One of the pearls of La Maddalena Archipelago is undoubtedly Cala Corsara (or Corsair Bay in English), a small paradise bay located on the southern coast of the island of Spargi.
High cliffs on its eastern side delimit the intense turquoise water that on the western side gradually becomes lighter as the posidonia replaces the pearl-like colour of the very fine sand on the seabed. Right in the centre of the beach a single high cliff emerges and divides it into 2 parts. On the left side of the bay a large Bulldog-shaped granite rock emerges from the sea. The archipelago is rich in such formations that appear to be animals or other very realistic objects.
A secure shelter for corsairs
Cala Corsara had its importance in local history. The first presence of humans dates back to the Neolithic period. The bay was named after the dangerous corsairs that used to terrorize the local population and chose this location as a secure shelter. On the seabed in front of the beach lies the so called Spargi Wreck, the remains of a 35 meter long Roman cargo ship dating back to the second century B. C. On board more than 300 amphoras were found. This is tangible proof of the intense marine traffic in these islands as far back as these ancient times. Part of the archaeological finds are exhibited in the Nino Lamboglia Naval archeaological museum at La Maddalena.
In the past there was also a fortress at Cala Corsara. The remains of it can be still seen right next to the beach. The military barracks, an integral part of the fortress, and located to the rear of the beach have been recently restored by the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park authorities.
The Count of Spargi
Between the 80’s and the 90’s of the twentieth century a number of people occupied the ruined miliary fortress. First among these was Giovannino Cotogno from Ponza, nicknamed Rampazzo and known to everybody as the Count of Spargi. He dremt about becoming the owner of the whole island by usucapion (the acquisition of a title or right to property by uninterrupted and undisputed possession for a prescribed term) so he renovated a part of the fortress and worked as a fisherman. To earn money he would sell his catches to tourists. However, Giovannino did not succed in making his dream come true.