⠀Città di Santadras
Città di Santadras
Motto: A Prima Vista!
At First Sight!
UTC (GMT) -3
Mayor-Council w/Strong Mayor
Matteo Monteforte (PR)
Assembly of Santadras
The city is centered on the Via delle Palme, a waterfront promenade with palm trees. With a tourism-centered economy, Santadras has opulent hotels, pinturesc restaurants, large casinos, boutiques, an active nightlife scene, and many public parks, as well as some of the most beautiful beaches in Montevento, many of which offer windsurfing, sailing and canoeing equipment for rent, while others offer motorized water sports, such as power boats, jet bikes, water skiing and scuba diving. There are also many exclusive beach clubs.
Santadras is known for its association with the rich and famous, for its luxury hotels and restaurants and for the Spiaggia di Mansa, a popular destination for many wealthy people from around the world, earning it the nickname of "the St. Tropez of South America". Santadras is also one of the cities with the lowest poverty in all of Montevento, having the highest GDP per capita in the entire country, reaching values of around $93.000 USD. Many celebrities and millionaires from Montevento and South America have vacation homes in the city.
One of the most iconic symbols of the city is the Marco Fantoni Bridge, which connects Santadras with the Autostrada A1 (Autostrada del Mare) over the Barbice River located nearby to the city. The bridge is 1,200 metres long, 24 metres wide and has two three-lane carriageways in each direction together with walkways fitted with guard-rails for cyclists and pedestrians. The deck weight is supported by three 200-foot-tall asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross diagonally. The bridge was not intended only for pedestrian and vehicle traffic, but also to be a complement to the touristic part of the city, becoming one of the landmarks of Montevento.
The Port of Santadras, also known as Porto Mariano, is an international marina covering almost 40 acres, with enough space to provide anchorage for up to 700 vessels. It accommodates both ships operated by certain ferry companies and private yachts of tourists who come to Santadras by sea, on their own water craft. During 1995, an expansion has been added nearby to Porto Mariano to allow for the arrival of cruise ships to the city, especially from the Caribbean.
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Santadras was founded on 5 November 1893 by Marco Fantoni, who was born in San Giovanni on 6 August 1847 and taken to Italy by one of his uncles, who took care of his education and gave him historical, mythological and philosophical knowledge. During this time, Fantoni made multiple trips to different coastal cities in both Italy and France, which left a strong impact on his life and sowed a deep interest in the architecture and attractions of those cities.
He returned to Montevento at the age of 16, and a few years later began to take his first steps as a businessman in a small establishment that he founded in the Old Market of San Giovanni, which Fantoni maintained until 1875, year in which he began to dedicate himself to the purchase and sale of land around San Giovanni and Nuova Firenze, an activity that allowed him to amass a small fortune. At the same time, Fantoni began to take part in the political sphere of Montevento, joining the Partito Rosso, while also starting a small newspaper where he used to write about his trips to Europe and to different parts of Montevento. Through this newspaper, he also shared his various proposals to transform the country's economy, which until that moment was mainly centered around agriculture, into one based on tourism.
In 1887, disillusioned by the lack of support for his ideas, Fantoni decided to take action and try to demonstrate the viability of his projects. For this he bought, with his own fortune and without the support of the Government, a field of around 2,700 hectares near the Barbice River, where according to the publications in his newspaper, he would build "the city of his dreams" and "the seaside resort of the future". Also in 1887, he began the construction of the "Hotel Santadras", which was meant to be the largest and most luxurious hotel in all of South America, being the main attraction of the future city and the center of all its economic activity.
The construction of the Hotel Santadras demanded a total of 6 years, during which Fantoni dedicated much of his time to the planning and construction of sanitation, streets, sidewalks, parks and other attractions in the city. In 1889 the construction of the coastal avenue Via delle Palme began, and Fantoni decided to name his city project as Santadras, in honour of the hotel that would be its center. The Santadras project combined multiple aspects that made it one of the most interesting examples of territorial organization in the country and an unavoidable milestone in its urban history.
In 1893 the Hotel Santadras was inaugurated and furnished with the greatest sumptuousness known at the time: imported Italian furniture, Limoges crockery, Murano glassware, Smyrna rugs, Italian linen tablecloths and many other luxuries. With the inauguration of the hotel, tourist activity began in Santadras, with the first tourists, most of them families of the upper class of Montevento, beginning to arrive. The day of the hotel's inauguration is traditionally recognized as the founding date of the city. A year later, the auctions of the first plots of land began for the construction of private houses and shops throughout the city, and the first families began to move permanently to Santadras.
On July 24, 1920, with the city booming, but still far from what he had in mind, Fantoni died in one of the rooms of the Hotel Santadras due to an intoxication by carbon monoxide released by a malfunctioning water boiler in the bathroom of his room. A popular legend says that the ghost of Fantoni still haunts the hotel rooms, occasionally turning off the water boilers in the hotel and leaving chocolates as a "thank you" to tourists for visiting his beloved city.
In his will, Fantoni entrusted the Government of the Province of Fiume D'Oro with the administration of the city, and handed over to the Government all his properties in the city under the condition that the tourist development in Santadras would continue. Two years after his death, the then Doge Mauro Spalla officially granted Santadras the category of "City" through Law No. 3.455, appointing Sergio Luoni as the first Mayor of Santadras.
Since then, the city has had several periods of great prosperity, such as between the 1930s and 1940s, and more recently during 1990 onwards, where the city enjoyed unprecedented urban development, with the construction of apartment towers and hotel complexes, becoming one of the most important tourist centers in the country, and one of the promoters of the change in the economic paradigm of Montevento, dictating its definitive turn towards an economy much more focused on tourism, achieving what Fantoni had wanted almost 100 years before.
Santadras is located on Montevento's Atlantic coast near the east bank of the Barbice River. The terrain in this part of the country where the city is located is flat coastal plains.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Santadras has an equatorial climate (Af) bordering on a tropical monsoon climate (Am). Average high and low temperatures are nearly identical throughout the course of the year averaging about 30 °C and 23 °C respectively, although temperatures are somewhat cooler in the wet season unlike the dry season. Santadras sees copious precipitation during the year, more subject to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) than the trade winds. The city features a very lengthy wet season and a very short dry season. The dry season covers only two months of the year (September and October), and is when the city registers the maximum ammount of tourists arriving to it, while the wet season covers the remainder of the year. Precipitation is seen even during the dry season, a trait commonly seen in places featuring tropical climates.
Santadra's scenic coastline is divided in two regions: the Spiaggia di Mansa and the Spiaggia Bravi. The boundary between the two areas is not completely delimited, although the Spiaggia di Mansa is mainly associated with the eastern part of the coast, where the highest concentration of luxury buildings and large residences of celebrities and wealthy people is found, while the Spiaggia Bravi is more associated with the west, where most of the large hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and other tourist attractions of the city are located.
Every beach of the city has public access, and, despite what many people think, there are no private beaches, as the Monteventani Constitution forbids privates from owning the heritage of the country. It is possible to visit each of the city's beaches, by vehicle, bicycle or on foot, along the Via delle Palme, which has an extension of 22 km from the Porto Mariano. The Via delle Palme is a very important site for recreation and leisure in Santadras. Every day, a large number of people go there to take long strolls, jog, bicycle, roller skate, fish and even—in a special area—skateboard.
La Speranza is popular for nautical sports and fishing during the day. At later hours, La Speranza becomes a central attraction for the younger generation. Starting from the end of December through to the second week of January, this location becomes a place for the local people as well as tourists to gather at the night life festivities of the end and beginning of a year. Other areas include the resort of Savos, Baleiras beach, Bikini beach and Malermo beach. These beaches are a favourite spot for younger people as well as for many celebrities from Montevento.
Festival della Canzone Monteventani
The Festival consistently produces some of the biggest musical hits in Montevento and has helped launch the careers of multiple artists thanks to its category of newcomers. Annually, the festival is seen by 40.000 people from the Piarres Arena, while it is broadcasted live by Radiotelevisione Montevento, reaching audiences of more than 5,000,000 people, an extremely high number considering that the population of Montevento barely exceeds 5.750.000. Its most recent winner is the Fiume D'Oran singers Samuel and Johnny Marsiglia with their song Palermo.
The Hotel's convention center is also one of the most luxurious in the country, where all kinds of private events are held, from conferences, meetings and congresses to concerts. It has a capacity for 6000 people in an area of 5200 m². Its spa is almost 1200 m² in size and brings together options for exercise, relaxation and beautification. Among its facilities it is possible to find an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, heated indoor pools, tennis courts, women's and men's areas, steam rooms, dry and wet saunas and relaxation areas with hydromassage, all with views towards the ocean.
Since the founding of Santadras and until the late 1980s, when the Gran Hotel Terraze was built, the main hotel of the city was the Hotel Santadras built by Marco Fantoni between 1887 and 1893, which at the time was known to be the largest hotel in South America. It still remains as one of the landmarks of the city, and one of the most visited hotels.
Historically, Santadras was an expensive seaside resort for the region, but in recent years (and as a consequence of the interest of the city to open to new markets) the hotel and gastronomic offer has shown greater care with the quality-price ratio. In addition, the modality of accommodation in hostels is being imposed among young people.
Since 1989, the city also hosts the Santadras Seven, an annual international rugby sevens tournament that has been part of the Sudamérica Sevens Series and the World Sevens Challenger Series. The tournament is organised by the Montevento Old Boys & Old Girls Club, usually in September or October. It attracts the participation of clubs from Montevento and neighboring countries, as well as selected provincial and national teams. Internationally, it is the highest profile Monteventani rugby event. Since 2015, the tournament also has a women's category.
The Santadras Street Circuit is a street circuit located in Santadras. It runs along the town's harbour and the Via delle Palme. It has been used on several occasions under the name of the Santadras Grand Prix, with national, South American and international competitions, with Formula E as the first experience of an official competition. The circuit has a layout of 2.80 km in addition to 20 curves.
The city is also home to an annual professional tennis tournament, known as the Santadras Open. The tournament attracts the best tennis players from Montevento and the region.
As a city serving as a tourist hotspot in Montevento, Santadras is the only city on Montevento where, in addition to the Mayor and the Assembly, a Council of Tourism is part of the local government, being composed entirely by representatives of the tourism sector, who are elected by the workers of several tourism companies. They serve mainly as an advisory body, although their approval is needed to enact certain policies regarding the economy of the city. Their existence is heavily critiziced by many in Montevento, as many believe that it is a way for business to control the Government. However, due to the good results obtained by their advisory, the Council of Tourism has never been removed.
The Government of Santadras is presided by a Mayor, who is democratically elected during the Provincial Elections for a four-year term. The current Mayor of Santadras is Matteo Monteforte, from the center-right wing party Partito Rosso. This political party has never lost an election in Santadras, being the only party which has ruled the city since its foundation. The city is also the only one in Montevento where no mayor was every re-elected. The elected mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence, with the power to appoint and dismiss city officials without needing the approval of the Assembly or any public input.
The role of mayor has existed in Santadras since 1990, with the first mayor being Alessandro Gangi (1990 - 1994). A full list of the mayors of Santadras can be seen below:
1.- Alessandro Gangi (1990 - 1994) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
2.- Alberto Zeolla (1998 - 2002) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
3.- Lorella Mola (2002 - 2006) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
4.- Raffaella Centore (2006 - 2011) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
5.- Gloria Riso (2011 - 2015) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
6.- Estella Carlo (2015 - 2019) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
7.- Matteo Monteforte (2019 - Incumbent) 1 term in office - Partito Rosso
The division of the city into 11 neighborhoods responds mainly to the activities that take place in each of them, with predominantly residential neighborhoods where the majority of the permanent population of the city lives, such as Marinella and Albero Bianco, while others stand out for their presence of large holiday homes, belonging to celebrities, businessmen and people with high purchasing power who visit the city, such as Trevitina.
4. Albero Bianco
5. Spiaggia di Mansa
6. Spiaggia Bravi
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