This Dreamy Seaside City In Italy Is Known For Its Impeccable Beaches And Historic Charm

Are you dreaming of a lovely getaway with beautiful emerald and turquoise waters, lounging on sandy beaches, and exploring the seas around Italy? Of course, you are. How could you not be? The doldrums of winter can do that to you. If you're not looking to pack yourself into a line waiting to visit the Coliseum in Rome, or shivering on a chilly ski slope in the Alps isn't your perfect Italian vacation, we have another suggestion for you. This beautiful city and surrounding area are exactly what the relaxation doctor ordered. 

The place in question is La Maddalena, which is the name of a town, the island it sits on, and the archipelago it's part of. The La Maddalena archipelago is off the northeastern coast of Sardinia, which is part of the Italian Republic. The archipelago itself has over 60 islands, most of them small and uninhabited. La Maddalena is the largest island, and there is plenty to do. Let's take a look at the beauty of La Maddalena, what you can see in the town, and the beaches the area is famous for. 

What to do in La Maddalena

The eight-square-mile island is the main one of the archipelago. It was once attacked by Napoleon, though he didn't manage take it. Horatio Nelson visited the area shortly after in the early 19th century and gave a silver crucifix to the parish priest. Until 2008, there was a NATO base there as well. To visit it now, you can get a 20-minute ferry from Sardinia's Palau, which runs frequently. If you've rented a car, you can even take it over on the ferry. 

If you do take a car, it's worth driving 28-mile road that surrounds the island for some astonishingly pretty views. While in the town of La Maddalena, don't miss Santa Maria Maddalena, the 18th-century Baroque parish church of the island. The buttery cream and white of the facade are stunning, and the small museum inside features Nelson's aforementioned crucifix. Wander the stone-paved streets  for a little shopping and food, or visit the Cappella della Madonnetta, the tiny chapel that sits right near the main harbor, featuring a statue of Mary inside to protect sailors. 

If you'd like to venture out a bit, take a trip to the second-largest island in the archipelago, Caprera. Make sure to visit the Museo Nazionale Garibaldino, the house of military hero Guiseppe Garibaldi, who lived there for the final years of his life. You can also check out the Batteria Poggio Rasu Superiore, which is an old stone fort you can explore at your leisure.

The beaches of La Maddalena

La Maddalena sits in the Tyrrhenian Sea, meaning it's in the perfect spot for a beach vacation. There are plenty of hiking and walking trails in the area that are well-marked, and many of them lead to beaches. This island and the entire archipelago are famous for them, with their clear and colorful waters and gorgeous scenery. However, there are a few beaches truly worth making the trek for. One of these is Cala Francese, which features an abandoned granite quarry that supplied stones for the Statue of Liberty. Another is Spiaggia di Tegge, which is fairly close to the town and more on the boulder side than the sand side of things. Then there is Spalmatore, which has lovely golden sand. There are snack spots on this beach for lunch, and you can rent a kayak or paddleboard if you're into water sports. 

Another thing you can do is take a boat tour of the archipelago. Some will take you past many of the islands, including Budelli Island, which you can't land on. However, you'll be able to see the lovely pink sand on the beaches as you pass. Some tours will take you snorkeling or diving, both of which are perfectly suited to the pristine waters. Some will take you to beaches you can't get to without a boat. Do note that if you have a boat in the area, you'll need a permit to land.