The town was founded in 1738 by Genoese fishermen who arrived there from Tabarca, and the local dialect, traditions, customs and cuisine are a fascinating blend of Sardinian identity laced with Ligurian and Tunisian influences.
A stroll through the characteristic streets of the town will reveal numerous traces of its origins: the Castle, Casa del Duca, the carrugi (narrow alleys typical of Genoa), the casine (typical dwellings) and the palazzate, colourful Ligurian-style buildings along the Battellieri promenade. And if you fancy stopping off to sample some local food, you can try cascà (a type of couscous), casulli pasta and tonno della "mattanza" (traditionally-fished tuna).
A range of trekking and mountain-bike routes will take you through splendid scenery into the wild, unspoilt heart of the island, amid rocks and maquis, where birdwatchers will have the chance to observe a number of protected species nesting on the cliffs: Eleonora's falcon, Audouin's gull and kestrel; while even less expert eyes will have no trouble spotting flamingos in flight along the 18 km of coastline.
The cliffs of the island will form a splendid backdrop to your holiday, with particularly spectacular scenery in the inlets of Capo Sandalo, the Nasca Basin, the natural rock amphitheatres of Mezza Luna, Cala Vinagra and Cala Fico and in the marine caves of Punta delle Oche which look out onto the columns of lavic rock.
Sailing enthusiasts may like to get away from the crowds of tourists and venture out into the gulfs most exposed to the north-westerly Mistral wind, which will drive them safely across the rippling waters.
Visitors can customise their stay with a selection of the cultural, natural and food & wine routes which run throughout the splendid, unique landscape of the San Pietro Island.