Island of Asinara

Island of Asinara
Date de soumission : 01/06/2006
Critères: (vii)(ix)(x)
Catégorie : Naturel
Soumis par :
Ministry of the Environment and land Protection
État, province ou région :
Region: Sardenia - Province: Sassari
Ref.: 5002
The island, located in the north-west of Sardinia, brings the National Park of Asinara, whose area is encompassed
among Punta Scolondri, Punta dello Scorno, Punta Salippi and Punta Sabina.
The island has a surface of 51,9 square kilometers, a length of 17,4 km and a width which ranges from 290 meters
of Cala di Sgombro to 6.4 km of the northern part; it has a coastal development of 110 km and the highest altitude of
408 metres (Punta della Scomunica). The territory is entirely state property.
The marine and underwater island environment is a protected natural area, with an extension of 10.732 hectares
over the sea. From a geological point of view, the Asinara is part of the Nurra, on the north-east of Sardinia, made
up by more than 80% of granolithic and micacistes rock which characterize the island landscape together with the
vegetation of wood and garrigues. Among the metamorphic rocks, great interest is attached to rare black anfiboliti
erciniche that are 950 million years old, being the oldest rocks in Italy.
The Asinara is formed by four mountain agglomerations that are surrounded and linked by a narrow and flat coastal
belt. The west coast, with very deep bottoms, is steep and rocky, whipped by the winds of the fourth quadrant and
almost inaccessible from the sea (phalesies can sometime overpass 200 m) ; the west coast, flat or uneven, climbs
down towards the bay of Asinara and presents the typical rias morphology with nook and sandy shores (Fornelli,
Sant'Andrea, Cala Arena, La Reale) and related ponds behind the dunes.
The first human traces can be found in the prehistory with the "domus de ianas" (sprites' houses) built inside soft
lime stone, unique in the island, by Campu Perdu. For its central position in the Mediterranean, Asinara was already
known and enjoyed by Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans; in the middle age monks from Camaldoli settled in there
devoting themselves to agriculture; more recently,
In late ‘700, shepherds from Sardinia and Liguria colonized the island till 1885 when all the 500 inhabitants had to
move away to let the isle becoming a penal colony and a quarantine station (as decided by King Umberto di
During the great War it was a concentration camp for many thousands of austro-hungaric soldiers, and 5000
soldiers died on the island and were buried in a dedicated charnel house. In the 70's it become a high security
prison for convicts for organized crimes, also imprisoning the most dangerous criminals of red brigades, Sardinia
anonymous and mafia.
An history definitely marked by human presence and by a strong isolation too, which allowed to safeguard the place
while avoiding feasible ventures or tourism settlement developments, elsewhere characterizing the territory.
Déclarations d’authenticité et/ou d’intégrité
The National Park, set up on the basis of Acts 394/91 and 344/97, has been managed up to now by a provisional
managing committee. By Presidential Decree on the 3rd October 2002, were officially set both the Park and the Park
body, which is a management body envisaged for national parks by framework act on protected areas.
The park body will also manage the Protected Marine Area set by decree of the Minister of the environment and land
protection on the 13th of August 2002.
Both the park and the marine area are enclosed in the trans-frontalier protected area "international cetaceans
sanctuary "(Act. 391/01).
The Asinara is furthermore a Site of Community importance (M.D. on the 3rd of April 2000), proposed within the
implementation of Nature Network 2000.
Strict regulations on island tend to guarantee the conservation of the marine and land natural environment.
Institutional decrees (M.D. 28.11.97, M.D. 13.8.02, Presidential Decree 3.10.02) make indeed compulsory the
authorization to access to the isle, with numerous clauses, no permission to use own vehicles, prohibition of sport
fishing, anchorage and navigation with the exception of authorized means.
Comparaison avec d’autres biens similaires
Asinara island, in its territory, represents an unicum in the basin of the Mediterranean from a geological flora and
fauna, both on land and sea, for the state of its territorial naturalness and outstanding presence. Sardinia and
Corsica, even if present similar conditions, nevertheless encompass them into restricted territorial areas and in
conditions with very high man- induce pressure.