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Porto Flavia, located within the promontory overlooking Masua in the Iglesias territory, is a remarkable feat of engineering constructed between 1922 and 1924. This 600-meter-long tunnel, carved entirely by hand into the rock by miners, emerges halfway up a cliff, offering stunning views of the 132-meter tall Pan di Zucchero sea stack, a natural monument shaped over time. The port facilitated the direct loading of minerals, destined for Northern European foundries, onto ships, significantly reducing transport times and costs.

The structure features two overlapping galleries that extend out over the sea, separated by enormous silos capable of holding up to 10,000 tons of material. The upper gallery was used to load the silos, while the lower gallery, equipped with a conveyor belt, was used to load lead and zinc onto steamships using a movable arm.

This unprecedented engineering masterpiece was designed by Cesare Vecelli, who named the port after his daughter, Flavia. Her name is prominently displayed on the medieval-style turret at the tunnel’s entrance.

Mining activities in the area began in the mid-1800s. By the end of the century, the Masua mine employed over 700 workers and was a significant extraction site. After a period of decline, the Belgian company de la Vieille Montagne revitalized the operation in 1922. However, the 1930s brought economic challenges, leading to a gradual decline.