Treasure hunting on the sea of Italy – second installment


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Bay of Ieranto Photo Mimmo Jodice,Naples ∏ FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano
If you think of a cruise along the Italian coast, images of unspoiled nature, blue sea and bays spring up in your mind? Definitely, but if you stop and think for a moment, you will realize that the Belpaese can give you a very different cruise
… perhaps pursuing those architectural and historical beauties that are our real wealth. Such as the properties protected by FAI, the Italian Environmental Fund. In this ideal sailing of ours, we have selected nine places that you can reach directly by boat or with a short trip ashore. In this second installment we will look at the islands, Sardinia and Pantelleria, and the Sorrento coast.



We cross the Tyrrhenian Sea and face the Maddalena Archipelago, then descend to Pantelleria via the Gulf of Sorrento.

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 3:52:33 p.m.1. Talmone Military Battery (Olbia-Tempio)
Clinging to the rugged rocks of Sardinia, hidden among unspoiled wilderness, the Talmone Military Battery constitutes an important testimony to our country’s military history. It is part of a defensive system consisting of some 50 forts, blockhouses and military batteries that arose on the island’s northern coast in the second half of the 1700s, after Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy took the islands of the Maddalena archipelago from Genoese control. The complex returned to play an important role in the defense of national borders in the aftermath of the Unification of Italy, when the national fleet took up residence at the historic naval base on La Maddalena.

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 3:52:02 p.m.Of all the fortifications built, the Talmone Military Battery was tasked with keeping the channel located between the island of Spargi and Sardinia under fire. The stretch of sea overlooked by the Battery was the scene of battles throughout World War II until the Paris Peace Treaty (1947) required Italy to dismantle the naval base and decommission all military batteries. After decades of neglect, in 2002 the Talmone Military Battery was given in concession by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia to FAI- Fondo Ambiente Italiano, which, thanks to a thorough and challenging restoration project that is still ongoing, guarantees its opening to the public with the support of the Municipality of Palau.
Contacts: Punta Don Diego – Palau (Olbia Tempio) tel. 02 467615325
Origin: Concession of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, 2002
Where to moor: Cala dei Sardi, tel. 0789 1876125,, Marina di Olbia, tel. 0789 67121,

Bay of Ieranto Photo Mimmo Jodice,Naples ∏ FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano2. Bay of Ieranto (Naples)
Right there, in that cave carved out of the rocks on the southern coast of the Sorrento Peninsula, legend has it that the mermaids built their home and, to this day, possible to hear the echo of their song resonating to the rhythm of the undertow. And, in fact, there are those who are convinced that the ternonym ‘Ieranto’ derives not from the Greek “ierax,” meaning the hawk that still nests in the area, but from “ieros “meaning sacred, indicating precisely the Bay as the site of the temple of the Sirens. Truth be told, legend seems to cloak every corner of the Bay of Ieranto in Massa Lubrense, a place of pristine beauty located opposite the Faraglioni of Capri in the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella.
Contact: Massa Lubrense (Naples) tel. 335 8410253
Origin: Italsider Donation, 1986
Where to moor: Marina d’Arechi, tel. 089 2788801,

Donnafugata Pantesco Garden - Photo Hamiton,2008 ∏ FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano3. Donnafugata Pantesco Garden (Pantelleria, Trapani)
The Pantelleria garden, generously donated to FAI by Donnafugata, a historic Sicilian winery, is one of the few examples, of those still on the island of Pantelleria, in good condition and now fully restored. Because of its size and construction characteristics, it represents the most common type on the island: its circular plan, diameter (11 meters outside and 8.4 inside), height (up to 4 m) and lava stone used dry, in fact, guarantee the best microclimatic conditions. Inside the garden, an extraordinary and centuries-old sweet orange tree “Portugal,” an ancient variety rich in seeds but also in sugary juice, spreads over several trunks until it occupies the entire available area. Dating back to the beginnings of the culture of the hot arid countries of the southern Mediterranean, these circular buildings, inside of which a single citrus tree is preserved, enclosed by a door, represent an ingenious self-sufficient agronomic system capable of defending the citrus tree from the two main threats to its survival present on the island: the wind, which due to its intensity and frequency causes damage incompatible with the survival of the trees, and the scarcity of water that can sometimes lead to 300 uninterrupted days of drought.
Contacts: Pantelleria Island, Trapani, Contrada Khamma tel. 0923 915649- fax 02 467615269
Origin: Donnafugata Donation – 2008
Where to moor: Porto Nuovo Pantelleria, tel. 0923 911817,

To concretely promote a culture of respect for the nature, art, history and traditions of Italy and to protect a heritage that is a fundamental part of our roots and identity. This is the mission of FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano, a national nonprofit foundation that since 1975, following the example of the English National Trust, has saved, restored and opened to the public important testimonies of Italy’s artistic and natural heritage. Ancient mansions, castles, villas, historic parks, gardens, natural areas. In more than 30 years of activity, FAI has saved and returned to the community splendid testimonies of Italy’s heritage of art, landscape and nature. FAI operates throughout the country through its Milan headquarters and Rome office, and through a widespread network of volunteers organized in 116 Delegations, 14 Regional Secretariats in 20 Italian regions. Signing up for FAI is easy: you can do it online at, over the phone with a credit card by calling 02 467615259, or by Bank Transfer with IBAN code IT 46 I 03359 01600 10000 0013785. By signing up, in addition to supporting FAI, you can also visit all of the Italian Environmental Fund’s properties for free.



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