Carloforte, the Tabarkian pearl of the Mediterranean Sea

Capo Sandalo a Carloforte

We are in Carloforte. One of the most beautiful villages in Italy, the only town on San Pietro island. A gem not far from the south-west coast of Sardinia, which preciously preserves its traditions, crafts and gastronomic riches.

Here in Sulcis Iglesiente one of the oldest tuna-fishing nets in the Mediterranean Sea is still in business. And for ten years now, a great event has been celebrating the gastronomic excellence of Carloforte tuna, bluefin tuna, the most valuable and the best in the world. International chefs gather on the island between May and June for the Girotonno, a tasty competition, with tastings and culinary workshops. In these days, the island is dressed up to welcome thousands of tourists. For those who spend a beach holiday in Sardinia, the Girotonno is a unique opportunity to learn about the magical world of the tuna-fishing nets and the ancient ritual of slaughter. This suggestive moment lasts 45 days, the sea turns red, creating a scene from the great evocative power. To frame the picturesque appointment, stories, shows, music and cultural events in a great celebration of the sea.

And talking about food, a stop not to be missed in Carloforte is a dinner at Tonno di Corsa in the alleys of the old quarter of “cassinee”: in addition to the specialty which is obviously tuna, other island delicacies are the Tunisian cascà, cold pasta dishes served with tasty seafood sauces, and lobsters.

Le colonne di Carloforte

The sea is then the priceless treasure of the village, among the most beautiful in Italy. Along with fishing, the processing of lobster pots has been telling for centuries about  the intense craft industry of this place where even today, in the background of an architecture that recalls the Ligurian origins of the island, you can see older people weaving fishing nets. In the small village there is also a Museum, situated in the eighteenth-century fort of Carlo Emanuele III: it tells the story of the Ligurian community that colonized the island coming from the Tunisian town of Tabarka. Still today the inhabitants of Carloforte, refer to themselves as Tabarkians.

Another charm of the place are the beaches. Among the most surprising are Girin and Punta Nera, between sand and rocks, in the south of the island; or on the west coast, La Caletta is a wide beach where people wait for the ritual aperitif to enjoy a spectacular sunset.

The towns of Carloforte and San Pietro are also an example of environmental excellence, for the spread of electric mobility, renewable energy sources and the strong focus on energy efficiency. The territory has pledged to become carbon-free, that is, completely independent from fossil fuels by 2014.


Sweet Dreams – Our selection of palaces, mansions and boutique hotels:

Vista panorama dalla Residenza A CovaResidenza A Cova – Località Le Colonne, Carloforte (CI)

Fotografie di Roberto Petruzzo

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