The fourth biggest island in the Archipelago, you can admire it from the ferry boat from Palau to La Maddalena and vice versa.
Santo Stefano has a rich history, including several facts which have stood the test of time. To name but one, here there was the building of Villamarina Tower in 1767, the first example of permanent fortification in the Archipelago of La Maddalena.

Click here to discover the fortifications you can visit on the island. 

Besides military buildings, something absolutely worth doing on the island is the walk to Villa Marina’s granite quarry, in use until World War II, one of the island’s most captivating landscapes. Inside the quarry, you will still be able to see semi-finished blocks of stone, and amongst these an enormous bust of Costanzo Ciano, Galeazzo Ciano’s father, commissioned in 1941 and never finished.

Just like in Spargi, on this island a great discovery was made: few traces dating back to the Neolithic Age were found inside a tafone (a weathered cave). They were mainly hunting objects consisting of obsidian and porphyry.

In 1972 the Italian government granted the USA the eastern side of Santo Stefano, which hosted a US Navy base there for several years. Since the Americans left, the base has served as a support and deposit base operated by the Italian Navy.


Foto: Mirko Ugo

On the opposite coastline, to the west, there is a popular beach known as Pesce. It is characterised by fine white sand and crystal-clear sea, showing light blue and turquoise reflections, and shallow sandy waters. Facing the beach, you will be able to see Scoglio Roma, a peculiar rock called “𝘐𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘶 𝘥𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘶𝘳𝘢(this expression means ‘Scary Islet’ in the local dialect) by the locals, as stated by Antonio Conti in his book 𝑆𝑏𝑖𝑟𝑟𝑖𝑧𝑧𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑖 𝑝𝑒 𝑙'𝑖𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑎. This name derives from the presence of many rocks and surface shoals, which contribute to creating hazardous or complicated situations for boats at sea. Last but not least, this area coincides with the beginning of 𝘔𝘦𝘻𝘻𝘰 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘰, exposed to violent gusts of west wind or northwest wind in case of gale.

 

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