The territory of Porto Torres overlooks the splendid Gulf of Asinara , and is located a few kilometers from its capital, Sassari . The Sardinian municipality boasts a record of no small importance: after the port of Olbia, that of the town of Turritana is in fact the second in Sardinia for passenger traffic.
Founded by the Romans in 46 BC with the name of Turris Libisonis, the necropolis found by archaeologists testify that the area was already inhabited during the pre-Nuragic period. Over the centuries the city underwent the domination of various peoples: from the Phoenicians to the Romans, from the Vandals to the Byzantines, without forgetting, of course, the Spaniards.
The name of Porto Torres is inextricably linked to the figure of the engineer from Olgiate Nino Rovelli, who, towards the end of the 1950s, focused on the start-up and growth of the industrial area of Marianella.
The failure of SIR di Rovelli in 1981 and the progressive decline of the industrial sector led the population of Turrian to invest in the development of the port. This happened starting from the 90s, when it was realized that to avoid the default the city would have to devote itself to tourism.
Parallel to the expansion of the civil port (affected by a considerable tourist flow), more and more importance has been given to the huge historical and artistic heritage of the area. If this were not enough, the Marianella pole and the Fiume Santo power plant are at the center of a reconversion and reclamation plan, and great impetus has been given to the construction of photovoltaic systems.
Despite human interventions, the territory of Porto Torres is rich in incomparable naturalistic beauties, which make it a real oasis that welcomes the visitor and allows him to recover. In order to preserve this significant environmental heritage, two protected areas were established between 1997 and 2002: the Asinara National Park and the homonymous marine protected area.
The island of Asinara is historically known also for judicial reasons. In fact, until 1998 it housed a maximum security penitentiary, where prominent members of organized crime were detained: among them, the "professor" of the NCO Raffaele Cutolo, the head of the Cosa Nostra bosses Totò Riina and Matteo Boe, the the only prisoner to have managed to escape from the facility. The magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino stayed at the detachment of Cala d'Oliva for work reasons before the Palermo maxi trial.