The Project

BIRU Srl Agricola was born from the desire of Stella and Marco Boglione to revive the Island of Culuccia through the production of high quality agri-food products, respecting nature, the landscape and the history of the island.
Culuccia, also known as Isola delle Vacche (Island of the Cows), has remained semi-deserted and in a state of abandonment for 35 years, during which time the Mediterranean maquis has covered much of it.
The work of enhancing the island was undertaken by Stella and Marco with the valuable collaboration of their friend Luciano Molino, an entrepreneur and Gallurese DOC.
The first intervention concerned the reopening of the old paths and 15 km of unpaved roadways. For the precise identification of these roads, now overgrown with vegetation, the Allied Forces' aerial photographs taken at the time of the end of World War II proved invaluable.
The total surface area of the island is about 300 hectares, including two stazzi. There are numerous fences, shelters and drinking troughs for animals, some vegetable gardens and two vineyards that will gradually be restored to their original functions.
Oil, myrtle, gin, wine, honey and beef, oysters and other seafood will be the jewels in the crown of Culuccia's production.

The history of the island and Ziu Agnuleddu

The Island of Culuccia was until 1996 owned by the Sanna family, a family of landowners known throughout Gallura.
From 1923 to 1996, the only inhabitant of the island was Angelo Sanna, known to everyone as Ziu Agnuleddu. He arrived at Culuccia after abandoning his job as a postal officer in Santa Teresa and retired, like a hermit, to his island, where he lived with a dog and a mare. Without running water, electric light or other 'devilries' of modernity, as he called them.
Ziu Agnuleddu lived on the island raising pigs, kids and cows, receiving bookings for his livestock from Porto Pozzo, San Pasquale, Santa Teresa and Palau. The Culuccia kids were considered the best in Gallura because the island's upland pasture made their meat particularly tasty. The island was also a self-managed hunting reserve; the hunts were an opportunity for Ziu Agnuleddu to maintain a network of political, military and social relations at the highest level. The rules laid down by Ziu Agnuleddu were very strict: only people invited by him could participate, each guest was told which territory to hunt in and the number of partridges and hares that could be shot was indicated. Any person, including politicians and military personnel, who did not follow his instructions was turned away without so much as a pleasantry.
Given the size of Culuccia Ziu Agnuleddu always moved around on horseback and in many photos he is portrayed with his mare, dog and rifle. To move from the island he had two boats: a chiattino used mainly for fishing and a wooden gozzo he used to go to La Maddalena or Santa Teresa; both boats were kept in a bay still called 'Lu Portu di Ziu Agnuleddu.
In the 1950s, Ziu Agnuleddu planted the 'Vigna in Puntata' vineyard with native Gallurese vines: Vermentino, Pascàle di Cagliari and Nieddu Addosu. In the 1960s, Culuccia Island attracted the attentions of many investors interested in buying it to develop a tourism project complementary to the Costa Smeralda, but Sanna rejected, regardless of their importance, all the proposals that were submitted to him.
From 1970, Ziu Agnuleddu lived on the island in the company of Mrs Angela Fais, and the following year his mother was joined by his twin sons, whom Ziu Agnuleddu took care of by putting them through school and also introducing them to the world of work. In 1985, following the victory of a civic list headed by a friend of Ziu Agnuleddu in all the town-planning instruments of the municipality of Santa Teresa, Culuccia Island was declared a total environmental respect zone.
On his death at the age of 94, as indicated in his will, the Culuccia property and all that was on it became the property of the Italian Association for Cancer Research.
From 1998 to 2017 the island was owned by two wealthy Italian families. On 17 April 2017, Marco Boglione became the sole owner of Culuccia Island.

The territory, flora and fauna

The Island of Culuccia is located in the municipality of Santa Teresa di Gallura to the north-east of Porto Pozzo and faces EAST towards Isola dei Gabbiani and WEST towards Conca Verde, to the SOUTH there is the Peschiera where oysters are cultivated. Looking NORTH-EAST you can see the islands of Spargi, Spargiotto, Budelli, Razzoli, Santa Maria and La Maddalena; looking NORTH-WEST you can see the islands of Lavezzi, Cavallo and the SOUTH of Corsica.
From the mainland, it is possible to reach the island from the Porto Liscia beach; from the sea, on the other hand, it is possible to disembark thanks to three jetties.
The flora and fauna of Culuccia Island are typical of Gallura; the prolonged state of depopulation in which the island has been in has allowed a growth of vegetation and a proliferation of fauna that make Culuccia a unique place today.
Until 1980, the fauna consisted mainly of resident tortoises, partridges, hares, foxes, owls and a few other species. From 1980 onwards, with the arrival of wild boars, the fauna system of the island and of Gallura as a whole has changed; wild boars, being omnivores, also feed on the young of hares and partridges, the latter having modified their hatching system to protect themselves. In the past, the partridges used to brood on the cistus at a height of about 1 metre above the ground, but their nests are now much higher up; there are many tortoises still living on the island. The migratory animals present on the island are mainly woodcocks, thrushes, blackbirds and wood pigeons. In September during strong maestralatas the island is used by wood pigeons for their landing in Sardinia. During particularly bad weather conditions, the island also becomes a refuge for very rare migratory birds such as the pink flamingo.
The flora of Culuccia consists mainly of wild olive and holm oaks, classic Mediterranean scrub with mastic, corbèzzolo, myrtle, cistus, broom and juniper. Juniper and wild olive trees in particular are the most common plants on the island at the moment.