By Irina Pushkova
Stintino is a small town on the north-west coast of the Island of Sardinia. Though it is not a big city, every summer dozens of thousands of tourists from all over the world come to visit this place. The main attraction of Stintino is its coast which consists of rocks and beaches with fine white sand.
The most famous beach of Stintino is named La Pelosa. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy and is considered by many as the enchanting beach with water unlike anywhere else in Italy. The turquoise color and transparency of the waters and the fine white sand of the beach make it look like a tropical beach rather than Mediterranean. Only the lack of tropical fish and the typical Sardinian vegetation on the beach of La Pelosa are to remind us that we are in Sardinia. This unique beach is located in the Gulf of Asinara, east of Cape Falcone. It is protected from the open sea by a natural barrier formed by the cliffs of Cape Falcone, a little island called Isola Piana and the Island of Asinara. This is why the water of La Pelosa is always calm even when the dominant northwestern wind (Mistral) blows. But it is not only the beaches that Stintino has to offer to a tourist.
The town of Stintino is located in front of the Island of Asinara, a former penal colony and now a natural reserve. Stintino was founded in 1885 by farmers of Sardinia and Genoese fishermen who were evicted from the Island of Asinara when it was converted into a penal colony. The town is built around two bays which are home to two marinas for fishing boats and pleasure craft. The old port called "Minori" (small) was joined by the new port called "Mannu" (major). The economy revolves around the two marinas and of course tourism. From the port Mannu you can go on an excursion to the National Park of Asinara. The route takes about 30 minutes. The tour is conducted for groups of twenty people and lasts all day.
The name "Stintino" comes from the Sardinian word "s'isthintinu", which means "intestine". Such comparison came to the new settlers' minds when they saw the shapes created by the two bays around which the town was born.
Stintino offers necessary services such as grocery stores, pharmacy, clothing and restaurants. Restaurants of Stintino have a great choice of seafood and fish dishes and traditional Sardinian cuisine. Among the fish dishes you will find a very popular local lobster, octopus in garlic sauce and an octopus salad with potatoes and parsley, seasoned with vinegar and olive oil.
There are many little stores offering a wide range of typical Sardinian ceramics, coral and tissues.
It is a pleasure to take a simple walk in a town that has kept the charm of the old fishing village, combining it with the essential structures required for high flow of tourists. During the summer there are events and entertainments for tourists and residents. Among the events held annually there is the "Regatta della Vela Latina", an important Regatta in late August where old style wooden sail boats participate creating a spectacular view and bringing you back in time. The history of the regatta goes back to 1983. On the initiative of brothers Ajello the first regatta of Vela Latina was organized in Stintino in order to protect the last fleet of sailing boats with a triangular sail in Italy. The 28th regatta of Vela Latina was held in Stintino in August of 2010.
A few kilometres from the city, near the sea, there is a hotel which was once a tuna processing factory. Until the end of 20th century tuna fishery played one of the most important roles in the economy of Sardinia. Now every year in September a tuna festival takes place in Stintino.
The city has a museum of tuna with a rich collection of documents, objects, photographs and models describing the life cycle of tuna and illustrating the various stages of slaughter.
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