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►Terra/

Terra

Valledoria,
a place in Sardinia, with its recent history linked to the land.
 
Anglona is a historic region in the North of Sardinia, which looks out over the  Golfo dell'Asinara.
This wide region is bordered to the North by the sea, to the East by the river Coghinas, to the South by Monte Sassu, and to the west by the river Silis and Monte Pilosu.

The territory is predominantly hilly, with numerous small volcanic or limestone uplands laid over a tuffaceous base. The coastline alternates between beaches and rocky cliffs.

Anglona, and more precisely, “The Lower Valley”, is characterized by the criss-crossing of the river Coghinas, and a large part of its history is closely linked to it.

Since the Middle Ages, Lu Riu (the river), marked the boundary between the Judicate of Torres and Gallura, and following this, up to the present day, the boundary between the linguistic areas of the Logudorese and Gallurese dialects.

The economy of the area has at times been based on agriculture, which is due in part to land reclamation schemes, carried out between 1920 and 1930, which have allowed the Coghinas valley plain to be better used; this terrain is fertile on account of flooding, but was also difficult to farm for the same reason. The most widely grown crops are artichokes and tomatoes. During the 1970s,  above all in the coastal towns and villages, the tourist industry was developed.

Following the reclamation and drainage of the lower section of the Valley, tobacco growing  was briefly introduced, but it was not a success, due to harsh controls, the climate, and the impossibility of processing the product on site.
 
After this experiment with tobacco, one of the most well-known business families in the area, the Stangoni family, started to grow artichokes, between 1920 and 1930.
 
This was henceforth cultivated in the other hilly and lowland areas of Sardinia, so that now this plant is grown over an area of 12,000 hectares.  The particular artichoke grown here was and still is the spiny Sardinian artichoke, or “Cynara Scolymus L.” (the L derives from Carl Linnaeus, the famous Swedish scientist and biologist, to whom we owe the present double naming system, used today for plants and animals all over the world).

The Stangoni business was founded by the brothers Alberto Mario and Arnaldo after the 1st World War, and was the central point of the local economy in the lower Coghinas Valley.

After the 2nd World War, in addition to artichoke  production, the Stangonis built and ran a  processing plant for tomatoes, which carried the company name. Although the most profitable period for the company was between 1920 and 1930, unfortunately the war and a difficult managerial style caused problems for the future of the company, but even now, the memory of this epic local business experience still lives on the minds of many local people.

At the height of its success, the Stangoni family business represented a particularly fruitful period for the lower Coghinas Valley, and even today, the artichokes grown in the lower valley are exported to the principal national and foreign markets.

From a commercial sector point of view, the Coghinas Valley is one of the most important in the whole Sassari province.

Today the lower valley has a large number of producers, but the local agricultural economy, which in the meantime has also developed and diversified, now works alongside tourism, business and general services.

A considerably variety within these sectors has allowed more stability during moments of crisis.
In recent years,  the area has rediscovered environmental values and understands the potential for tourist development based on the strong points of sustainability and the quality of local characteristics, and investment is being made in both image and culture, in order to promote responsible tourism.

( bibliography "I fratelli Stangoni" - Maria Caterina Martinazzi )

Ciao Valledoria - Environment protection no profit association - Responsible tourism promotion - Valledoria (SS) - Italy