacent via (Garibaldi) that connects the port (Banchina Commerciale I) facing the Island of Santo Stefano and Piazza Umberto I with city hall. Via Garibaldi is surrounded by commercial shops, restaurants, and bars.

La Maddalena now derives much of its income from tourism. The only method of traveling to La Maddalena is by boat, with car ferries travelling from nearby Palau and from the Italian mainland.

Tourism travel for recreational or leisure purposes

Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller's country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure and not less than 24 hours, business and other purposes".

Palau, Sardinia Comune in Sardinia, Italy

Palau is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Sassari in the Italian region Sardinia, about 220 kilometres (140 mi) north of Cagliari and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Olbia. It was a frazione of the comune of Tempio Pausania until 1959.

The natives of La Maddalena speak a Sardo-Corsican dialect known as Maddalenino.


The island of Maddalena has several beaches, including Bassa Trinita and Spalmatore. It is characterized by rocky granitic terrain and has some ancient fortifications. It is connected by causeway with the nearby island of Caprera, known as the residence of the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Caprera island

Caprera is an island in the Maddalena archipelago off the coast of Sardinia, Italy. In the area of La Maddalena island in the Strait of Bonifacio, it is a tourist destination and the place to which Giuseppe Garibaldi retired from 1854 until his death in 1882.

Giuseppe Garibaldi Italian general and politician

Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian general and nationalist. A republican, he contributed to the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. He is considered one of the greatest generals of modern times and one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland" along with Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and Giuseppe Mazzini.

The Old Town. La Maddalena, Italy.jpg
The Old Town.
La Maddalena Port. La maddalena Port.JPG
La Maddalena Port.


La Maddalena has undergone many name changes: the Romans named it Ilva, Fussa and Bucina and in the Middle Ages the island was known as "Bicinara" before being given the name of Santa Maria Magdalena in the 16th century. After this it finally became known as La Maddalena.

The Maddalena archipelago is known from archaeological evidence to have been occupied in prehistoric times, but its written history begins with the Roman Empire.

Recorded history historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication

Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. It contrasts with other narratives of the past, such as mythological, oral or archeological traditions. For broader world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. For some geographic regions or cultures, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history because of the limited use of written records. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all of the information relevant to later historians, such as the full impact of natural disasters or the names of individuals; thus, recorded history for particular types of information is limited based on the types of records kept. Because of this, recorded history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the topic.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–476 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the islands were completely abandoned until the 12th century, when they were chosen by Benedictine monks founding small communities there. The islands were the object of a dispute between the Republics of Pisa and Genoa in the 12th century.

In 1584 all the monasteries on the islands were destroyed by one of the Ottoman raids. In the 17th century shepherds began to bring their flocks to the islands in the winter months.

Its location in the Strait of Bonifacio, through which much maritime traffic must pass, has turned the archipelago into a strategic military position. In 1767 it was occupied by the Savoy-Piedmontese. The nucleus of the present town of La Maddalena emerged then.

In 1793 a French expedition, in which Napoleon Bonaparte took part, unsuccessfully tried to occupy the island. It was the first combat experience of Napoleon Bonaparte. During all the Napoleonic Wars Admiral Horatio Nelson used the archipelago of La Maddalena as a base for his fleet in actions against the French.

A base was established here by the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) in 1887. In 1943, during World War II, Benito Mussolini was briefly held prisoner here.

From 1972 through 2008, there was a U.S. Naval Support Activity base as well as a NATO base on the nearby island of Santo Stefano. The NATO base housed an Italian Navy barracks and it served as the home port for several US Navy submarine tenders over the years, beginning in 1972 with the arrival of the USS Fulton (AS-11) and ending with the departure of the USS Emory S. Land, which set sail for its new home port of Bremerton,Washington. The US Naval Support Activity officially closed in January 2008, ending the 35 year US presence in La Maddalena.

During the period in which the American military had a presence on the island, it was twice used as a repair base for submarines after undersea collisions. In 1977 USS Ray collided with a coral reef off Tunisia and suffered damage to the sonar dome and cracking to the hull. Ray had immediate repairs here, then made a surface transit back to the US. On 25 October, 2003 USS Hartford ran aground with sufficient force to substantially damage its rudders, sonar and electronics. [1]

La Maddalena now lends its name to a National Park located in the archipelago.

The 35th G8 Summit, chaired by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was going to be held in La Maddalena in 2009, but later it was moved to L'Aquila.

Twin towns

See also

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Budelli island in Italy

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Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park national park

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Isola Razzoli Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located on an islet, 2.45 kilometres (1.52 mi) long, in the Maddalena archipelago. The lighthouse is the northernmost in Sardinia, on the eastern approach to the Strait of Bonifacio, and is at 7.42 kilometres (4.61 mi) from the French Lavezzi archipelago. The island is in the municipality of La Maddalena on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Punta Filetto Lighthouse lighthouse in Italy

Punta Filetto Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located on the Isola Santa Maria, which makes part of the Maddalena archipelago, on the northern point of the island facing Barrettinelli di Fuori Lighthouse from which it is 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) away. The island is in the municipality of La Maddalena on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Spargi island in Italy

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  1. Mahony, Edmund H. "USS Hartford Involved In Collision In Strait Of Hormuz," Hartford Courant. March 21, 2009.