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Santa-Teresa

The municipality of Santa Teresa Gallura is located in Sardinia, in the district of Olbia-Tempio, situated at the top end of the Sardinian northern coast, in Gallura. It overlooks the strait of the Bocche di Bonifacio (Strait of Bonifacio), where daily ferries connect Sardinia to Corsica, from which Santa Teresa is about nine miles away. It currently has 5218 inhabitants.

ARCHEOLOGY AND HISTORY
Its history begins with the nuragical complex called Lu Brandali, situated on the top of a granite hill, from which a spectacular view can be enjoyed. This archeological site is a valid example of the building form that spread out in Gallura which included: the nuraghe, with its controlling role over an extremely wide portion of land and coast; the villages of huts and stone shelters and the giants' tomb.

The first colonizers were the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, of which many traces can still be found. Later the Romans came and founded the port of Longonis, now called Marina di Longonsardo, a modern and well-equipped turistic port. During the Imperial Age the Romans settled in Capo Testa, where are still visible remains of caves of extraction and manufacture of granite. Granite columns and capitals were sent by sea to decorate the magnificent monuments of the Roman and later Medieval Ages.

At the entrance of the port are still visibile the remains of the Castle of Longonsardo, precious piece of the Giudicale (Giudical) Period, built up to control the trade exchanges in the Strait of Bonifacio. The Sardinian Giudici (Judges) and the Catalan-Aragonese Crown competed for the Castle, until it was definitely destroyed by the latter in 1420.

The main symbol of Santa Teresa is the Spanish Tower of Longonsardo. It's an overshadowing monument located at the entrance of the harbour towards the sea of the Strait of Bonifacio. It was built in the Sixteenth Century by Philip II King of Spain, along with 79 more towers, as part of a plan to watch over the whole area.

In June 1802, the ideals brought by the French Revolution and the hope for freedom entrusted to Napoleon Bonaparte, started a revolutionary rising in Northern Sardinia. An early attempt was made by Giovanni Maria Angioy, but he had failed. Later a bunch of Sardinian Patriots that were taking refuge in Corsica, attempted to assault the coast towers in Gallura. The leader of these rebels was the Priest Francesco Sanna Corda, born in Torralba, ordained with a major degree in Theology, parish priest of his hometown until he was exiled because of his ideas.

During his exile, first in Paris, later in Ajaccio, he had become the confessor of Napoleon's mother, Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte, who had entrusted to him some letters of recommendation addressed to the Sardinian Clergy. Francesco and the group of patriots that followed him were encouraged by the dream to bring to Sardinia the principles of the French Revolution, setting the island free from the feudalism brought by the Savoia Monarchy, maybe one day replaced by a sort of Sardinian-French Republic.

The rebels were able to conquer the towers of Vignola, Isola Rossa and Longonsardo, where the French flag waved for some days for everyone to see at the Strait of Bonifacio. The adventure had a tragic ending: Francesco Sanna Corda died fighting at the foothills of the Tower of Longonsardo while the other revolutionaries were betrayed and so arrested, tortured and killed.

This episode rapresents the prior event to the birth of Santa Teresa: to repress the rebellion came the lieutenant of the Foreign Hunters' Corps, Pietro Francesco Maria Magnon. Rightaway he was nominated commander of the Tower of Longonsardo and that is how this man became part of the history of this piece of Gallura where, some years later and thanks to him, Santa Teresa was born under the administration of Tempio Pausania.

The founding of Santa Teresa has some peculiarities: in first place, it is one of those few towns in Gallura that have a certain date of birth, certified with Royal Diploma dated August 12th 1808. Santa Teresa also has the prerogative of having, since its origins, a well defined urban plan, drawn "with his own hands" by King Vittorio Emanuele I who took inspiration from the city of Turin with its quadrilateral main squares and streets intersecting at right angle.

Magnon's early years in Santa Teresa were not easy but, at least, he could witness the town's gradual growth, only not until it gained its autonomy since he was murdered in 1814.

November 15th 1821 represents for Santa Teresa a historical date: that's when it became an autonomous municipality, detaching itself from Tempio Pausania. In 1825 the port was dredged so that medium tonnage ships could use it. Then trade exchanges intensified, specially with Tuscany and Corsica, and this gave a slow but progressive impulse to the economy of this early community, basically based on farming, agriculture and fishing.

In 1862, with decree by King Vittorio Emanuele II, the municipality was called "Santa Teresa Gallura", its current name.

According to documented records, since the early years of the 1900's, Santa Teresa already enjoyed the presence of tourists, and just around the year 1920 rooms and apartments were rented at fares approved by the district council. Santa Teresa Gallura experienced its first touristic take-off in a more modern form as it is nowadays in the early 1950's, when foreign tourists, mostly Germans, came and discovered the place; so in just about a decade the traditional economy changed developing more tourist-centered activities.

Since then Santa Teresa and its touristic structures have developed: nowadays its beaches have become renowned and appreciated all over the world, plus since 1987 "Rena Bianca", the town's main beach, is a proud holder of the European Blue Flag.

THE TERRITORY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
You can easily reach Santa Teresa from Olbia's both Port and Airport, from Porto Torres Port and also from Alghero Airport.
To those entering Santa Teresa Gallura by land at first sight the town may seem one of those few Sardinian towns situated on a plain. Actually it is located on a rocky hill at 44 metres above sea level, along the way of a particularly jagged stretch of coast.

At 3 km from the Centre is the Capo Testa peninsula, one of Sardinia's most fascinating sites, officially recognized SIC ("Sito di Interesse Comunitario"- Site of Community Interest) area, with its wonderful rocky sceneries of granite and limestone. On the western part is the Lighthouse, active since 1845. Endemic spieces of the Mediterranean Scrub still survive here, and in Cala Grande, with its suggestive, unique and primordial nature, still survives the "Bedriaga lizard", an little reptile of archaic progeny.

In the sorroundings of Santa Teresa are other landscape resorts and beaches such as Santa Reparata, La Marmorata, Porto Quadro, Valle dell'Erica and Conca Verde. Santa Teresa has two main municipality divisions: Porto Pozzo and San Pasquale.

Not too far from the Centre and immersed among overshadowing old-age olive trees is the Buoncammino Church, dedicated to the Holy Mother. It is not only a place of worship but also the setting for important and joyful country festivals.

THE TYPICAL CUISINE
The culinary specialties of Santa Teresa with influences from the local traditions are: la suppa cuata (typical dish for occasions such as wedding banquets), li pulicioni (sweet ravioli filled with ricotta cheese, made for the more special occasions), lu casgiu furriatu (cheese melted with cream and flour, ancient dish eaten by young unmarried girls on the night of San Giovanni), and lu ziminu, a typical fish soup. Desserts include: li acciuleddi (a Easter dessert, a sort of "braid-shaped" bread dough first fried and then immersed in hot honey), li canestri (a "braid-shaped" baked bread dough, seasoned with anice seeds, usually offered at wedding banquets). These culinary specialties, typical of Gallura, can be enjoyed at the many restaurants and agriturismi (farm inns) that you can find in the sorroundings of Santa Teresa.


THE EVENTS
The municipality of Santa Teresa Gallura offers a wide range of events with yearly recurrance: in May, the ESTIVA CUP, an international sailboat race, on August 12th FESTIVAL OF THE FOUNDATION, with a parade and historical commemoration of the town's birth, and towards the end of August the important and eclectic International Festival of jazz music "FESTIVAL MUSICA SULLE BOCCHE - MUSIQUE SUR LES BOUCHES", with concerts performed at the most suggestive locations of the town. In October the RALLY DELLE BOCCHE and the religious festivals for the holy days in honour to San Vittorio, Santa Teresa and San Isidoro; in December the poetry competition LUNGONI in both Gallurese and Corsican dialects.


Cultural Services Office: tel. 0789 /740914 - 740924 - 740944 fax 0789 740946
e-mail : serviziculturali@comunesantateresagallura.it

The Mayor
Pierantonio Bardanzellu
Tel. 0789 740901
Fax 0789 754794
E-mail: sindaco@comunesantateresagallura.it

www.comunesantateresagallura.it