Caprera Island is a fascinating rocky place linked to the island of La Maddalena by a narrow causeway on the Passo Della Moneta that separates the two islands.
The rich colour contrast of white tiny bays, blue sea and rose-coloured rocky shoreline are a rare sight.
No wonder Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italy’s great 19th century hero, chose this corner of the world as his retirement heaven, building a house, Casa Bianca, and setting up a flourish farm.
The dwelling and its surrounding is now a national Museum, which welcomes every year visitors from all over the planet to pay tribute to the man that unified Italy and admire his dream island.
Caprera is not only Garibaldi’s dream island; it hosts such a wealth of natural beauty from golden sand beaches to tiny rocky coves to suit every taste.
From here a rugged coastline twirls its way north and south leaving behind spectacular scenery of small coves and acqua-marine coloured sandy bays immerse in myrtles and sprinkling of cistus that grow on the open slopes.
The history of Caprera is linked, almost entirely, to the life of Garibaldi, the hero of the two worlds, who in 1849 bought half of the island and started to live here with interval of some years.
From here he left for his conquest of Sicily and Naples on the way to unify Italy with the 1000 Red-shirts, coming back later to live a farming life with his family and died here in 1882.
Garibaldi during his stay in Caprera had for a long time a serious disagreement with his neighbour, and English man known as Collins; about the property of some wondering goats, he also built a wall to sort out their dispute.
In 1927 an Italian tourist magazine reported that on Sundays on a rota basis 4 of the 1000 red-shirts soldiers that fought with Garibaldi volunteered to guard the tomb of their general whatever the weather and despite their age.
Places to see
Follow the sign as you pass the causeway through Passo Della Moneta, the Museum is in Garibaldi’s old house, Casa Bianca, a deep white building that resembles the 19th century Hispano-American colonial architecture.
“The hero of the two worlds” used to live here with his family, so the Museum is plenty of Garibaldi historical objects (the notorious red-shirt, a flag from Peru’s war of independence) and some others of normal day life of a farmer.
The garden in front host the tomb of Garibaldi and his family (3 wives and 7 children) surrounded by a thick pinewood that lead to a tamarisk lined pathway to the exit.
Free entry for over 60s and under 18s.
Environment Education Centre
A very interesting site, located in the hamlet of Stagnali, south of the Garibaldi’s house.
Once a military dormitory, the Centre is an active research institute in the island’s flora and fauna also includes a Mineralogical Museum with several findings from the nearby coast and a Dolphins Research Centre.
Spiaggia dei due Mari
South of the island two stunning sandy beaches separated by a pathway amidst juniper and cystus woods shine up to you.
On the North coast of the island 300m from the main road, reachable on foot or by bike.
Small but beautiful beach set on a rocky shoreline guarded by a dense wood of maquis behind.
On the eastern coast, reachable only on foot from the main road or by sea.
A clear path leads to a blinding white cove squeezed among the rocks, the white sand of these two tiny bays glares in the sunlight.
On the North of the island, 1.5 km from Garibaldi House and Museum.
Irresistibly dazzling little beach set in a flat and rocky fjord, overlooking turquoise blue waters.
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