Asinara, the donkeys island.

A 52km wide island along the north cost of Sardinia, the Asinara is the italian name of “donkey-inhabited” one man only listed in 2001, it is an arid place surrounded by a turquoise blue sea which makes it unique.

The second largest Sardinian Island is one of the two Sardinian National Parks. The area is protected in order to preserve its wilderness and local fauna. 

Asinara means “donkeys-inhabited” even if most probably its name has a more ancient origin ad comes from the latin word “sinuaria”, that means “sinus-shaped”.

Scrub is low, water is scarce ad trees are sparse that’s why the only resistant life form to these conditions are a group of albino donkeys. All-though it is amazing to visit it. By boat you can easily anchor there and go for a nice walk. 

Former prison
Turned into a National Park

Because of its historical isolation, Asinara has been preserved largely intact. Human presence  dates to the Neolithic age, but the island was not settled permanently until the 1600s, when a community of shepherds and fishermen took up residence However, in 1885, this small colony was moved to the mainland to make room for the chief leper hospital of the Kingdom of Italy and later a penal colony as well. During World War II, the island became a prison camp for Austro-Hungarian soldiers; from the 1970s until the establishment of the national park in 1997, Asinara was reconverted to become one of Italy’s main high security prisons, used mainly for detention of mafia members and terrorists.   

Today, Asinara is a popular tourist destination, not only for its unique history, but also for its natural beauty, with its steep, rocky coasts, small coves with azure waters, typical Maquis shrubland and a varied fauna, including the magpie, which is not found in other areas of Sardinia.