This island has been declared a natural reserve for the particular species of seabirds living on it (royal seagull, cormorant and peregrine falcon). The island's name is linked to that of Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian patriot and fighter who lived in the 19th century and was one of the fathers of the Italian independence. He bought the island in 1855 and died there in 1882. His house is now a museum and a memorial chapel and the island itself is a national monument. Caprera is linked to La Maddalena island by a 600 metre long causeway.
The island was probably given its name because of the numerous wild goats living on it (Capra means goat in Italian).
It is the second largest island in the archipelago and has a surface of 16 km² and 45 kilometres of coastline. Monte Tejalone is the highest point (212 m). On the south-western side there is a very important sailing centre and the many coves and anchorages which can be found along the coastline make the landing easy. There are no hotels but only a resort with bungalows. The seabeds are a must both for naturalists and underwater archaeology fans. Many remains of Roman cargo ships as well as of the boat of Garibaldi were found there. History informs us that after the Roman occupation Caprera remained deserted for centuries before being inhabited by groups of shepherds. Later in 1855 the Hero of the Two Worlds (Garibaldi) decided to settle there and planted the first trees of the blooming pinewood which covers the island today. A century after Garibaldi's death the island was freed from the numerous existing military restrictions and is now completely open to the public.
Despite being left ad infinitum to his family in his will, Caprera was used as a naval base in World War 2. However years after the necessity abated, it has still not been returned to Garibaldi's family. This seems very odd, as Garibaldi is arguably Italy's greatest hero, and giving it back to the family would be a sign of respect for his wishes. Several members of the family are planning to launch a law suit against the Italian government, in order to correct this moral injustice.
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