Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 27, 2012

La Maddalena….in gorgeous Sardinia


On our recent trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia we stayed on La Maddalena, the only inhabited island in the Maddalena Archipelago, a group of rocky, windswept islands off the north coast.

La Maddalena has had a long history…it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Romans were there, Benedictine Monks were there, Pisa and Genoa fought over the islands, shepherds brought their sheep, Ottoman raids destroyed the Benedictine communities, Horatio Nelson used the islands as a base for his fleet while fighting the French, Garibaldi lived on nearby Caprera, Mussolini was briefly imprisoned, an Italian navy base was established in 1887 and it ceased to be a US Naval base in 2008 after 35 years. It has had a busy time.

Now there is a beautiful town by the sea, also called La Maddalena. People come for the beautiful beaches nestled in rocky coves.



There is a pretty harbour and lots of interesting shops and restaurants.


In the centre of town is a little square where there is a sculpture of Garibaldi sitting on a bench.


He rarely sits alone.


Behind Garibaldi is a gelateria called Dolci Distrazione where the delightful owner makes the most delicious gelato every day on site. I tried the marscapone and fig and was most impressed.


The town was full of sailors. What could be better than 3 sailors in a row.


4 sailors.


Our favourite place to eat was La Roca. We were attracted by the very cute building.



The interior was great too.




The food was excellent, we went twice.



The antipasto and the spaghetti with crab were delicious and the dolce was a sweet ravioli filled with ricotta and drizzled with heavenly Sardinian honey.


To cap it off the chef appeared and he reminded me of my son, especially when he took his chef’s hat off and shook out his long curls.


The only way to reach La Maddalena is by passenger or car ferry from Palau (unless you have a boat) The ferries operate regularly. We rarely had to wait more than 15 minutes.


Here is some more of gorgeous La Maddalena.











Check the Sardinia category for lots more on this gorgeous island.


  1. Oh WOW Debra…looks like bliss!! And that chef with gold chain and ‘red’ chef’s hat….what Sardinian style.

    • We had some delicious food while we were in Sardinia.

  2. This looks like a delightful place. I love the view from the restaurant – the chef’s *whites* are very chic I have never seen any quite like them.

    • The restaurant was lovely….beside the sea….with gorgeous views.

  3. Some day … some day I will make it there … and I thank you for the inspiration! …. and yesterday finished a bottle of red wine from there.

    • They do some very good wine. I hope you visit Sardinia one day.

      • I’m picturing a cruise going to various islands. 🙂

  4. What an idyllic place to stay. The view from the restaurant is just as gorgeous as the food. I love rocky beaches. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

    • Sardinia is very beautiful, we enjoyed our week there.

  5. A gorgeous spot indeed – I’d love to hide-away there. Enjoyed the history write-up.

    • Sardinia is gorgeous, quite different from our little bit if Italy.

  6. It looks like a wonderful, restful place Debra. I love the rocks and the colour of that water. The shot of the chef in the red hat is making me laugh. What would have happened if you hadn’t enjoyed your lunch I wonder. 😉

    • He was a very friendly chap.

  7. Wow – beautiful pictures and the food looked wonderful.

    Pam Proctor

    • The food is great in Sardinia.

  8. Absolutely beautiful!

    • Sardinia is very beautiful. I want to go back to see the south of the island as well.

  9. Aah Deb, what a lovely place! Your photos are magnificent, as always!

    • Sardinia was a lot of fun. It wasn’t really warm enough for the beach while we were there….I’ll have to go back!

  10. Beautiful photos, Debra and very interesting information. As usual, we are totally spoiled….

      • Sardinia has a very rich history…as does all of Italy.

  11. Hi Debra, these photos are fantastic, you have captured some amazing scenes including the reflection on the wine glasses. Well done, I really enjoyed them Lyn

    • Thank you. It is easy to take pretty photos in Sardinia

  12. The island looks interesting. Quiet little bays to escape to, great food …what more do your want!

  13. Looks heavenly, Debra. Photos are beautiful, as usual! Have always wanted to go to Sardegna…we’re so close there’s really no excuse. Thanks for posting these!

    • Sardinia is gorgeous. We were there in April and it was unusually cold and very windy, but we loved it anyway. We flew from Pisa into Olbia, very easy.

  14. In the words of Liz Lemon- I want to go to there! 🙂

    • You should, it’s gorgeous.

  15. Hiya. I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award –

    • Thank you for the nomination, I am very flattered.

  16. Deb, you have sure captured the beautiful La Madddalena where we made home base whilst in Sardinia.- still am amazed at how rocky the whole area is and the beautiful colour of the waters surrounding.

    • Sardinia is a beautiful island….I will be back.

  17. gorgeous restaurant and i loved your sailers.. what an amazing island.. also i loved your mary’s from yesterday, i was always surprised by the hidden grottos in amalfi.. c

  18. What’s not to love about a sailor, or three?

  19. Everything is beautiful!

    • Sardinia is gorgeous.

  20. I hadn’t heard of this island before, so thank you for introducing me to it. It looks like a place I would love to visit.

    Besides, I have to try some marscapone and fig gelato. Sounds delicious.

    • La Maddalena is a beautiful part of Sardinia. I hope you visit one day.

  21. Looks wonderful Debra love the rocky outcrops and beaches nestled in among them, delicious Italian food on the menu very soon when we go on holidays….counting the days
    Carla x

  22. Wish I could have some sardinian food and beaches, right now. Nice post, Debra.

    • Sardinia is a gorgeous place to visit for the food alone.

  23. That picture of Garibaldi and other old men is laugh-out-loud hilarious! Are those sailors holding hands???

    • There was one man there who looked as though he could have been Garibaldi’s brother. I wanted to take his photo sitting beside Garibaldi, but he declined. He is the one in the beanie, and no, the sailors were not holding hands.

  24. Debra, what a thrill to see this post. La Maddalena is a beautiful place; my husband and I performed at the navy base years ago when we were doing a USO tour. We had a fabulous lunch at La Roca that I will never forget and I hav many photos of the rocks and windswept trees of the hillsides. A truly beautiful place; thanks for sharing this great tour!

  25. […] Sardinia in April. It is a gorgeous rocky island not far from the Italian mainland. We stayed at La Maddelena at the north of Sardinia and visited nearby Porto Cervo, where we found the prettiest […]

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