Santo Stefano's Fortifications

Villamarina Tower

Position: Near Cala Villamarina, there is the trail leading to Villamarina Tower. 

Villamarina Tower was the first permanent defence building in the Archipelago of La Maddalena, built near Cala Villamarina in 1767, right after the Piedmontese occupation.

The decision of building here was made due to the rumours coming from the nearby Corsica: a change in political sovereignty seemed imminent. The forthcoming passage from Genoa to France represented an extreme danger, and the Archipelago was in need of new defence and supervision systems. More than protective functions, the building would have supported the existing field entrenchment, due to the excellent shelter given by the inlet. The Tower has a square diagram, solid and strong walls, and it is surrounded by a ten-foot-wide moat.

Fort San Giorgio

Position: Santo Stefano Island. You can reach it through an easy dirt road, starting from Cala Villamarina.

After Villamarina Tower, six other fortifications were built. Fort San Giorgio is the last one in chronological order, after Fort Carlo Felice on La Maddalena island.

Located north of the Tower, its elevated position ensured an excellent view on the western sea area between the coasts of Sardinia and La Maddalena. At the same time, in addition to Villamarina Tower, it reinforced the ownership of Santo Stefano.

This fort is not very wide, with few rooms - but very well-preserved - and the visit does not take long. One of its strengths is definitely the terrace, which offers a breathtaking panorama. 




Source: Barbara Calanca, Il Cammino delle Fortificazioni: la Piazzaforte di La Maddalena

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