Discovering Porto Rotondo


Discovering Porto Rotondo: history of a very unique place in the world

Porto Rotondo is a small town in north-eastern Sardinia that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

The origins of the town

The origins of Porto Rotondo date back to the 1960s, when a group of Italian and foreign entrepreneurs decided to transform what was originally a small fishing village on the north-east coast of Sardinia into one of the island's most beautiful resorts.

The initial project envisaged the creation of a jardìn-city, a garden city in which nature and architecture were harmoniously integrated. The realisation of the project took several years and was entrusted to the work of two Venetian entrepreneurs, brothers Luigi and Nicolò Donà dalle Rose, who designed the modern urban core of the city between the 1960s and 1970s. 

The idea behind the Porto Rotondo project was to maintain a good balance between people and nature, harmoniously integrating these elements into the construction of streets, squares and buildings throughout the town. White architecture with sinuous lines, reminiscent of the natural forms of the coastline, spectacular timeshares and villas, built in perfect harmony with their surroundings, using local materials such as fieldstone, yellow San Giacomo granite and juniper wood, now protected.

The idea of the two Donà dalle Rose brothers was to create a place of prestige not only from an urban and architectural point of view, but also from an artistic and intellectual one, a cradle of creative artists, sculptors and painters of the time. This is why they created the Porto Rotondo Foundation in the early 1960s, with the aim of protecting, enhancing and promoting initiatives in the field of arts and culture.

Several artists contributed to the construction of the city. Among the first was the sculptor Andrea Cascella, who designed and built 'Piazzetta San Marco' which is now the meeting point for holidaymakers. In the construction of the square Gallura masters used granite for both the staircase and the 'Church of San Lorenzo'. The young sculptor Mario Ceroli also took part in the construction of the church, embellishing its interior with spectacular sculptures in wood and Murano glass. The sculptor Giancarlo Sangregorio, on the other hand, created the famous square in the fishermen's dockyard, called 'Vecchia Darsena'.

Over the years, both Italian and foreign artists and intellectuals have chosen Porto Rotondo as a base for their activities, and thanks to the Porto Rotondo Foundation, the town continues with its efforts to maintain very high artistic and cultural standards, organising initiatives and events dedicated to music and art every year, especially in the summer.

From a real estate point of view, Porto Rotondo also boasts highly prestigious areas such as Punta Lada and Punta Volpe, which host the most iconic 'pied dans l'eau' villas on the coast. The most famous is undoubtedly the spectacular and immense Villa Certosa owned by Silvio Berlusconi. Exclusive properties, mainly available off-market and for a highly selected group of tourists or buyers are to be found here.

Porto Rotondo view from the splendid terrace of the historic Villa Sa Licia - photo credits @Tiziano Canu for WhiteHouse Immobiliare

Porto Rotondo: the name

The name Porto Rotondo derives from the circular shape of the natural harbour in the Bay of Marinella on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia. The harbour was already known as 'Poltu Ridundu' or 'Port of the Russians', due to the presence of Russian sea crew who used to stop there during their cruises. It was later renamed 'Porto Rotondo' because of the circular shape of the natural harbour, which is still one of the main attractions of the town, with its magnificent yachts and luxury boats.

The harbour offers a beautiful promenade full of restaurants and bars, fashion boutiques and artists' workshops that give life to the Marina, already embellished by the works set ashore by Emmanuel Chaplain.

Since 1985, Porto Rotondo has also been home to the Porto Rotondo Yacht Club, one of the most renowned in Europe and an elegant venue for sailing and social events. Another venue for cultural and sporting events in the town is the Mario Ceroli Theatre, the brainchild of sculptor Mario Ceroli and built by architects Gianfranco Fini and Marina Sotgiu.

Aerial view of Porto Rotondo - photo source: web

Surroundings of Porto Rotondo

The strategic position of Porto Rotondo makes it a reference point for luxury nautical tourism and more besides. Natural landscapes, some of the most famous beaches in the world, as well as architectural and historical beauties make this pearl of the north-east of the island a place to discover.

Among the most attractive beaches in the area are Ira beach and Contra Ira beach, located opposite each other, and Punta Lepre beach, connected to the Yacht Club of Porto Rotondo.

The famous Costa Smeralda is a must-see destination, the heart of which is the equally renowned and fashionable Porto Cervo, just a 20-minute drive from Porto Rotondo, it is one of Sardinia's most exclusive and famous resorts, with its luxury marina and haute couture boutiques.

Another worth-visiting area is the beaches of Capriccioli and Liscia Ruja, among the most famous beaches of the Costa Smeralda, featuring fine white sand and crystal-clear sea.

For those who would rather discover Sardinia's cultural heritage, just a few kilometres from Porto Rotondo is the historic centre of Olbia, a city that offers numerous archaeological testimonies, the beating heart of Gallura all year round.

Porto Rotondo is a perfect destination for those seeking a luxurious and relaxing holiday in the splendid setting of Costa Smeralda. The town's history, its luxury architecture and its marina make it an exclusive and coveted location, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Gallura coastline. A little pearl of Sardinia which is a dream destination for visitors from all over the world.

Cover: view of the coast and Marina di Porto Rotondo from the terrace of Villa Sa Licia - photo credits @Tiziano Canu for WhiteHouse Immobiliare



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