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Santa Teresa was founded on August 12th 1808, thanks to the decree of the king Vittorio Emanuele I, after the passionate demands of Francesco Maria Magnon, the commander of the Sardinian-Piedmontese garrison. In the beginning the small village was populated by smugglers, Corsican political exiles and some local families.

The coast on which Santa Teresa stands was the scene of the fights between the regular troops and the exponents of the ideals defended by the French Revolution, like the revolt of June 1802, caused by the priest Sanna – Corda and the notary Cilocco on the Spanish Tower of Longosardo.

Several civilizations overlap in the territory: the Nuraghic-Punic, the Roman and the Medieval, each of which left many remains: the nuraghic villages, the medieval Castle of Eleonora of Arborea, the sixteenth-century tower which dominates the straits.
The vastness of the municipal territory is the outcome of the widely documented conflicts between the inhabitants of Tempio and the inhabitants of Santa Teresa. The urban plan of the town was designed by the same king in 1807 and with its straight streets, parallel and intersecting at right angles, represents the only example in Sardinia. 15 November 1821 is a historic date for Santa Teresa, which finally got the administrative autonomy from Tempio; while, with the decree of September 7, 1807, the King Emanuele II, authorized the town to take the name “Santa Teresa Gallura” – the current name¬¬¬¬- in accordance to the low of July 26 of the same year.

The government economics blocked the construction of the church until 1835, when the erection of the parish church of “San Vittorio” was finally begun, partially financed by private donations.

For the whole 19th century the life of the town centred exclusively on an agro pastoral economics. Only at the end of the century some immigrants from Ponza made known their seafaring inheritance and the fishery mixed with the local economic traditions.

Straddling the two centuries, the town lived important cultural experiences: the journal Le Bocche di Bonifacio was printed and mutual aid societies were founded, feeding great solidarity in the inhabitants.

During those years the character of the Teresini started its building: simple people, who stick to the main point, prone to argument, tendentially laic, but deeply religious, of an informal religiosity.

Already at the end of the 19th century the town was discovered as a tourist resort by some families of the neighbouring villages of Upper Gallura that made there a short stay. This social phenomenon will increase in the 1950s and will bring the village to the current tourist growth, thanks also to its inhabitants who “bright, strong and resourceful, look for the means to live and the source of their prosperity in the work and in trade”.

Today the town lives an intensive business activity, mainly based on tourism but also on fishing, agriculture and zoo technical breeding.