U pàize is a Ligurian enclave in Sardinia: it preserves the language and culture of its founders, the fisherman families originally from Pegli, and from the Tunisian island of Tabarka (where they lived since the 16th century). The tabarchini in 1738 obtained permission from King Carlo Emanuele III to colonize the island of San Pietro, which was uninhabited and known as belonging to 'the sparrow-hawks' since the Phoenician settlement (8th century BC), followed by the Carthaginians, with temple and necropolis . The same fishermen, 40 years later, also founded Calasetta on the facing island of Sant'Antioco.
Carloforte, still closely linked to Pegli and Genoa, is the only centre of the island, with six thousand inhabitants: it will captivate you with narrow streets and alleys that climb up a slight slope, with colourful sea views, marina and ancient defensive fortifications, of which remain watch towers and stretches of walls with forts, including the Lion's Gate. The architecture of the village, which is in the club of the most beautiful in Italy, we note the early 20th century a Palassiu , today the Giuseppe Cavallera cineteatro (cinema and theatre), and the church of the Madonna del naufrago, which houses the wooden statue revered by the tabarchini, a symbol of faith and solidarity union of the community. The devotion to San Pietro, protector of coral divers and tuna fishermen, solemnly celebrated on 29th June, was also deeply felt. On the seafront stands the monument to Carlo Emanuele III, a marble group of three statues (1786) with the sovereign from which the name of the village derives, while the parish church was dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo. At Spalmadureddu there is the San Vittorio tower, a defensive outpost built with blocks of trachyte, converted in 1898 to an astronomical observatory. Since 2016 it has been used as the multimedia museum of the Sea, which tells the story of Carloforte. After all, the sea is an essential part of it: the coasts of San Pietro are a succession of jagged rocks and inlets. To the north, you will find the romantic Cala Vinagra; to the north-west the deep fjord that is closed by the enchanting Cala Fico; to the west the impressive promontory of Capo Sandalo, dominated by the nineteenth-century lighthouse, and the one that is furthest west in Italy; to the south lies the scenic La Bobba beach, Conca beach with its sheer cliffs, and Le Colonne, two sea stacks sticking up out of the water and the symbol of Carloforte.
Carloforte cuisine is an unmissable experience. Between May and June, an international gastronomic event known as the Girotonno promotes the local specialties with culinary competitions and live cooking shows. Tuna is revisited in imaginative recipes. No less fascinating is the picturesque tabarchino cous cous festival, held on 25th April. From cooking to cinema with Crêuza de mä, a Carloforte event dedicated to film soundtracks.