San Teodoro: the pearl of Gallura
San Teodoro is a small town situated in the north-eastern part of Sardinia, in the region of Gallura in the province of Sassari (ex Olbia Tempio). It overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and is located at the foot of the mountain system of Mount Nieddu. It is one of the most renowned destinations in Sardinia thanks to the countless services offered by tourist activities and the rare beauty of its coastline: beaches with white sand, shallow waters with crystal clear waters. The beaches worthy of note are the very close La Cinta and the very popular Cala Brandinchi. Thanks to its proximity to the airport and the port of Olbia, it can be easily reached from all the most important capitals of Europe. The streets of the Teodorino centre are a succession of shops and restaurants open in the evening, where lovers of shopping and good food will be spoilt for choice, while among the stalls of the Coclearia market you can buy native souvenirs.
The history of San Teodoro
Thanks to the discovery of some archaeological finds from the Nuragic age, it can be attested that the district of San Teodoro was inhabited since the Neolithic period.
A document of the third century A.D. attests the existence of a small inhabited centre in Roman times, called Coclearia. There is no absolute certainty, but in any case with good probability this place could be located near the present historical centre.
Since the end of the classical age and for the whole high medieval period, the events of the territory of San Teodoro are unknown. Most probably its name derives from its church, dedicated to a Roman soldier martyr of the fourth century AD. The first certain news date back to the late Judicial period, it was part of Posada del Giudicato della Gallura. The territory was constituted by small inhabited centres, called villas, which disappeared in the following centuries. One of these was called Offolle, the first name that probably evolved into Oviddè, its last news date back to 1348. Later, most probably because of the plague this community dispersed.
In the distant 15th century, several travellers described the area as wooded and semi-deserted lands, mostly inhabited by shepherds. After the Aragonese conquest of the island in the XIV century, the territory was part of a feud that roughly included the present municipalities of Posada, Siniscola, Torpè, Lodè, Budoni and San Teodoro. This feud was known by various names, among which the County of Montalbo or Baronia di Posada. San Teodoro d’Oviddè is the name by which it has been known since about 1700.
With the elimination of the fiefdoms carried out by the House of Savoy, the whole territory remained in any case united to the municipality of Posada. The area was inhabited by settlers of tempiese origin, inhabitants with different cultural and linguistic origins compared to the population of the Baronie. The consequence was the inexorable desire of administrative detachment from the municipality of Posada, which only happened in 1959.
In the sixties, thanks to the arrival of Prince Aga Khan in the nearby Costa Smeralda, San Teodoro had a great renewal with a considerable expansion of its built-up area: numerous tourist settlements were built, villas with gardens and various tourist activities were born following the momentum of the nearby Costa Smeralda.
Since then the small town Gallurese is one of the most popular destinations in Sardinia, it has a population of about 5000 inhabitants and its economy is based on seaside tourism and its service activities connected to the presence of many tourists.
SAN TEODORO TODAY
As already mentioned, thanks to an enormous tourist expansion, the village is articulated around its church and is characterized by the Gallurese architecture: low houses with granite and trachyte with a luxuriant garden. There are several squares, including piazza Gallura, the historical square, once called piazza Montecitorio: citizens used to gather in the square to discuss the problems of the area and politics.
In 1975, the painter Luigi Castiglioni painted a large fresco on the wall of a private house. Unfortunately very little remains of the original fresco, only images faded by time. The work is awaiting restoration.
In the Lu Niuloni area there is a small but very important museum of the Sea, where there are several archaeological finds found in the seabed of the Theodorina coast: precious objects dating back to the Byzantine period, several Roman amphorae showing the maritime traffic along the coast.
The civic theatre, located in via Sardegna, was built in 2005. It is an imposing spherical-shaped building that during the year and especially during the summer season, hosts various cultural events, such as theatrical performances, film screenings and musical performances.
There are several green areas equipped with games for children, while the centre is closed to traffic in the evening to become a pedestrian area with numerous catering and entertainment activities for young and old: there is no lack of discos and pubs open until late hours.