Carloforte (U Pàize in Ligurian, literally: the village, the town) is a fishing and resort town located on Isola di San Pietro[2] (Saint Peter's Island), approximately 7 kilometres (4 miles) off the southwestern coast of Sardinia, in the Province of South Sardinia, Italy.

U Pàize
Comune di Carloforte
Coat of arms of Carloforte
Location of Carloforte
Carloforte is located in Italy
Location of Carloforte in Sardinia
Carloforte is located in Sardinia
Carloforte (Sardinia)
Coordinates: 39°9′N 8°18′E / 39.150°N 8.300°E / 39.150; 8.300
ProvinceSouth Sardinia
 • MayorSalvatore Puggioni
 • Total51.1 km2 (19.7 sq mi)
10 m (30 ft)
 (31 May 2017)[1]
 • Total6,190
 • Density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
DemonymCarlofortini or Tabarkini
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0781
Patron saintSt. Charles Borromeo
Saint dayNovember 4
WebsiteOfficial website
A view of Carloforte.


According to a legend, a local church (Chiesa dei Novelli Innocenti) was founded in the early 14th century in honour of hundreds of participants to the so-called Children's Crusade of 1212 who perished in a shipwreck just off the island on their way to North Africa during a gale. The church, called Chiesa dei Novelli Innocenti and is located within the town perimeter, is not currently used as a church (only one time in the year); it was the only evident remainder of building found at the time of colonization in 1739.[citation needed]

Carloforte was founded in the 18th century by around 30 families of coral fishers, originally from the Ligurian town of Pegli, near Genoa. They had left their hometown in 1541, and had settled in the island of Tabarka, off the coast of Tunisia, to fish for coral. After centuries, the coral in that area was exhausted[2] and the families, while setting off back to Italy, found there was plenty of coral in the sea off the Sardinian west coast. They asked the King of Piedmont-Sardinia Charles Emmanuel III for permission to settle down on the once uninhabited San Pietro Island instead. When he granted them permission, the island was colonized (1739); the name Carloforte ("Charles the Strong", but also the "Carlo's Fort") was given to the town they then proceeded to found, in the Piedmontese king's honour.[citation needed] To this day, Carloforte maintains strong cultural ties with the mainland towns of Pegli and Genoa: the population still speaks a variety of Ligurian language called tabarchìn (or tabarchino, in Italian), separate from both Italian and Sardinian, which is used even by most children and taught in the island's schools.[3]


Modern-day Carloforte's principal sources of revenue are fishing, tourism, and remittances from the many merchant mariners around the world who hail from Carloforte. Boasting several beaches, both rocky and sandy, the town is a summer tourist destination. On the other side of the island from Carloforte is Capo Sandalo Lighthouse (functioning, now automated). Locally, it is known simply as Il Faro. The structure dates back to the 1880s.

Carloforte has a long-standing tradition of wooden boatbuilding. Locally built traditional lateen sail fishing boats (luggers) can be spotted in the harbour.

To the north of the town (at the La Punta locale) is a collection of buildings that housed the former communally owned tuna-processing plant linked to the once-vibrant tuna fishing tonnare industry on the island. Some of the buildings have undergone renovation to some extent and now contain a wind-surfing school and a privately owned tuna processing business. Some of the buildings are still in ruins, but they remain of great architectural interest.


The town hosts a maritime high school.


Ferry services operated by Delcomar connect the port of Carloforte with the Sardinian mainland at Portovesme as well as Calasetta, a similar fishing port on Sant'Antioco Island hosting another community of tabarkini.

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit


  1. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Carloforte" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ admin (2021-11-22). "Carloforte, the Sulcis town where Tabarchino is spoken". Nenroll-Nenroll. Retrieved 2022-07-08.

External linksEdit