The Coin Bridge, named after a nearby strip of land, is the only one connecting the two largest islands of the archipelago – La Maddalena and Caprera. Until 1890 the only way to pass from one island to another was by boat. The first bridge was a swing one allowed for smaller craft to sail through the strait separating the two islands called Passo della Moneta, Coin Pass in English. In 1959 the Navy replaced the old bridge with another, horizontal Bailey type one. After another 15 years it was substituted again. This time by a fixed bridge with a wooden surface. The actual Coin bridge was built in 2009. It is 52 metre long and 10 metre wide. A lane is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge blends in well with its surroundings and leaves enough space for small boats to sail underneath, it is white, simple and elegant and at night it is illuminated from below which creates nice light effect on the water.
The Coin bridge is used by those who go Caprera to hike or walk or to visit the Sea Museum, Caprera Sailing Center or the Museum of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, who contributed to unify Italy in 1861 under the House of Savoy and king Vittorio Emanuele II, lived on the island of Caprera for 26 years until his death on 2nd June 1882. Garibaldi bought a northern part of Caprera in 1856 and initially he lived in a tiny house belonging to the shepherd who sold him land. Later he built the so-called white house styled on fazendas – typical South American buildings he saw during his travels in America and which fascinated him.
His new house was avant-guard for those times. On Caprera Garibaldi passed his time growing crops and breeding animals like chickens, sheep, horses and donkeys. By the way, he used to name donkeys after his enemies. Garibaldi contributed to the reforestation of Caprera planting pine trees. The stone pine, Pinus Pinea in Latin, Garibaldi planted when his daughter Clelia was born in 1867 is worth a mention. The pine tree still shades much of the garden in front of the house. The museum complex consists of house, stable, wind mill and a small cemetery. The collection of Garibaldi’s personal belongings consists of photos, books, medals, arms, furnishing and even music albums.
The house of Giuseppe Garibaldi is worth a detailed visit as it is a unique opportunity to discover our national hero from a different point of view as told in history books.