Wonder  }  Culture

The ancient Tonnara of Porto Paglia

In Gonnesa, the Tonnara and the golden beach tell the story of life on Sardinia's seashore

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Where is


7CFH+F9 Gonnesa SU, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The Antica Tonnara di Porto Paglia, situated on the top of a gentle hill, slowly slopes down to the golden beach in the territory of Gonnesa, a small mining town a few kilometers from Cagliari.

A bit of history

It was built around the 18th century and for two centuries was one of the most productive in the Mediterranean. This was where the life of the fishermen and the Rais, the head of the tuna fishery, took place. The life and death of so many bluefin tuna were decided here.

Not to be missed

The Tonnara can only be visited from the outside because after restoration, it was converted a private residence. But you can walk down a short paved descent where the old houses of the tuna fishermen overlook it. From the top of the street huge anchors lying in flower gardens take the visitor back to half a century ago, when the tuna fishery was in full swing.


Continuing on you come to the beautiful golden sandy beach washed by the crystal clear sea. A few meters from the shore is a small building, now inhabited by an elderly "sea wolf." For some it is the Chapel where the Rais went to pray before starting the slaughter, for others a simple shelter for the tools of the tuna fishery.

Why it is special

Here you can fully enjoy the summer, away from the noise of mass tourism, and in winter it becomes a unique setting for long walks on the sand or in the Mediterranean scrubland in front. Centuries-old junipers and maritime pines release their balm, activating what we Sardinians, call "happiness." We are waiting for you.

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