THE SULCITANE ISLANDS OF ST.ANTIOCO AND CARLOFORTE

Travelling along the highway n.126 one reaches the island of St. Antioco, along an isthmus that crosses the lagoon of St. Caterina, where it is possible to see two menhirs, known as 'su para' and 'sa mongia', the friar anf the nun, and travel next to an old Roman bridge. This is the largest island among those surrounding Sardinia and the fourth in Italy, after Sicily, Sardinia itself, and Elba. The ancient Sulcis is today an island of great historical and touristic interest. Here it is possible to visit the archaeological site of the Punic necropolis with its Tophet and nearby 'Antiquarium', besides the medioeval church of St. Antioco and its underground Christian catacombs. Touring the island one reaches the beach of Maladroxia and along the western coast, Cala Lunga; going towards the southern and eastern coast the visitor arrives at Capo Sperone. The visit continues in Calasetta, the second town of the island, a town of wine-producers and fishermen. This village, originally called Cala di Seta, was founded in 1769 by a nucleous of families who originally came from Liguria but where living in Tabarka, in Tunisia. Up to today, Calasetta continues to maintain both customs and the language of the Genoese people. The area offers beautiful beaches and landscapes characterised by fascinating indented coasts, besides a 19th century tower that dominates the village. From Calasetta one can take the ferry-boat to Carloforte, capital of the island of St. Pietro. This island was also founded by people coming from Tabarka and therefore keeps Genoese customs and dialect. The journey around the island includes a visit to the old centre of Carloforte and the tour of the island, stopping to see the tunny-fishing buildings on the islands of La Piana and Li Punti, the beaches of La Bobbia, Le Colonne, La Caletta, and finally Cala Vinagra, Cala Fico, Capo Sandalo, with its beautiful panoramic view of the lighthouse.