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A Family History

Auberge Santu Martine

The Guiso-Gallisay family dates back to the 14th Century and has evolved from a noble family to a major player in industrializing Sardinia. The birth of Don Francesco Guiso Gallisay marks the beginning of a century-long history of family businesses, including a steam mill, a pasta factory, one of the first electric companies in Sardinia, a mining company, fishery, several large working farms, and many more. In 1913, Don Francesco was presented with the title 'Cavaliere Del Lavoro' to honor his achievements. In that tradition, Stefano Guiso-Gallisay opened Agriturismo Auberge Santu Martine on his ancestral estate.


After four long years of construction, Agriturismo Auberge Santu Martine finally opened with the help of Stefano’s wife Leslie and his daughter Giulia Marie, making the Auberge a family run business as Don Franceso intended his businesses to be.


Don Francesco’s estate was divided up between his heirs in 2001. Stefano Guiso Gallisay inherited parts of the working farm, including the land on which the Auberge sits. Stefano broke ground on the Auberge in 2014.


Don Francesco dies, leaving six children behind along with over 5,000 hectares of farmland and booming businesses. In 1946, the farm adjacent to the Auberge became a working farm. Prior to this, the land was used as a private hunting reserve. In 1955 Don Francesco's businesses continued to thrive, demonstrating his skill as an industrialist and businessman.


Don Francesco began working to bring electricity to the town of Nuoro and the regions of Barbagia and Baronia. To achieve this goal, Don Francesco built a dam on the river Cedrino. In May 1915, he successfully lit over 200 lamps on the main streets in Nuoro and subsequently served most of the regions of Barbagia and Baronia.

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Don Francesco bought a steam mill, which he used to grind wheat and olives. The wood from his properties powered the steam engine. In 1901, the steam mill was transformed into a pasta factory.

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Donna Antonia began trading wood and other commodities with mainland Italy. In 1881, Don Francesco purchased the fertile swamplands of Orosei and began a fishery.


Francesco Guiso-Gallisay was born to Don Pietro Guiso of Orosei and Donna Antonia of Nuoro in 1859. At the age of seventeen, Francesco lost his father and was faced with having to support his family at a young age. His mother, Donna Antonia, encouraged her son to attend trade school in order to ensure the family's financial future.

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The Guiso family moved from Orosei to Nuoro because of malaria. However, the Guiso family would continue holding property in the region of Baronia.


In 1449, Salvatore Guiso acquired the barony and the towns and surrounding areas of Orosei and Galtellì.

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