The pond of Santa Gilla

While traveling along the main road to reach Pula, a stop is necessary to observe one of the most important lagoons in Europe. The pond of Cagliari, better known as the pond of Santa Gilla, is a wetland of 1300 hectares at the gates of the capital, of historical and naturalistic importance. This corner of paradise results from the union of the Saline di Macchiareddu, the Porto Canale, the lagoon of Santa Gilla, the pond of Capoterra and sa Illetta.

The history of this place is very old, the first human settlements are in fact dating back to the Bronze Age. Some archaeological finds, found in the eastern, area suggest a presence of Phoenicians and Punic. In this period an urban settlement was formed on the eastern coast of the lagoon, which also saw the presence of a port. From the findings found it is assumed that even in that period the activities practiced were fishing and trade. This urban center flourished until the Roman period, where it lost importance becoming a suburb of Karalis. The port became very important over the centuries, so that its waters entered the ships of the maritime republics: history tells that in the lagoon a naval battle was fought between Genoa and Pisa (1194) for the dominance of the Giudicati.

Despite over the years its boundaries have been drastically altered, it remains today an area that is of enormous importance for Sardinia and not only, due to its size and its biodiversity. The vegetation of the banks is in fact the habitat of almost two hundred species of birds, of which 70 are permanent: herons, ducks, barn owls, winged stilts (Cavalieri d’Italia), hawks, gulls, kingfishers but especially the pink flamingos who choose this pond to nest. Precisely because of its peculiarities, the pond is a call for all those who love birdwatching, thanks to the dedicated stations along the stretch of road that runs alongside it. 

The Centro Velico Capoterra cooperate with CEAS Capoterra (Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability  of Capoterra) in promoting events and excursions to sensitize the conscience of those who cross the territory and do not know its history and its characteristics. Both with the help of activities at sea and on the beach, they explore the theme of environmental sustainability, the care of beaches, lagoon environments and more generally of all natural environments.

Thanks for the pics to  @ignazio.ledda.