The Port of La Maddalena is the administrative center on the small island of La Maddalena that lies in the Mediterranean Tyrrhenian Sea off the northeast coast of Sardinia. Located some 116 nautical miles west-southwest of the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome's port) and some 153 nautical miles west of the Port of Anzio, the Port of La Maddalena is the biggest town on the Maddalena archipelago which lies in the Straits of Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica. The Port of La Maddalena is home to some 12 thousand people.
Archaeological evidence suggests that people lived in the Port of La Maddalena area during prehistoric times. However, the first written evidence of the village dates from the Roman Empire. The Romans called the Port of La Maddalena Ilvia, Fussa, and Bucina. In the Middle Ages, the island was called Bicinara. It came to be called La Maddalena during the 15th Century.
In the 12th Century, the republics of Genoa and Pisa struggled for control of the Port of La Maddalena, eventually abandoning the port. Corsican shepherds moved in to replace the great republics. Then in the 16th Century, Sardinian settlers moved to the Port of La Maddalena.
The Port of La Maddalena has long been a maritime trade center and a place of refuge. The Piedmontese of northwestern Italy conquered the Port of La Maddalena in 1767. In 1793, Napoleon's navy attacked the port. In 1804, the fleet of British Admiral Horatio Nelson took shelter in the Port of La Maddalena, establishing a naval base there.
In 1973, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) created a naval base in the Port of La Maddalena that remained there through 2008.