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Type of protected area - Where it is located
Typology: Marine Protected Area; established by decree of the Minister of the Environment and Territorial Protection in 1999.
The Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara is located in the territory of the Municipality of Villasimius; it is a roughly triangular area that goes from Capo Boi to Punta Porceddus, and goes off to the south beyond the Cavoli Island and to the east beyond the Serpentara Island. It is divided into three zones A, B and C, depending on the level of protection. Very suggestive are the tafoni, granites sculpted from salt water in a thousand forms (in Punta Molentis, in the Timi Ama area, on the Isola dei Cavoli and in Serpentara.
Stagno di Notteri - Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area (photo website)
Macchia behind the beach - Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area (photo website)
In the seabed and in the shallows of the area there are many species of Mediterranean fish such as sea bass, sea bream, mullet, red mullet, grouper, sea bream, salpa and many others. Here also lives the Pinna nobilis, the largest bivalve nollusco in the Mediterranean, and the red lobster is being repopulated in the west of Serpentara. You can also find dolphins, Mediterranean barracudas and large step fish such as amberjacks and holm oaks. Just beyond the sand limit begins the Posidonia prairie, the basic plant of the marine ecosystem, which produces oxygen, offers shelter and food to fish and other marine animals. It has roots, stem and green leaves similar to green ribbons even more than a meter long. Psidonia produces fruits similar to olives, which can be seen floating on water. It grows (up to 30 meters deep) in tufts of more than one meter in diameter, placed side by side to form a uniform surface.
The pond of Notteri it is a small mirror of salt water fed by the sea which lies behind the Due Mari beach, between Cala Giunco and Simius beach. In the waters of the pond, a few centimeters deep, flamingos, white with pink wings, and the knights of Italy live and nest.
LCabbage Island (the name seems to come from the Sardinian Cavuru, crab, or from a wild plant species that grows on the island) it is located in front of Capo Carboonara and is the most southern point of Sardinia on the west. It is vaguely triangular in shape, with the largest cove facing south. It is covered in Mediterranean scrub, pruned by the wind. The coast is jagged, with granite rocks with very small beaches. It has a crown of islets, like outcropping rocks. On the island there is a lighthouse that includes the Spanish tower, built at the end of the 16th century.
The Serpentara Island (whose name is perhaps due to the elongated shape, which from the area of Punta Porceddus seems to meander the sea) is located about four kilometers off the coast. In front of its northern end some islets emerge, the Variglioni. It is covered in Mediterranean scrub and its coast is rocky, with granite rocks. The coast overlooking Sardinia is low, the coast overlooking the open sea is high and steep. Just the western coast of Serpentara and the stretch of sea that goes towards Sardinia constitute zone A of the Marine Protected Area, with total restrictions. On the island stands a Spanish tower, the Torre San Luigi, which, like the tower of the Isola dei Cavoli, was classified among the vigorous towers, those manned by an Alcade, four soldiers and a gunner and armed with four large-caliber cannons. A very rare plant grows on the island, the flycatcher (Helicodiceros muscivorus), from its main feature, or serpentaria, from the name of the island. It is a plant about 60 cm tall. Its pink flower covered with dense hair gives off a rotting smell to attract flies and pollinate thanks to these insects.
The Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara is divided into three zones, A, B and C, distinguished by the different degree of protection.
It is fully protected. It includes the western coast of the Serpentara Island, the islets north of the island and a part of the stretch of sea between Serpentara and the Punta Porceddus area. Access is not allowed in this area. Only the staff of the Marine Protected Area and scientific personnel can navigate and dive. However, it is possible to participate in sub-visits organized on pre-established routes.
It includes the area east of the Serpentara Island, the area around the Berni shoal and the whole area surrounding the Cavoli Island and part of Capo Carbonara. All the prohibitions of area C apply, and furthermore:
- only nagigation is allowed at speeds not exceeding 10 knots;
- bathrooms are allowed everywhere; mooring is allowed as long as it is on the sandy bottom and on which there is no posidonia;
- scuba diving with self-contained breathing apparatus must be authorized by the managing body.
And the one with fewer constraints. It includes the entire surface of the Marine Protected Area, minus areas A and B. What is prohibited in this area is obviously prohibited even in the most protected areas.
- It is not allowed to hunt, capture, collect or damage animals and plants.
- It is not allowed to introduce foreign species to the area.
- It is not allowed to alter the environment and water, abandon waste or any substance that could alter the environment.
- It is not allowed to introduce weapons, explosives, means of capture and toxic or polluting substances.
- Spearfishing is not allowed.
- Launching and mooring are allowed as long as it is on a sandy seabed and on which there is no posidonia.
Information for the visit
Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area can be accessed from Villasimuius, which is about fifty kilometers from Cagliari.
Municipality of Villasimius (CA)