PORTO TORRES (anc. Turris Libisonis, q.v.), a seaport on the north coast of Sardinia, u\ m. N.W. of Sassari by rail. Pop. (1901), 3762 (town); 4225 (commune). It is only 10 ft. above sea-level, and is malarious, but is a seaport of some importance, having regular steam communication with Ajaccio, Leghorn and Cagliari, and with the north and west coasts of Sardinia. The church of S. Gavino, formerly the cathedral, probably dates from the nth century. It is a Romanesque basilica with a nave and two aisles, divided by ancient columns; at each end of the nave is an apse. It has a 14th-century portal and two smaller doors at the sides added later in the Aragonese style. See D. Scano, Sloria dell' arte in Sardegna dal XI. al XIV. secolo (Cagliari-Sassari, 1907), 91 sqq. To the N.N.W. is the island of Asniara, the principal quarantine station of Italy. Porto Torres was the seat of the giudici of the north-west portion of the island (the district was called Torres or Logudoro) ; it was plundered by the Genoese in 1166, but remained the seat of the giudici until 1272, when it was divided between various Genoese families, the Doria, Malaspina, etc., and the giudici of Arborea. It was also the seat of a bishopric until 1441, when the see was transferred to Sassari, Porto Torres being practically deserted, owing to its unhealthiness. It did not become an independent commune again until 1842.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)