(An imperfect Google Translation of the original in Italian, only partly
future for Arzachena and the Gallura?
for the new public officials soon to be elected in the local Commune
are experiencing an unprecedented very serious global economic crisis and
it would seem that we have hit the bottom, especially for an island like
Sardinia with a fragile and unstructured economy. We cannot sit around and
wait for it to finish because it would overwhelm even more. But we can and
we must respond, as we can change the fortunes of the Costa Smeralda and
the economy of Arzachena of Gallura, if not of Sardinia.
to say, "there is global crisis, so what can we do?" You can, as
all over the world, and not too far, I have not seen the crisis. This year
our sister island of Mallorca in September and in October, was full of
tourists and all the shops were open and full of people.So what's the
difference with us? Let's
analyze the situation ...
is more or less the size of the Gallura, the sea is much less beautiful
than ours, although a little warmer (it is more or less the latitude of
Oristano), but has 21 golf courses, even 20 km from the sea and are
have 9000 mooring berths, well sheltered where to leave the boat in winter
and on the 16th of October in Palma, it was difficult to find a berth
free! And if you ask "But when does the season ends and the shops
close?" They look at you surprised, saying, "But they never
does it mean? It means that they have a system that works, ie the
structures that guarantee a certain number of tourists all year round for
holidays, golfing, hunting, to work on his boat during the winter, and
many foreigners from the cold northern countries, who reside there all
year round for the climate.
is it normal that after 50 years of history, there are no elderly couples
who living their retirement in Costa Smeralda? Years ago, there was a
couple, Mr. and Mrs. Roitmeyer, who then sold their home at Piccolo
Romazzino and returned to live in Germany, that was in the eighties. Since
then, no one else.
why do we not have foreign permanent residents in Costa Smeralda? Simply
because everything closes at the end of the season. And why does
everything close at the end of the season? Simply because there aren’t
any people there: it's a vicious circle, which
we absolutely must break if we want the Costa Smeralda to live all
year round and permit us locals to work all year and not rely on a brief
period of only two - three months. And every June, ask anxiously,
"But how will the season be this year?" And we see that it's
going to get worse!
the solution is to have "a system", to create a system that
works and that attracts tourists all year round, and preferably good
quality tourists, the big spenders.
OF THE SEASON
first thing to do is activate ourselves to extend the season. How? By
building and organizing a system to promote our resort in the world for
the quality of Sardinia in the first place and secondly more specifically,
the Costa Smeralda: its climate, excellent environment, events, sports,
golf, sea, tradition, the history of Sardinia. To promote this holiday
paradise, a tourist resort integrated with the environment and with a sea
like few other countries in the world.
handcraft-shops, food, golf, hiking, spa, horse riding, archeology,
events, festivals, etc., everything that can attract tourists beyond the
short summer season.
are some things that we can start immediately:
must begin with the shops: the first step to extend the holiday season is
for all to cooperate, to work together for eg. it is essential that shops,
bars and restaurants remain open at least six to seven months a year, from
Easter until October 30, to begin with. In Porto Cervo this happened in
the '70s, but now we have shops that open for only two, maximum three
months and then close with sheets of paper covering the windows, and
shortly afterwards they peel off and remain hanging, with devastating
effect on our image. When the odd winter tourist wanders here, he finds
everything fully closed and desolate, he goes away unhappy and tells
others not to come, and our situation gets worse and worse.
every year at the end of the season we should compel shopkeepers to leave
the windows with a minimum of decoration, so that tourists who come at
that time do not panic and run away from the desolation of the place,
telling friends: "Don’t go there!" We don’t want the Costa
Smeralda appearing as a ghost town, suddenly abandoned by all the
need to encourage the construction of golf courses that bring players even
in winter. It is often said that "on the golf course it never
rains," because golfers are so enthusiastic about their sport, that
they play in all weather conditions, wind, rain, even snow.
those big investors who want to build large projects, they should be
encouraged to also include golf courses in their projects, as a
professional service. And it takes several courses to make a
"system", because the golfer does not come here to play just on
one golf course, he gets bored after two days and wants to change the
course. He plans his holiday only where there are several fields on which
to play. See Mallorca which has 21, not to mention the Costa del Sol with
47 and another 43 along the coast and the Algarve in Portugal with 37 golf
But not necessarily the golf courses need to be located on the sea, it is also fine in the countryside. There are many beautiful areas in the countryside of Arzachena, perfect for golf courses, which should be studied and promoted. But one must not be opposed on principle to the granting of new cubic metres of building capacity for the course, otherwise you will not have a new golf course, because it is the real-estate, villas and apartments that provide the necessary profitability to pay for the high cost of construction of the golf course, which cannot sustain itself only with the collection of "green fees". But the building must not be overdone, requirements should be calculated on the minimum necessary to allow the return on investment and cover the cost of construction of the field, and the fair profit of the entrepreneur .
there is archaeological tourism, culinary, artistic and culture. Paramedic
health centers, wellness centers, spas, that work all year round. These
are all things that should be seriously promoted and organized and
coordinated at the Regional level to make a global system that would
encourage tourists to return many times to Sardinia.
- Shipyard mooring
are lacking for the winter storage of boats. In the Commune of Arzachena
you cannot store a sailboat "on the hard" (except at very high
prices and then only in Porto Cervo). Cala Bitta has shallow water
and in Cannigione this service is not provided, so one must look
elsewhere, perhaps Olbia or Arbatax. It's a lost business for Arzachena,
which would bring the owners here at any time of year to follow the work,
feeding the various local businesses and artisans. The Gulf of Arzachena
is well suited, being sheltered from the Mistral. Here we would like a
storage for two to three thousand boats, which would be a good investment
opportunity and for the local workforce.
in mind that there is a large influx of yachts coming from the cold seas
of northern Europe who make their way through the Straits of Gibraltar to
sail the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The stages of this movement from
West to East, is Gibraltar with 1000 berths, Mallorca in the Balearic
Islands with 9000 berths, Malta 1300 and ending in Marmaris in Turkey with
2500 berths, where there is safe berthing, shelter for the winter and all
necessary supplies and repair services.
with the dramatic increase of the boats in recent years (they build
thousands each year in Europe) but in these great centers of large marine
sea, the berths are now completely sold out and it is most difficult to
find free space for your boat.
however is completely cut off from this great flow of yachts, except for
brief stopovers in Cagliari and is losing a great opportunity. It should
be also completed the construction of ports that are missing on the west
coast of Sardinia, to give the possibility to nautical tourism for the
circumnavigation of Sardinia, which is now undertaken only by a few brave
geographical position of Sardinia, and in particular of Arzachena, with
the archipelago of La Maddalena, provides an ideal base for sea cruises,
which can encompass the whole of Sardinia, Corsica, the Cote d'Azur, the
Balearic Islands, the Tuscan Archipelago, the Lazio islands, Campania,
Aeolian islands, Sicily and Tunisia. Sardinia could therefore house the
same boat throughout the year, for several years.
City of Arzachena should therefore include in its urban planning the
possibility of such a big boatyard for storage of boats and encourage its
implementation. Similarly the towns on the west coast should provide for
the ports that are missing there. Sardinia therefore would benefit from
this great opportunity that would be offered by the international
- T he young workforce
he young workforce
adequate storage marinas and yards there are many job opportunities for
our youth, for all services related to the boats:
skipper and crane operators, painters, mechanics, carpenters, upholsterers,
and young people listen well, sailmakers (this is an exciting new
profession), rigger (maintainer and regulator of the rigging), electronics
installers on the boats (and interesting profession very well-paid)
production of carbon parts (the material of the future for the boats), for
workers of stainless steel, fibreglass, for nautical supplies and bunkering
(fuel supply), and then laundries, restaurants, supermarkets, agencies for
administrative, guard, then there is work for taxis, hire cars and
is a huge
economical fallout from the large marinas and shipyards, which would
provide many new opportunities and jobs for our youth in search of a job.
- System Sardinia
continue to be surprised and even shocked, by the fact that many tourists
I've met and even Costa Smeralda homeowners, have never visited the rest
of Sardinia and the few who did, are enthusiastic about it. This means
that we do not do enough to make "system" of the whole of
Sardinia. If we do it seriously, all visitors would realize that there is
much to see and to do in Sardinia and that will return many times to see
it all, and in all seasons, which would help to create that critical mass
that is missing, that we so badly need.
is in effect a "small continent", as varied in its geography,
history, archeology, culture, foods, wines, customs, festivals and
folklore and arts and crafts and food, and its attractions are
inexhaustible. Myself in 40 years of excursions, still find something new
and wonderful to visit (to list them all now I would end tomorrow)
it to say that the North must offer our tourists attractions of the South,
as they must offer attractions to the North, without jealousy or envy
premises, with a global vision of the "system Sardinia". Only
then we will have year-round tourism and a stable and flourishing economy.
find it simplistic and a waste of money and energy when various individual
municipalities are presented at international fairs, while they should
make a joint effort together with the Region to promote the whole of
Sardinia, with a result far more effective. Two great new emerging markets
are China and India. This winter I have seen many tourist locations within
the Czech Republic, invaded by Chinese tourists, despite the off-season,
the cold, snow and castles and shops all closed.
we come to the problems to be solved.
is a big problem. Coming to Sardinia in general is too expensive, both for
sea and air. Meridiana asked 680 euros in August for return flight Olbia -
Florence, but with this one can price go to New York twice! Now we also have
car ferries with high prices.
Recently holiday habits have changed, people do not buy or rent
to make two-month holidays, many prefer short stays throughout the year in
different parts of the world. Today, with the low-cost flights, the travel is the least
part of the cost of the
holiday. They consult the internet and choose among the offerings the one
that costs less, for where to go for the weekend. So we have to introduce
deals, for example, package flight, hotel and car
at the Sardinian Cavalcade of Sassari, for the Carnival at Tempio, the 'Cortes
apertes' in the various towns of the interior, the chestnut festival, or the archaeological tour and so on.
accessible transport, we would have more tourists, even in winter and
homeowners that are more often and more willing to come for the weekend only,
supplying that critical mass of persons that will allow shops to stay open
all the time.
here we come to another delicate problem for those who already have a house in Costa Smeralda,
who can no longer go to the beach, as they can't find a strip of sand free
to lay in, because the beaches are packed with people, people from all over
Sardinia "to see the VIPs" of the Costa Smeralda and because here
all is clean and for free. On other Sardinian shores the number is
closed and you must pay for access to the beach, but not on Costa Smeralda. I do not know
why. I hope we do not get to the point that we see in the picture.
must pay a few
Euros for a parking place in a dusty parking lot under the
sun, but many of these outsiders don't even pay that, because they park their cars on
the sidewalks, or in the Mediterranean macchia destroying it, without paying and without any
control. Always with severe damage to nature and to our image for the
disorder and anarchy that you see.
mass of people taking up space on the beaches from those who actually have a
home here and who pay their high home taxes, consortium fess and condominium
's also why it is hard to find customers to rent the apartments. What
reason is there to rent an apartment if you cannot then go to the beach?
large villas on the sea still manage to rent (for a while) because they have large
gardens and beautiful swimming pools. Their tenants need not go to the beach
by car, but have a boat of their to go to the islands. But beware, there are already
many vacant houses in second and third row in summer, because nobody wants them. Many
prefer to hire a large yacht and stay in the harbour, which is why we see
so many yachts and villas around vacancies. The rich indeed are 'escaping'
into the sea.
to say, "But to me what do I care?" When the houses do not require
any more maintenance or services as in the past and no longer produce a
large income, we inhabitants of Arzachena are missing a great
source of income. In fact I read in the newspapers of the increase of 15%
in poverty in Arzachena, a worrying sign (soon we will be in many to go
and knock on the poor-house door...)
we need to intelligently manage and control the beaches, by adjusting the flows that
come from outside and reserving space for local residents and owners and
tenants of houses in the area. We must make it impossible to park outside
the parking areas for increasing the decorum and avoid the mess of those
who park without paying ..
Park of La Maddalena
tightening of the prohibitions contained in the regulation of the Sea Park
of La Maddalena is creating many difficulties for tourism yacht, which can no
longer enjoy the beautiful islands in the waters of the Commune of Arzachena
(where anchoring is completely prohibited) and are forced to go to the waters
of La Maddalena.
mischievously you may be justified in thinking that there are not only ecological
nature conservation reasons, but a political game to move tourists from Arzachena
elsewhere. I had already indicated in my report of 2001 where I indicated
that 89% of total bans on the Park, and 74% of partial bans, were imposed in the waters of Arzachena, on those islands that are part of
"system" and should instead be returned to the use of our tourists.
the President of the Park has recently increased even more the bans on Mortorio,
leading to a TOTAL ban, then the percentage has soared to the detriment of
Arzachena. This was definitely not covered by the original Regulations implementing
the Park, which had forbidden anchoring only in the outer part of Mortorio. But
does no-one rebel against this abuse and theft of our islands?
reason is there to have a home and a boat in Costa Smeralda, if you have to go
very far to swim? It was so jammed, a vital An essential cog of our system
has been compromised, of "house and boat" in Costa Smeralda,
whether large yacht or small boat. The damage to the
local economy will be enormous.
danger is that owners of the large yachts will eventually tire of the joke
and will go elsewhere. One consortium home owner has informed me that he moved with
his boat to Corsica, where he is happy. The Mediterranean is large and there
are so many beautiful places, so Sardinia will risk losing a market share, as
indeed is already happening. So you have to team together to reduce the
excessive restrictions imposed by the Park on the islands of
the fields of mooring buoys, these have been introduced in the world primarily to save
the reefs by the anchors that are highly damaging. Recently these buoys
have been introduced in the Mediterranean to protect the banks of
Posidonia oceanica, which serve as habitats for many marine organisms and
that can protect coastlines from erosion of sand from the beaches.
other function of the fields of buoys, is to regulate the flow of boats to
sensitive locations and to fit more boats together in a smaller space. The
boat at anchor needs a much wider circle to turn with the wind, while the
buoy chain is short, almost vertical.
problem that I raise is a danger that with the excuse of protecting the poseidon
seaweed, they look only to make big profits at the expense of nautical tourism
in general. Many Mediterranean locations provide the buoys for free, just
to use them and protect the environment. However, it is difficult for the
boat above 12 meters in length, having high sides, to grab the buoy, so
there is actually an opportunity to provide a useful service for a fee, at reasonable cost,
mind you, by young people to assist with the mooring boats to the buoy,
providing a service.
Grande Pevero and Razza di Juncu of Cala di Volpe, are currently fully occupied by
obligatory buoys, which are distantly placed between them, available only for yachts over
30 meters in length. All other boats under 30 metres cannot stay there, not even
within 300 meters from the shore, being forbidden. So if they cannot go to
the islands in front, where can they go? To swim all boats must go to La
Maddalena, consuming fuel, polluting the water and the air, pay the local tax, and
cast anchor there, among other things, together with thousands of other boats
to have a swim. But what is the point of having a home and boat (under
30 meters) in Costa Smeralda?
result is that we have fewer boats that come to our shores and instead are
forced to go elsewhere, making us lose more market share of tourist boats.
Even our bays are part of our "system" and should be protected
from uses detrimental to the community and for our economy.
me make a suggestion to this industry, which creates jobs and wealth. In
fact, the development programs of the Commune of Arzachena include and involve
a certain amount of building rights, which is necessary to create
structures that provide the "critical mass" of residents that
will allow commercial premises to remain open and work all year round.
will be work for companies for several years, but beware, do not rely only
on building for an economy, as did the Spanish, leading eventually to the
financial crisis in the housing market, as well as ruining the coastline. This
leads to a housing bubble that will burst with collapsing home prices and even worse,
leading to the destruction of the natural heritage, which for us is our
must therefore prepare young people to do other crafts, as well as
building contractors, as we said earlier. When you have built everything
there is to be built, will only maintain and there will be room for all
construction companies, then you must create additional sources of
employment for young people. As we saw earlier, there are many
opportunities in industry tourism and hotel-golf-sport-water that we get
Tax on boats
marinas of Italy and in particular those of Sardinia, are notoriously more
expensive than abroad and thus already disadvantaged ahead of the
competition, and if we added the heavy tax on boats that are feared, we would
have risked a great stampede from our seas.
the action of various lobbies (including ours) against the tax on boats
has had its effect and the government has backtracked on taxing boats for
foreigners non-resident, therefore the boating season is less at risk.
the bad news had gone around the world and discussed in all the sailing
forums so all foreign boaters had decided to avoid sailing to Italy. But
do not think that the good news has travelled so quickly, so the Sardinian
Region should run for cover, spreading the good news to all the foreign
forums and boating magazines. I have sent some Tweets on the subject, but
it requires effective PR action by the Region, if we want the
foreign boats to return to Sardinia this summer.
of the obstacles to the development of tourism in Sardinia is the indecent rubbish along all
the roads and at every rest stop on parking place, and in much of the
countryside. I must say however that the Commune of
Arzachena in this sense is one of the more virtuous, but it is also in their
interests to put pressure on all other municipalities of Sardinia that
each Mayor do his part to help keep our roads clean, which are also part
of our Sardinian "system".
want to encourage tourists to visit every corner and enjoy the many
attractions that Sardinia has to offer, to better enjoy their holidays, to
return more often, even out of season and so that they speak favourably to their
friends. Without good housekeeping, this is not possible. But not only for
tourists, but also for a sense of civil self respect and pride in our
am part APICS, Association of Property Owners in Costa Smeralda (www.apics.it), which is formed in association just to try
to remedy and to
stop the degradation and save the value of our properties and to improve the
quality of our holidays in Costa Smeralda.
are many small but big problems, overcrowded beaches, piles of algae on
the beaches, and unchecked
the excessive number of hawkers on the beaches, overcrowded roads, shortage of parking, parking in the
macchia, garbage collection, the
water supply is often lacking, the smelly sewers, the village of Porto
Cervo which is dying for the high price of the bars, the shortness of the
season, the houses that one is not able to rent and the general
degradation that we see increasing from year to year .
's needless to say, "But these are your problems, what does it matter
to me?" No, if the Costa Smeralda goes bad, it is bad for everyone and
already we are seeing and hearing more and more locals with pockets empty. So
it takes the cooperation of the Municipality to solve the problems of the
community, reminding us that the Costa Smeralda is also part of the Commune
and is an important part, in some ways the most important.
of APICS have been here for a lifetime and know the problems, and sometimes
solutions and we offer to be partner with the Commune to discuss and solve
all the problems that affect the community, to help return the territory to the
splendour that it once was, and to bring a greater prosperity to all the inhabitants of
Arzachena and a brighter future and wealth for everyone.