Sights of my city. Porto Torres. a cura della 3 A del Liceo Scientifico “Europa Unita”. - Porto Torres districts History of Porto Torres Porto Torres Monuments Beaches of Porto Torres Traditions and Festivals The Economy The Port Shopping in Porto Torres Public places in Porto Torres.
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a cura della 3A del Liceo Scientifico “Europa Unita”
According to census returns, in 1861 in Porto Torres lived 2025 people, especially fishermen and farmers. Now the population has grown thanks to the building of petrochemical factories that attracted a lot of people from the rest of Italy, too.
In 2001, 21.064 people lived in Porto Torres.
Originally Porto Torres was only made of two districts: the historic centre (called in 1900 Rione Dei pescatori – fisheremen’s district) and San Gavino.
Later, many more districs were born:Borgona, Monte Angellu, Andreolu, Balai, Saltu di Lena, Viale delle Vigne, Villaggio Verde, Villaggio Satellite, Oleandro, Serra li Pozzi, C/1, 167, Li Pidriazzi and Li Lioni.
Its position is north-east on the harbour. It borders Marinella, Balai, Borgona and San Gavino. In this district we can find the Roman Thermal Baths, the Roman Bridge, the Antiquarium Museum, the Medieval Aragonese Tower, the church of the Consolata and the railway station.
The historic center spreads around Corso Vittorio Emanuele. This street is the commercial centre of the town, where there are modern shops and public services, such as hotels, restaurants, cafés, a chemist, super-markets, banks, the Town Hall and the Police Headquarters. In this district there are some old buildings, but also modern, too.
It is situated in the south-west facing the harbour, on a hill. It borders Monte Angellu, Saltu di Lena and Andreolu. The centre of this quarter is St. Gavino’s Church, where the bones of the three martyrs Proto, Gavino and Gianuario are kept and where the first nucleus of Porto Torres’ population was born. People living in this district are called Bainzini (from the name of the Saint in Sardinian: Bainzu). In this area there is also the oldest school in town, a primary school called De Amicis.
In this zone houses are low, and there is a very large green park, that is named after the district.
It is situated in a green area with large oleander boulevards (thus the name). It is a residential quarter where there are tall buildings, over five floors high with a backyard.
There are small shops and a small football field, too.
It is in the south-west of Porto Torres. It borders the railway station, the valley of the river Rio Mannu, San Gavino and Andreolu. Most of the buildings are modern and low. There are no public services nor green zones but there is a primary and a junior high school. Initially this quarter was a big garbage dump.
Rione delle Vigne
The name means “Vineyards”. Its main street, Viale delle Vigne, is bordered by Borgona, Balai and Villaggio Verde. Here there are some shops, a nursery school, a secondary school, some banks and a post office. There are tall apartment buildings and some detached houses.
It is in the south of town. It borders Monte Angellu, Saltu di Lena and Oleandro. Here you can find many detached houses and small apartment buildings. There are no public services nor parks but, only small shops.
It is in the south between Via Sassari and Viale delle Vigne and it spreads up to the Carabinieri (Police forces) Headquarters. There are tall buildings with over three floors. There are no green areas, but there are small markets, cafés and greengrocers. In this district we can find a junior high school (Brunelleschi) and our school: a “Liceo” for the sciences.
It is in the east side. It borders via Ettore Sacchi, Balai and the graveyard. The oldest zone of this district is near the port. There are narrow streets and small houses. There are a lot of shops, markets, butcher’s shops, cafés and penny arcades. There are also the two professional secondary schools: Istituto Nautico and IPSIA, and an important primary school which bears the name of the distrct.
It is along the sea coast on a promontory up east. It is situated between the sea, a pine-wood and the port. Here there is also the city graveyard, a little church dedicated to the three martyrs and a green park called Chico Mendez. There are no public services eitherexcept for an infant school. The houses are mostly all terraced.
It is a very young quarter. It is composed of council houses where the people who lived near San Gavino quarter (the old historic centre) have moved. There are parks and gardens, a pharmacy, supermarkets, shops and a primary school. This quarter offers also some sports grounds.
Serra Li Pozzi
It rises on a hill between Villaggio Satellite and the pine-woods. The name means enclosure of wells. There is a hotel and little shops. There are no public services but there are a lot of detached houses.
167 zone and C/1 zone
These are very new quarters. C/1 borders Viale delle Vigne and Balai , while 167 zone borders Balai and Villaggio Verde. In both quarters there are only houses. Most are detached and terraced houses.
It lies towards the east of the harbour. It borders Balai, Villaggio Satellite, Viale delle Vigne and the 167 zone. The blocks are built around small squares without playing grounds. There are no public services in Villaggio Verde. This quarter is called Green Village because most of the buildings are green.
Li Lioni and Li Pidriazzi
These are two suburban zones. Here you can find only country houses.
The Phoenicians, brave sailors and traders, made their first settlements around the 9th century B.C. in Turris Libyssonis (Porto Torres) .
Then came the Cartheginians, around the 6th century B.C., then the Greeks and finally came the Roman conquest in 238 B.C.
Julius Caesar later founded here a cololy: Colonia Julia. Pliny tells us it was the only colony on the island during his time, and we may probably infer from its name that there was previously no town on the spot, but merely a fort or castellum.
In the Middle Ages Torres was the seat of a kingdom, one of the four "judicatures" (Giudicati) into which the island was divided. During the XIII century the Giudicato of Torres fell under the influence of Genoa expecially the families of Doria and Malaspina.
The Doria family took control of the port as well as the town of Sassari with the help of Pisa.
The consequences of this fusion were represented by a slow decline of Torres.
Just before the famous “Battaglia della Memoria (Memory Battle) in 1284 Turris had changed its name into Portu Sassari. The port continued nevertheless to be fundamental for trade.
During the second half of XIII century the Mediterranean was affected by wars. The Aragonese conquered Sardinia after several battles and an army of about 600 cavaliers and 3000 soldiers arrived at the port of Porto Torres .
This was the final blow for the port since all remaining links with Liguria and Tuscany were interrupted.
A sign of the presence of the Aragonese in Porto Torres is the famous tower, built to defend the port against invasions from the sea. The Spanish-Aragonese domination of Sardinia lasted from
1323 to 1713.
From 1713 to 1717 Sardinia was under Austrian domination, and from 1720 until the unification with the rest of Italy, under the Savoy dynasty.
During the second half of the XVIII century the port was restored and it started again its activity. Under Carlo Emanuele III a stone was set in the Tower walls in memory of the restoration of the port. Sea traffic started again, first with Nice and then with Genoa.
In 1841 King Carlo Alberto, on a visit, was requested to grant autonomy from Sassari to the town. Three years later Porto Torres was independent.
On February 16th 1960 Porto Torres becomes a “città”.
The Basilica of "San Gavino“
The basilica is the biggest and the oldest of Romanesque churches in Sardinia.
The building of the monument started in 1030 and it was inaugurated in 1080.
The church is 58 metres long, 19 metres large and 17 metres high and the bricks are made of local tuff. The builders were from Pisa and the main feature of the monument is the presence of two apsides: one turned to est, one turned to west; besides it has a nave and two side aisles.
This church had an important role in the town of Turris Libissonis, because it attracted many foreigners and pilgrims especially thanks the cult of the three martyrs Gavino, Proto and Gianuario (our local patron saints).
Archaeological museum of the found digging in Turris Libissonis (ancient Porto Torres). At present some new areas are being built in the museum. On the basement of the museum there is the marble altar of C. Cuspius Felix (found in Re Barbaro Palace), built in honour of the Egyptian divinity Bubastis under Roman Emperor Tiberius.
On the first floor of the museum you can find the polychrome mosaic of the late Imperial Age- this is part of the main two tombs found in Balai area- in which you can see the funerary inscriptions including some Christian symbols.
The name of this royal compound came from the great "governor", who condemned to martyrdom Gavino, Proto and Gianuario. As soon as you enter the Antiquarium museum you can see the remains of a residential borough, probably part of the "first orthogonal plant" of the Roman colony. Going straight along the main road, built with basalt slates, there is the main gate of the building, actually you can see just the basement of the columns on the borders.
The thermal bath, which was built during the Roman Imperial Age, took its name from Massimo Pallottino, the archaeologist who supervised the diggings in that area. Some areas of the bath are still intact, such as the northern wing which has a wide bathtub with mosaics in the floor.
It's an extraordinary work of architectural engineering, about 135 metres long, built with limestone blocks.
It crosses the "Rio Mannu" river. It's composed of seven arches, still preserved in a good state condition. It dates back to the I century B.C.
A dozen kilometres from Porto Torres to Sassari, you can find on your right the prenuragical compound of Monte d'Accoddi, the only example in the western Mediterranean countries of a megalytic altar where Nuragic people used to celebrate their rituals for the earth's fecundity.
It is a big heap of stones, which has been recently restored.
Its pyramidal structure looks like a Mesopotamian Zigurath. Scientists said that it was probably built during the Copper Age (between 2,450 B.C. - 1,850 B.C.).
On the top of the altar there is a big holy stone, probably used for sacrifices, and two "betili" ,that is "sacred stones", fallen from the sky according to the ancient natives.
The beach of “Scoglio Lungo” (long cliff) is the first of the shoreline. It is not very long, but it is attended by many people most of all women and children, because it is a little bay with shallows water and services nearby. It is called like this for the presence of a long rock (about 100 metres) along the bay, from which you can fishing and dive. Characteristic of this beach is the statue of a dolphin, made of fibreglass, in the shallow waters. The sand is not to fine and the water of the sea is not so clear because of seaweed transported by the current. During the year, weather permitting, sailing courses are organized and in summer young people play beach soccer.
Going along the promenade we meet the coast of "Acque Dolci" (sweet waters) called like this because underneath the seabed there are some fresh water springs
This beach is composed of several little artificial beaches made few years ago and they embrace most of the coast. The sand is as thin as powder, and in the sea there are some rocks for plunging.
Owing to the small dimension of these tiny beaches they are frequented by few people so the atmosphere is more intimate.
Near these beaches, which are not so far from the city center, there are small kiosks, restaurants and bars.
The most crowded beach, particularly by youngsters, is Balai. It is situated under the rocky coast going eastwards. It is a sandy place, but there are also many rocks where people go to dive. Going on along the coast there are other small beaches, not so popular, mainly because they are rocky and difficult to get to. Around Balai there is a meadow where people lay sunbathing or play football. Here, like the beach of "Scoglio Lungo", there are showers. In Balai there is also the famous "Rocca Manna" (big rock) were people go for diving.
The Festha Mannais dedicated to the local martyrs: St. Gavino, St. Proto, and St. Gianuario. The festival is celebrated around the end of May or in the first days of June. There are demonstrations of culture, sport, music and many tourists. People arrive from many towns near Porto Torres, such as Sassari, Alghero, Castelsardo, etc.
The celebrations take place during three days, particularly on the weekend. On Saturday morning, in Piazza Umberto (the city’s square), there are exhibitions of standard and Latin-American dances performed by dance schools and the Latin Sails regatta across the waters of ScoglioLungo (the main beach).
In the evening, at the Palazzetto dello Sport, there is the international tournament of karate and still a lot of music in the city square.
On Sunday morning, there is a parade with the statues of the three martyrs which are carried up to Balai church.
During this festival there are many more beautiful events such as a fun fair, animal stalls and lights. People eat nougat, roast suckling pig and many types of sandwiches.
In Porto Torres in the summer, people usually organize a big carnival which takes place in the month of August and involves adults and children. It happens on two or three different days. The show lasts some hours, it starts at about six o’clock p.m. and finishes late at night. The participants build some carnival floats made of iron and polystyrene, which parade along the town streets. The parade starts near the beach of Balai, it goes along the Lungomare and ends in Piazza Umberto I, the main square of Porto Torres. The floats usually represent amusing scenes and the people on them paint their faces and disguise themselves as famous characters such as heroes, VIPs and cartoon characters. The makers try to build very funny floats because the best of them will be given a prize by a jury composed of the mayor of Porto Torres and the supervisor of the Summer Carnival.
If you want to join in your must pay some money to contribute to the building of a Carnival float. The best Carnival floats of previous years are Scream, Galleon, Ghostbusters, Dragon Ball and Pokemon. The best floats of some towns near Porto Torres take part in the Festival too, but they can’t be admitted in the competition. For this occasion some restaurants and bars offer free drinks exclusively for the participants. This festival offers the opportunity to meet new people, stay with friends and have fun.
The bathtub race is a very funny festival. The festival usually takes place in August.
In the days previous to the festival the bathtubs are adorned with nice decoration.
The race starts at three o’clock in the afternoon.
Inside each bathtub there are usually six people who wear carnival clothes such as firemen, babies and others. First they do a trial run. During the race, the organizers throw water, cream, paint and slices of watermelon (that the participant must eat) into the tubs. The first team who arrives at the end of the street wins the race. The winners receive a cup. The bath race is a beautiful event to which a lot of people come to have fun and support their team.
Since its origins, the town of Porto Torres, situated on the north west coast of Sardinia”, had always based its economy on fishing and agriculture. But in 1959 a petrochemical factory, the S.I.R., was built, due to the favourable position of the town.
The birth of the petrochemical industry has represented an event of great importance for the development of the local economy and also of the province. It contributed to the creation of many of jobs: in 1978 it employed 4,000 people and more then 1,500 workers engaged in the maintenance of the system. Just for the installation of the machines several firms were engaged that employed another 3,000 people. There was a remarkable increase in the population of Porto Torres when thousands of workers came from every part of Sardinia.
The increase of the population (see diagram) favoured also the expansion of tertiary.
Recently the area of Porto Torres has been affected by a serious economic and occupational crisis that has affected all fields of the local economy. Since the 1980’s, the industrial pole of Porto Torres has lost more than 3,000 jobs. That has caused a meaningful regression of the economic-productive structure of the area, which also affected commerce and the services, having created a situation of serious economic stagnation.
The situation got worse lately as a result of the closing of the textile-fibre chemical pole ENICHEM with a loss of another 200 jobs. Moreover, the completion of the ENDESA powerhouse, has caused in the short period a further strong expulsion of manpower from the productive fields. The operators for the construction of the powerhouse, in fact, passed from 2,200 in 1992 to approximately 260 today. The situation in the area gets even worse if one thinks that Porto Torres has an inadequate road and railway system, the marine port is frequently congested;
the structural problems still remain unsolved at the local airport of
Alghero-Fertilia, as is the construction of the system of gas methane production in Porto Torres.
The Port is situated along the northern coast of Sardinia at the centre of the Asinara Gulf.
We can distinguish a commercial and an Industrial port: the former is divided into: outer harbor, the inner port, the docks and the new docks. The fishing vessels’ areas are 4, respectively of 100, 110, 140 and 231 meters long; in the industrial port, there are landing places for 150 vessels.
The port dates back to the Punic age and has a very ancient history. Monumental remains, sculptures, tombs and ruins attest the presence of the Roman colony of Turris.
In 1627 the town was invaded by the Barbarian, after which, the king decided to strengthen the village of San Gavino and ordered the citizens to move in a safer place.
In 1756 Carlo Alberto III ordered the complete restoration of the port and in 1765 works were concluded with the building of two piers which enclosed five hectares of surface.
About 1830, near San Gavino’s Cathedral, a village of fishermen and farmers was born, which will soon get into conflict with the town of Sassari.
Under the Piedmontese government Porto Torres, started to benefit from its geographical position, above all for its closeness to Nizza and Genova.
Today Porto Torres is one of the most important landing places on the island and assures links with Genova, Tolone, Marsiglia and Ajaccio. Many ferries travel to the peninsula, Corsica and France.
Outside the port there is the colossal Torre del Porto (XVI century).
If you want to go shopping in Porto Torres, there aren' t many shops, but you can find everything you want anyway.
If you are looking for a supermarket, you can find a lot of them, in every part of the city. The biggest are "Conad" in Viale delle Vigne, "Despar" at the corner between via Principe di Piemonte and Viale delle Vigne.
Finally there is the shopping center "I Granai", where, beside a supermarket there are also a bar, a baby park and others shops.
In Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street of Porto Torres, there are every types of shops. You can find tourist's shops where you can buy souvenirs of Porto Torres.
Besides, there are some jeweller's shops. The main are almost all in Corso Vittorio Emanuele; they are: "I giganti", "Il Karato", "Andolfi" and, in Via Ettore Sachi, "Oro In".
For your kids there are two toy shops: "La Fata dei Bambini" and "Fantasylandia". If you want to organize a party for your children you can go to "Camillandia", in the shopping center "I Granai". If you want to buy them clothes there is a shop specialized for kids, “Lana" , still in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
If you want to buy clothes for yourself instead, there are some shops, where there are fashion and very cute clothes for men, women and young people. In Corso Vittorio Emanuele, for example, there are "Extra" and "Fuego" , that are especially for young people. Than there is "Noi per Voi" for every age.
In Via Meucci there is also "Racing", a shop that sells not only clothes, but also motorcycles, scooters and accessories for cyclists. Finally there is "Sfera" where you can find also bags and shoes.
If you are looking for book, there is a bookshop called "Bollicine"; in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.If you want music and dvds you can go to "Sun Music" , also in the main street.
If you want to buy the cheapest stuff there is "Stranissimo", that sells everything for a few euros the piece. There are also some Chinese shops, that usually sell clothes but also accessories. There is also "Terranova" a very convenient clothes' shop.
Finally, only on Thursday mornings, in Viale delle Vigne, from 7.30 a.m. to 13.30 p.m. there is an open air market "Mercatino". Here there are a lot of stalls, where you can find everything: from Sardinian cheese to roast chicken, from cheap jewellery to clothes, from bags to flowers and a lot of other things.
These are the most important restaurants and pizzerias:
"San Gavino" - Pizzeria
This pizza restaurant is situated in a quarter called Monte Angellu. Near this pizzeria there is the famous church of "San Gavino", a basilica church built in the Romanesque period. It is not very far from the main square. The pizza is very good.
"Piazza Garibaldi" Pizzeria
"Piazza Garibaldi" pizzeria is situated in the homonymous square. You can reach it by the main road of the town centre or by Via "Lungomare". This is a pizzeria but it is also a restaurant; beside pizza you can eat other dishes and sea-food, such as mussels, sea-urchins, crayfish and squids. The veranda in the open air makes is one of the best restaurants in Porto Torres.
It is a hotel/restaurant which is also used for wedding receptions and as a disco for private parties.
It is the most prestigious hotel in Porto Torres. Lately, after the recent rewiring it increased the number of customers. It is located in the suburbs of the town. It is the best place for a holiday.
This is, also a restaurant-pizzeria. It is situated along the Lungomare, with a view on Balai Beach. A pleasant place to spend a nice evening.
In Porto Torres there are not only pizzerias and restaurants, but there are also many bars, that are situated almost all in the city centre.
Bar placed along the shore in front of the “Acque Dolci” beaches.
It is mostly frequented by teenagers.
During the summer, in this bar, you can listen to live music played by local groups.
Bar situated on the main road near the principal square. It is also a confectioner and an ice-cream shop. Veranda at the open air, with view on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It is the right place for a nice breakfast.
Bar near to the Aragonese tower at the port’s main entrance.
It is one of the most elegant bars in Porto Torres. It is on three floors. Perfect place for rich lunches and dinners.
This bar is situated in the main square. It is built on two floors with a space in the open air. Inside the bar there is also a maxi-screen. You can enjoy excellent dinners.
La Classe 3 A
Editor : Alessia Alba