Santa Teresa di Gallura
Santa Teresa Gallura might be considered, at first sight, a young village as its foundation goes back to the first years of the XIX Century, following King Vittorio Emanuele I's wishes. Nevertheless, we can't forget that Sardinia's furthest point north was inhabited by history's very ancient people.
The first settlement in this area dates back to the nuraghic period (4000 B.C). Its traces can be seen close to some archaeological sites nearby the built up area.
Under Roman rule, two settlements existed in the area - Longonis and Tibula. The first one, which stood on the left side of the present harbour, was a fishermen's village. The name Longonis seems to derive from the peculiar shape of the harbour bay, particularly long and a very good, natural shelter for the boats. The second village, Tibula, was at the final stretch of the consular's road. In any event, the Romans used the area to cut the precious granite rocks, which were then utilised to build monuments and residences in ancient Rome (some of Pantheon's columns were made using these granite rocks). In more than one place, we find huge granite blocks (more or less finished), evidence of the past industry.
In Medieval times, during the Maritime Republics, the Pisans founded Longonsardo village so that they could have a strategic point 11 miles from Corsica which, at the time, was ruled by Genoa, Pisa's bitter enemy. The harbour's strategic position favoured new flourishing of commerce and of the granite mining industry.
Longonsardo's importance grew considerably in the XIII and XIV Centuries when it became one of the four important ports in Sardinia. Together with Cagliari, Porto Torres and Alghero, it was allowed to ship or unload goods. In 1384, Eleonora of Arborea ordered the building of a castle which was destroyed by the Genoese who wanted the depopulation of the area. For this reason, in the following centuries it became refuge for outlaws and pirates.
The village's rebirth took place in 1808 when Francesco Maria Magnon was the commanding officer of the tower. He understood that is was necessary to repopulate the territory to solve the problem of smuggling. He felt that one military checkpoint wasn't enough. Thanks to his repeated requests, King Vittorio Emanuele I decreed the birth of Santa Teresa (in honour of the patron saint Queen Teresa) and marked its boundaries. The king wanted to personally draw the town's map. In order to increase the number of settlers, many concessions were made including granting free plots of land.