The Lord of Tavolara
An island and its King
The story we are going to tell you today is almost unbelievable. It’s the story of Giuseppe Bertoleoni, “Lord of Tavolara” and of the incredible series of lucky breaks that have transformed this man of humble beginnings in the King of Tavolara. In 1815 a storm took by surprise the King of Naples, Joachim Murat during a trip to Sardinia and brought him on the island of Tavolara (see post). Here was saved and received by Bertoleoni, who had arrived on the island after leaving his home and his family in La Maddalena, and had built there a house, modest but dignified, and had with him all the necessary for a self-sufficient life. He also cultivated a piece of land, had a sheepfold and he produced what was enough to live on a deserted island! The King of Naples never forgot the warm welcome offered him by Bertoleoni, and often he spoke about him, the “Lord of Tavolara”, who had saved him from the raging sea.
Meanwhile, interest in the island of Tavolara continued to grow thanks to the presence on the island of some goats whose teeth had a special yellow colour due to a grass they ate and that grows only there, and that is the reason why these were called “goats with the gold teeth“. It is said that Charles Albert, King of Piedmont and Sardinia, intrigued by these animals went to Tavolara to see the “mythical goats with the gold teeth” himself, and there he was received with great respect by Bertoleoni who introduced himself as King of Tavolara. Carlo Alberto spent a few days on the island and he liked so much this lovely place, that he promised to Bertoleoni that he would officially appointed him as ruler of the island. And so it was: Carlo Alberto kept his promise and the parchment of investiture, of nobility and property arrived to the Prefecture of Sassari, but then went lost, as well as the gifts bestowed by the sovereign. The story of the first King of Tavolara has become a legend, strengthened over the years by the verbal testimonies of Bertoleoni, who have inhabited the island until the acquisitions of the Venetian-Roman family of Marzano and the military servitude on one side of the island, granted by the State to NATO.
Now this island with walls more than 500 meters high made of limestone and granite, covered with juniper bushes, helichrysum, rosemary and mastic and beautiful specimens of geranium and “asperula deficiens“, rare plant elsewhere, has become a marine park that can be reached(the eastern sector is an inaccessible military zone) by ferry or boat from Olbia and Golfo Aranci, virtually at every hours. On the island there are also two restaurants where you can enjoy the scenery tasting typical dishes!
GPS coordinates Tavolara Island: 40.9062, 9.7133
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