When disembarking in the charming port of Carloforte, the change of scenery will be completed by the sound of the Genoese dialect... but don't worry, you haven't sailed on the wrong ferry! It's just that, in Carloforte, tradition is vivid and talks with the tongue of the ancestors who, for intricate reasons, came from Genoa itself.
Lying on the soft sand of the beaches of La Bobba, Lucchese, Punta Nera, La Calette, looking at the village Punta Spalmatore, swimming in the clear water of the islet of Genia or fishing the tuna fish of your dreams, you will have all the leisure to muse on the distant ages whose events have participated in creating the socio-cultural specificities of Isola di S. Pietro.
There is no proud Tabarkinian descendant who cannot politely brag about his knowledge of those epic events of a great cinematographic dimension – with all their pirates, ransackings, kidnappings, treasures... One just needs the time to listen! Because, let me tell you straight that as far as Carloforte is concerned, it all dates back from... the Miocene, when Isola S. Pietro emerged...
The climax of the story falls on a specific day though: the 22nd of November 1736, when, by a Feudal Contract, Charles Emmanuel III, Duke of Savoy, granted the Tabarkinian community – governed by the Genoese Lomellini family, and devastated by the pirates – to settle in the isle of S. Pietro. The hard-working and indomitable Tabarkinians reached Carloforte on the windy day of April the 17th 1738, and as soon as they set foot on the island, they started to work on the salt deposits, to fish coral and tuna, and to give birth to a high quality craftsmanship – it is said that among all, the blades of the « axe masters » of Carloforte were Horatio Nelson's favourite.
You will be delighted by the liveliness of the centre of Carloforte, with its shops, and its tasty local products – dominated by the unequalled Bottarga (salted pressed & dried grey mullet roe).
It is worth visiting the salt works of Carloforte, already established at the time of the Benedictines who encouraged the flourishing salt trade - it is today a compulsory stopover for the grey herons, the black stilts and a colony of flamingoes (about 500 were counted by the LIPU (Italian league for bird protection)).
The 236-hectare garrison of the LIPU is not forsaken in the western part of Isola di S. Pietro: for years, they have been alertly monitoring the eleonora's falco, which still nests in the ravines of the rough cliff, 430 feet above the sea.
In Carloforte, a tasty celebration opens the touristic season every year, at the end of May: the Girotonno, a lively fair appealing to all the senses, features the Meditarranean chefs who compete with the fine meat of tuna.
This same year, from the 10th to the 13th of September, Carloforte hosted the « Creuza de Mà » festival, a paramount event for music and cinema lovers.
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