Carloforte and San Pietro Island

From Tuna to Tourism

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Carloforte, the main town on San Pietro Island, can be reached by a 20 minute ferry ride from Portovesme on the southwest coast or the port of Calasetta on the north of Sant’Antioco Island. The town
is quaint and its hospitality is legendary. There are many restaurants,
most specializing in seafood and especially tuna.

The Island of San Pietro

Clean beaches, dramatic cliffs
and rugged coastline make the island an interesting choice for
wanderers, who won’t want to miss the “Punta delle Colonne” where 20
meters away from the coastline two rock columns of red trachyte rise
from the sea.

San Pietro Island was uninhabited before the 18th century when coral fishers, originally from the village of Pegli near Genoa, came to settle the island from Tabarka off Tunisia where they’d exhausted the coral.

Having once again been successful in fishing for coral, eventually the population turned to tuna fishing, which was quite lucrative until high-tech ships plying international waters pretty much fished them out. By the 1970s there was only enough tuna spawning in the glistening blue waters for local consumption, so, like the rest of Sardinia, the economy started to depend upon tourism to survive.

Tuna Festivals

La Mattanza, the tuna kill, is celebrated at the end of May, followed by a rather new festival called Girotonno, featuring food and traditional music in celebration of the harvest.

At A Glance



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