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Brief historic notes and archaeological findings
The history of the growth of Porto Torres (21,000 inhabitants) has always been closely connected to one element: the sea. Together with that of Olbia, it is the most important port of North Sardinia.
During the 1950s, the town became the island's industrial pole, thus undergoing unequalled building works.
The centre, which is located on the north western most tip of the island, within the Asinara Gulf, has a great history that can be traced back through the many archaeological findings.

Although founded in Carthaginian times, it was the Roman Turrys Lybissonis that greatly altered the territory. The commercial exchanges made by the Turrys as well as the switching and stocking of agricultural products and cereals in particular, were of great importance. The products were taken to Ostia, where they were then "absorbed" by the imperial distribution system. .
The architectonic remains from the long stay of the Romans, are an essential visit. They are all easy to reach from the town centre, with the furthest examples located just outside the port, such as the Antiquarium Turritanum - an archaeological museum of the site, where remains of the thermal complex dating back to the end of the III century A.D. and the start of the IV century A.D., can be visited.
Traditionally, the area is also known by the name of Palazzo del re Barbaro (Palace of the Barbarian King) as it was called by the Diocletian emperor responsible for the early V century killing, and for the passio of the protomartyrs Gavino, Proto and Gianuario.
The famous Basilica around which the population built their second urban nucleus, in the Middle Ages, is dedicated to Gavino. The ancient basilica, with its opposing apses is unique, and certainly one of the most important examples of Romanesque style in Sardinia: remodelled on the pre-existing early Christian construction, it was influenced by various different masters, and reworks (Pisan, Gothic-Catalan masters). Inside the church, there is an important wooden catafalque of Saints Gavino (the town patron), Proto and Gianuario.

The territory, the coast and the sea
Despite the great industrial petrol works, and the crisis of the 1980s, the beaches along the eastern coastline have retained all their beauty: starting from the Christopher Columbus beach, and heading towards Platamona, we reach the beaches of Scoglio Lungo and Balai - a beautiful sandy and rocky bay protected by the small country church of San Gavino.
Just a short distance away, as we continue along the panoramic coast, we reach Balai Lontano, where we can take a break near to the second small church. Tradition has it that the two buildings mark the place where the three saints (Gavino, Proto and Gianuario), were martyred.

Tradition and religion
The procession of the saints' images on the 3rd May, which reawakens the idea of the traslatio, and heads from the Basilica of San Gavino to the small church of Balai Vicino, is well worth seeing. The images then remain at the little church until Pentecost, when they are taken back to the Basilica.

Many other initiatives accompany the event, and in particular, the main street "Corso Vittorio Emanuele", which opens up from the port and the dominating XIV century Aragonese Tower, comes alive with a large, characteristic market, that reaches the heart of the town. This market brings together stall holders from the whole province. Here, the tourist searching for a good bargain will easily find all types of articles, that vary from local craftsmanship to tasting of traditional food products.
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