On the northern coast of Sardinia, between the beaches of Palau and Costa Serena, at Punta Don Diego, you come to the Talmone Artillery Battery – an important testament to Italy’s military history and to the hard day-to-day life of the soldiers, who would spend long hours scrutinising the sea from the watchtower. As a modern-day visitor, you get to explore the dormitories and the tracking station, and you even get a sense of the interminable solitude that was part-and-parcel of the experience of being stationed there. Talmone is a section of a defensive system that emerged in the late 18th century and was constituted, at its height, by around 50 facilities, including forts, redoubts and artillery batteries scattered across the Maddalena archipelago. The complex once again played an important role in defending the frontiers in the wake of Italian Unification, when the royal fleet decided to take up residence at the historic Maddalena base. Out of all the fortifications, the Talmone facility was charged with the responsibility of covering the channel separating Spargi from Sardinia; this tract of sea would later become a scene of battle throughout the Second World War. In 1947, the Treaty of Paris required Italy to dismantle the base and take all of the artillery batteries out of commission. Decades of neglect came and went, until 2002, when the complex was entrusted on a loan-for-use basis to FAI, which – thanks to a painstaking, laborious restoration process that is still ongoing – ensured its opening to the public with the support of Palau Local Council. The site, which is perfectly integrated into the surrounding environment, is reached via a picturesque path, immersed in the rich Mediterranean maquis and enveloped by fragrances of juniper, laurel and myrtle; it is a half-hour walk that is very much worth the effort, leading as it does to a fascinating coastal refuge.
Then continue on the SS 133 highway, heading towards Palau. At the second roundabout, continue towards Punta Sardegna-Porto Rafael. At the junction for Punta Sardegna-Porto Rafael, continue on the left towards Costa Serena. On reaching Costa Serena, park and continue on foot on the path on the right, signposted as leading to the “Batteria Talmone”. It takes around 45 minutes along a slightly uneven dirt-track path to reach the site.
A contribution to support FAI would be gratefully received.
Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.
Those who have trouble walking will find the site challenging to access.
We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.