PLACES TO SEE
There are many places to see with Welcome to Sardinia, each with its own unique beauty. You can choose to see many or only one, change your destination every year or return to the place you love whenever you get the chance. Whatever you wish, Sardinia is the right choice.
The real beauty of southern Sardinia is the coast: long dream beaches and a sea that reminds one of the more remote tropical paradises.
In the south, from the beautiful islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, to Porto Corallo, on the opposite coast, beaches with tropical souls alternate with colours and cultural riches that make southern Sardinia a favourite stop for foreign visitors.
Carloforte, the most important town on the island of San Pietro, invites you in into its centre, where every year a festival of lights explodes and there are live cooking events during Girotonno, in honour of the fish that rules the island. Immerse yourself in the animated depths of Cala Fico or treat yourself to a dip at Caletta.
Visit the marina of Sant'Antioco, the ancient Sulky, packed with traditional restaurants, and dive into the emerald Cala Grotta.
Iglesias, queen of medieval festivals, welcomes you between mines and old churches.
Visit the famous Porto Pino, bordered by Aleppo pines, oaks and junipers and blue waters rippling in long crystal clear waves.
A succession of beaches of breathtaking beauty from Capo Teulada to Pula. Do not miss Tuerredda, a turquoise and blue cove in front of which stands a small island full of lush Mediterranean brush. Dive into the sea of Cala Cipolla, explore its headlands and take a photo at the lighthouse at Capo Spartivento. Enjoy the turquoise waves of Baia Chia, a summer paradise of sun and relaxation and winter paradise for surfers.
Pula, with its lively squares and artistic heritage of the Nora archaeological site, integrated in a naturalistic dream, will make your trip an opportunity to reflect on past civilizations. The beach ofSanta Margherita at Pula charms you with its white beach and its romantic lagoon, all framed by high mountains.
In the middle of the Golfo degli Angeli is Cagliari, the island’s capital, a city of artistic beauty running along the streets of the historic districts. Cagliari is good food, art galleries, shopping and nature. Stroll along Via Roma overlooking the harbour and enjoy a drink at sunset from the Bastione of Saint Rémy. Photograph the pink flamingos dancing as they rise in flight from the Molentargius Natural Park or romantic basin of Santa Gilla. Dive into the blue waters of the great Poetto beach, and fall in love with this exotic city.
Before leaping into Sarrabus, immerse yourself in the history of Barumini, with its archaeological site, the richest in Sardinia, or in the waters of the Sardara baths, pride of Medio Campidano.
Pearl of the South is Villasimius, with its beautiful Simius beach, with its clear blue water, or Notteri Timi Ama, which on one side has a windswept turquoise sea, and on the other, the lagoon of Notteri. Nearby is Capo Carbonara, which with the islands of Cavoli and Serpentara, was named a protected marine area.
Immerse yourself in the pure emerald of Cala Sinzias, at the Costa Rei resort, famous for its beautiful beaches and the three squares that sparkle on summer nights. Nearby, Muravera, with its Capo Ferrato, its lovely old town and oranges, the sun-kissed precious fruit of the countryside.
The capital of Sardinia is steeped in Mediterranean atmosphere and offers everything you could want from a vacation: history and art, seashores and parks, comfort and fine cuisine
Picturesque historical districts with sea views, elegant shopping streets and panoramic terraces, including the bastione di Santa Croce, a great place for a romantic evening after a fiery sunset. Cagliari is Sardinia’s main and most populous city, at the centre of an urban area that counts 430,000 inhabitants (150,000 of them in the capital city alone) as well as the island’s gateway port and main Mediterranean cruise liner hub. The city’s history goes back thousands of years, from pre-historic times to the reign of the Savoy.
Castello district sits perched on its highest hill and boasts ancient bastions that today are the heart and soul of nightlife, and picturesque streets lined by grand old homes: Palazzo Regio and Palazzo di Città, as well as the Cathedral of Santa Maria. The medieval towers - dell’Elefante and San Pancrazio - that stand guard at the entrance to the castle are well worth notice. Villanova connects to the Castle quarter via the stairway of the bastione di Saint Remy. A passionate air of religious devotion takes over the quarter every year at Easter, during Holy Week, while during the rest of the year the elegant boutiques and churches welcome you with somewhat less ado: the cloister of San Domenico, the Church of San Saturnino, and the Basilica di Nostra Signora di Bonaria, the Christian temple of Sardinia. Below Castello you’ll find the Marina district, which will impress you with lovely buildings and the porticos of Via Roma, including the Palazzo Civico. Settled as a village of fishermen and merchants, it is the symbol of the town’s multi-ethnicity. Here you will find the Church of Sant’Eulalia, home to precious remains from the Roman era.
Stampace district is the venue of the colourful yearly festival of Sant’Efisio in May, an event the entire island enjoys. Its narrow streets are home to the baroque Church of Sant’Anna. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Anfiteatro, one of Sardinia’s most important Roman ruins, and the Botanical gardens, a green oasis in the city’s centre. Just outside of town is the Castle of San Michele and Tuvixeddu, the Mediterranean’s largest Phoenician-Punic necropolis (VI-III century BCE). When you are ready to surround yourself with nature, you can head towards a thousand different natural attractions: the Cagliari lagoon, the Molentargius-Salinepark, which you can visit on a mountain bike, to see the pink flamingos take flight, and, of course, the sea. Take a dip at Poetto, the city’s 8 km long soft sandy beach along which there is a walking trail and cycling path. Even at night, when it reveals its more glamorous side, it is a delight. You can take an excursion to Calamosca and Sella del Diavolo from Poetto. And, finally, there is the local cuisine to be enjoyed, spaghetti with bottarga(cured mullet or tuna roe) and artichokes, burrida made with catshark and walnuts, and fregula con cocciula, balls of semola with clams.
Reaching Costa Rei means visiting one of the most beautiful areas of Sardinia: the Sarrabus.
The beauty of this area is enhanced by the profile of the Sette Fratelli mountain range overlooking the Park, a valuable nature reserve and perfect place for relaxing walks. Ensconced between the mountains and lush hills and a many hued blue sea, enchanting spots in Costa Rei are at times hidden from view by luxuriant Mediterranean brush. Such is the case of Cala Pira, a small bay surrounded by dunes covered with fragrant juniper trees made even more beautiful by the austere silhouette of the Aragonese tower overlooking an extremely transparent sea.
Enclosed between two small cliffs and protected by a thick pine forest, the white beach of Cala Sinzias is located not far from the town of Costa Rei; an attractive tourist resort over a long stretch of fine white sand bordering an emerald green to deep blue sea. 10 awesome kilometers of sandy beach, ideal for any vacation, thanks to shallow waters and a wide variety of tourist services, including excellent hotels and restaurants.
Behind Costa Rei, a fertile agricultural area offers a large variety of excellent organic products. These fields were once tilled by semi-free prisoners; you should visit the Castiadas Penal Colony there, an 1877 building turned cultural center and museum.
Nearby is Muravera, a lively town that offers exquisite hospitality, and not only during the summer. This town, particularly committed to promoting traditional culture, shares the endless variations of the history and folklore of this area in the spring with the Citrus Festival.
A gem of tourism in the southwestern part of Sardinia, accompanying you on a journey of discovery of the island's history and culture, combining a crystal clear sea and good food
If you want the sea all year round, for bathing and getting a suntan in the summer and for the poetic atmosphere in the autumn and winter, Pula is the ideal destination for you. There are over seven thousand inhabitants in the residential area, from the metropolitan city of Cagliari, which is just 35 kilometres away. Pula is a treasure chest of natural, archaeological and cultural wealth without equals on the Island. As well as Pula's summer nightlife, with events and aperitifs in the squares, there are also excursions and sporting activities. For example, you can do some jogging along the tree-lined avenues that lead to the archaeological park of Nora, where you will get to know Pula's origins. Not far from the village, you will find yourself in one of the most well-known sites in Sardinia: Capo Pula contains the ruins of an ancient town, the first Phoenician one in Sardinia (8th century BC), which then became a flourishing Punic town and was later conquered by the Romans, becoming a municipium in 1 AD. Over the next two centuries, it enjoyed the maximum splendour: caput viae of all the Sardinian roads. ‘You will travel' through traces of three thousand years of history: you will admire a Phoenician-Punic tophet, the remains of Punic and Roman temples, a forum, noble dwellings, thermal baths with mosaics and an amphitheatre that seated a thousand in the Imperial age and that is now the setting for the La Notte dei Poeti (Night of the Poets) festival. At the Giovanni Patroni Museum in Pula and at the Archaeological Museum in Cagliari you can admire the relics found during the excavations. After the archaeological excursion, you can take a walk on the beach of Nora: golden sand washed by a crystal clear sea and delimited by the promontory of the Tower of Coltellazzo. In the bay, you will also find history and traditions. The little church of Sant'Efisio stands here and is the place of the martyrdom of the warrior saint commemorated every year on 3 May during the Festival of Saint Efisio, to whom the population of Pula is extraordinarily devoted. Behind the bay, before having a plate of spaghetti 'allo scoglio' (spaghetti with seafood) and figs with cured ham, don't miss the lagoon of Nora at sunset, the habitat of rare birds. To the east of Nora, there is the beach of Su Guventeddu, popular with kitesurfing and windsurfing enthusiasts even in the winter. To the west, along the coastline, you will find Santa Margherita di Pula, consisting of a series of fine, white sandy coves with splashes of pink granite - Cala Marina, Cala Bernardini, Cala d'Ostia, Cala Verde, other smaller beaches of the resorts - looking out onto the crystal clear sea. A realm of relaxation with an immense pine forest behind it, which stretches as far as the marvellous Chia (Domus de Maria). You will also be by enshrouded by nature in the forest of Is Cannoneris and Pixinamanna, havens for trekkers, with their holm oaks, Mediterranean scrub and conifers. You can explore them while walking along the well-marked out trekking trails, through dense vegetation with rare plants, rocky formations shaped over time by the weather, watercourses and evidence of prehistoric civilizations. The forest complex is a wildlife oasis that has been repopulated with deer and fallow deer.
This the best vacation spot in Sardinia’s south-eastern region: crystalline water, white beaches, glamorous lifestyles and fine food to meet your every wish
The intense colours of the sea, the glimmering crystal-clear water, granite cliffs, enchanting coves, long stretches of beach, lagoons and verdant hills, some of them are the settings of TV ads and all of them are breathtaking. Villasimius is the ‘pearl’ of the south, the kind of tourist resort every vacationer dreams of, with a population of less than 4,000 during winter that blossoms to several tens of thousands in summer. The coastline is graced with a crown of beaches interspersed with inlets and the Capo Carbonara promontory. Along the panoramic road starting at Capo Boi, the southernmost point of the protected Marine Area, are the wonderful beaches of Porto sa Ruxi, Campus and Campulongu, all blessed with gorgeous blue seas and white sandy beaches framed by Mediterranean brush. Not far from town is the unusual spiaggia del Riso beach, remarkable for its rice-shaped sand. Past the modern-day tourist harbour, on the western side of Capo Carbonara, are inlets nestled between the cliffs, including Cala Caterina. On the eastern side are other breathtaking gems of the seashore, starting with Porto Giunco, and behind it the stagno di Notteri marshes where pink flamingos and other rare species of wild birds nest. From high up on the promontory that looks out over it, home to an Aragonese tower built by Spaniards, is an amazing panorama with will linger in your mind, your heart and your pictures for ever: an endless field of shades of blue, two seas divided by a narrow strip of white sand that looks like powdered sugar. Further north are the beaches of Simius and Traias, followed by Rio Trottu and Manunzas, that provide the backdrop for Punta Molentis, another ‘gem’ of Villasimius. From Capo Boi to the Island of Serpentara, the isola dei Cavoli and shoals that are the resting places of shipwrecks from all eras, the Capo Carbonara marine reserve is rich in underwater treasures: dense schools of fish move like weightless clouds over meadows of gently waving sea grass, over bastions, into valleys and channels coloured yellow by sea daisies and red by sea fans.
Back on land you can go shopping, enjoy delicious seafood, visit museums and pick over archaeological sites. Go see remains dating to the Nuragic age, tour the Accu Is Traias (I century BCE – III century CE) and Cruccuris(I-II CE) necropoles near the roman baths of Santa Maria, and the Cuccureddus site, an early Phoenician-Punic settlement later taken over by the Romans. And don’t miss the archaeological museum, with displays about the treasures that lie at the bottom of the sea. One of these, the statue of the Virgin of the Sea, lies on the bottom near Cavoli island. It was sculpted by Pinuccio Sciola and every year in late July they have the Festa della Madonna del Naufrago to commemorate those who lost their lives at sea with a procession that leads to the water’s edge.
In the Iglesiente area, there is the most important Italian mining compound, which comprises the Campidano Plain and the seashore, from Capo Pecora at north to Gonnessa Bay at southwest. From a geological point of view, it is an extremely important area due to the fact that, other than carboniferous granites and diorites, we can also find metal limestones and dolomites where there are the main lead and zinc veins of the island, already exploited by Nuragici, Roman and Punic civilizations.
A small set of rocky blocks surround this land overawed by the Monte Linas and made of metal stones (Cambrico, Silurico) and by tertiary drifts. There are oak and bearberry forests together with huge karstic pits as Su Mannau di Fluminimaggiore cave, close to the Antas temple and the San Giovanni di Domusnovas cave.
The Sulcis territory is located in the southwestern part of Sardinia; its name comes from the old city of Sulky in Sant'Antioco island. It is made up of a great plain formed by alluvial soils and covered by seasonal rivers. It goes from the wide Rio Palmas valet to the Gonnessa bowl, from the striking S.Antioco and S.Pietro islands (Carloforte) up to the wood inside Pantaleo Santadi and Monte Nieddu di Nuxis (Sulcis Natural Park). The plain presents sporadic hills and volcanic plateaus as the Monte Sirai, the Monte Narcao and the Monte Essu; there are also several tuff plateaus together with effusive rocks as trachytes and ignimbrites of the Miocene serie; these rocks finish to the steep coasts of Altano di Portoscuso and Nido dei Passeri di S.Antioco capes.
The Sulcis archipelago is formed by two main islands: S.Pietro and S.Antioco.
S.Pietro island, called "green island" for its landscape integrity, presents rocky volcanic coasts shaped by the wind and by the water in caves and striking unpolluted bays. Carloforte is the only settlement of the island and is situated next to the tourist port. The activities carried out are linked to the new port and to the tonnara. The salines, nowadays neglected, host several colonies of migratory birds as flamingos. In the north western part there is also a natural protected oasis.
The S.Antioco island is made up of beaches and deck sea cliffs. It is connected to the shore through a 3 km long natural isthmus. There are two urban settlements: S.Antioco (the old Sulky) and Calasetta. It has been settled since the prehistory and it holds evidence of important archaeological ruins belonging to several civilizations.
The populace of this area by several ethnic groups was due mainly to seams of lead, silver and zinc in the Iglesiente and to coal in the Sulcis.
There are evidences of pre-nuragic (rocky shelter of Su Carropu-Sirri-Carbonia, domu de janas of Montessu-Villaperuccio, Monte Crobu-Carbonia) and nuragic (the village of Serucci-Gonnesa, nuraghi Sirai-Carbonia and S. Anna Arresi, finds of the Benatzu-Santadi cave) archaeological ruins.
As from the half of the VII century B.C., the Phoenicians established the Sulcis, Porto Pino, Bithia and Nora urban settlements. Later the fortified settlements of Monte Sirai and Pani Loriga-Santadi were established, while the control of the high Sulcis area is proved by the Antas-Fluminimaggiore temple; this was established by the punics, dedicated to Sardus Pater Babai and also attended by Romans. During the roman age were established Nora and Sulcis urban settlements.
The most relevant age of the Sardinian mines starts from the birth of the Sardinian Kingdom by the sabaudo government, up to the closing of the mines occurred at the beginning of the 90's.
Thanks to the interest toward the extractive industry in the Sulcis Iglesiente area, the construction of roads, dams and railways was launched for the development of the region. Many villages for miners arose in the area together with sinks, foundries and washeries.
Between the 1936 and the 1938, Carbonia was built in the centre of the Sulcis carboniferous region in order to duly welcome the increasing population working in the mining sector. Carbonia hosts the Italian Centre for Coal Mining Culture.
The close union of several aspects therefore, distinguishes the whole Sulcis Iglesiente area: natural, archaeological and neglected mining settlements as an evidence of unchanged activities during the course of centuries.
On the south-west side of Sardinia, with their wild natural beauty and ever restless seas, the Costa Verde beaches are some of the most unspoilt beaches of the Mediterranean island.
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Famous for its sparkling life between sea and elegant squares, northeast Sardinia welcomes you with a smile to its small, dream coves. Leap into the life of the Costa Smeralda, where you will find that the dream is a reality and it’s called Sardinia.
Gallura and the northeast coast of Sardinia, famous for its sparkling life between sea and elegant squares, are the jewels in the crown in terms of quality of tourism. The jagged coastline opens onto the turquoise sea of the Costa Smeralda and onto small creeks that hide hot stretches of weightless sand.
Let yourself be taken over by the mornings rocked by waves, by the afternoons immersed in relaxing walks among elegant boutiques and the nightlife lit by the starry sky in the square of Porto Cervo.
The Costa Smeralda and the surrounding area are this: a unique paradise that takes on the austere form of the tower Longosardo, overlooking the marina of Santa Teresa Gallura, and looks over to the Archipelago de La Maddalena, priceless natural treasure with Spargi, Cala Corsara, and Budelli with its pink beach. But the northeast paradise does not end here, you are drawn seductively to Capo Testa, to the beach of Santa Reparata and the bay of La Colba, and invites you to follow the line of the horizon, focusing your gaze on the sky and dipping your hand in the sand of the Rena Bianca and Rena Majore beach. Closing your eyes and breathing in the fresh and pungent smell of the pine forest, you can say you had a bath in the very essence of relaxation.
At Palau, in front of the Archipelago de La Maddalena you'll notice an imposing custodian, the bear-shaped rock that has dominated the bay for centuries and that with the Roccia della Tartaruga, situated in Cala Ghjlgolu, shares the record of starring in all visitors’ selfies. From the rock custodians to the Hero of two worlds: by leaping to the island of Caprera you do not just take a wonderful boat trip over a clear seabed, but also visit the home of Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose last residence will thrill you no end.
On the other hand, on the island of Tavolara, you will discover the thrill of making a journey within a journey, between legends, history and a sky that seems to disappear into the blue water. The San Teodoro area, part of the Tavolara Marine Park - Capo Coda Cavallo, draws you into its embrace showing its most beautiful pearls like Cala d'Ambra, La Cinta and Isuledda, nestling between the basin and the sea.
Famous the world over for the emerald blue of its water, for piazzas bustling with life and for quality services, it is the most exclusive resort of northeastern Sardinia
Luxury hotels and villas, sparkling nightlife, exclusive boutiques, elegant aperitifs and fine dining. The Emerald Coast is Sardinia’s most glamorous vacation resort. Two boulders bearing its name welcome you on arrival, one at the southern end on the road that goes from Olbia to the most famous places, and one at the north, on the road leading to the brilliant blue of Baja Sardinia. The Emerald Coast was born from the consortium founded by the Ishmaelite prince Karim Aga Khan in 1962, and it invites you to enjoy the fine cuisine, great shopping and the suave and luxurious lifestyle that distinguishes the heart of Porto Cervo, between Golfo Pevero, Pantogia and Capriccioli.
Its gracious architecture is characteristic: small, low, white buildings with soft lines that blend in beautifully with the surrounding Mediterranean vegetation, like the church of Stella Maris, designed by Michele Busiri Vici.
The Emerald Coast’s fame is due in large part also to some of its invaluable nearby natural attractions, like Cala di Volpe, an exclusive natural port where some scenes for the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me were filmed.
Other celebrated places include Grande Pevero, Liscia di Vacca, surrounded by Mediterranean brush and blessed with turquoise waters, Liscia Ruja, with its inlets framed by fragrant juniper bushes, Romazzino, with its transparent sea and white beaches, and Pitrizza.
The lovely bays with white sails draw your eyes to beaches and small islands, like the isola dei Cappuccini, Bisce island, south of Caprera, Li Nibani, Mortorio island, the little delle Camere islands and isola di Soffi. Along the coast is the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute, an international institute set up to study and safeguard these special dolphins.
The surrounding area is home to a variety of interesting archaeological sites like the Li Muri necropolis (in the Arzachena area) that dates to the middle of the IV century BCE, the Nuragic complexes of Malchittu and of Albucciu, which feature nuraghe, giant tombs, hut villages and the giant Coddu Vecchiu tomb (III-II millennium BCE).
Budoni, overlooking the coast in the north-east of Sardinia, is a charming village cast against the background of a stunning turquoise sea.
The hills surround the town, which features a beautiful medieval stone village. The old town, full of history and public places, is the heart of a lively nightlife: clubs, places to meet and restaurants make for a cheerful atmosphere all year long, and especially during the summer season.
Among the wonders of the area are Li Cucutti, Baia Sant'Anna and Cala Budoni. The soft white sand and the Mediterranean brush, which surrounds beaches of extraordinary beauty, capture and inebriate the gaze. Cala Ottiolu, with its shallow and green waters, is one of the most popular bays and is located near Porto Ottiolu, the main tourist starting point for inshore trips.
The feast of the Assumption in Budoni is undoubtedly the most beloved and anticipated: piazzas awash with music and joy where visitors join in one single celebration not to be missed, with dancing in discos and dreamy clubs. The tower of Su Entosu, a nuraghe-look-out located on a granite peak, the Conca and Bentu nuraghe and the Domus de Janas Agliola are of great historical value.
If you love the old charm, the animal pens of St. Peter will take you back in time; a path through ancient pastoral houses, built with thousand-year-old stones, mortar and mud, that bear witness to the look of nineteenth century countryside Sardinian villages. The colorful charm of the rooms and courtyards still tell stories of ancient life.
The north-eastern gateway to Sardinia, an ancient and flourishing city that is the preferred holiday destination of many, set on a gulf with an infinity of attractions
The ancient Greeks called it olbìa, ‘happiness’. It is the gateway to the island and the driving force behind the economy of the Gallura area. Vestiges of the past dot the city. Many of the relics archaeologists have brought to light, like the 900 gold coins, are now safeguarded at the Archaeological Museum on the islet of Peddone. The Punic-Roman, and later Christian, necropolis includes 450 tombs and comprises the museo della necropoli, located at the feet of the altar of the beautiful Basilica di San Simplicio. Built between the late XI and early XII centuries, it is this region’s most important church, as well as being the oldest vestige of Christian presence on the island. The patron saint is celebrated in mid-May with the heartfelt Festa di San Simplicio, when the faithful, in costume, take part in a procession. The celebrations include the palio della Stella joust. You will also be struck by the Baroque architecture of the Church of San Pablo, with its brilliant ceramic dome. Traces of man’s presence here date to 4000-3500 BCE in the form of dolems, menhirs and circular mageliths. Some 50 Nuragic settlements date to the Bronze Age, including the Tomb of the Giant of su Monte de s’Aba, the riu Mulinu nuraghe, the village of Belveghile and the sa Testa sacred well. The Phoenicians came here in the VII century BCE, followed by the Greeks. The first stable settlement was Punic (V-IV century BCE). The Carthaginians surrounded the settlement with walls and towers, remains of which you can still see on Via Torino. The town became the east coast’s largest city when the Romans took over. Under them, Olbia got paved roads, thermal baths, and a forum, traces of which remain near the palazzo comunale, as well as an aqueduct in Tilibbas (I-II century CE). Then there are the remains of the s’Imbalconadu villa (1st century CE). In 1999 twenty-four shipwrecks came to light, some of which had been sunk by the marauding Vandals.
The city looks out over a spectacular gulf that encompasses the Tavolara Marina Area. It is the access point to the exclusive Emerald Coast. The seemingly endless Olbian coastline is home to a myriad of turquoise inlets from which to choose, among them are the four beautiful bays of Porto Istana, within the confines of the protected area, the Lido di Pittulongu, especially La Playa, a local favourite. Next to it, one after the other, are the beaches of Squalo, Pelicano and, further north, Mare, Rocce and Bados, which borders on the Golfo Aranci. Another long stretch of shoreline follows, offering visitors sandy or pebbly white beaches and crystalline water at Porto Rotondo, Marina di Cugnana and Portisco, in particular, sa Rena Bianca. Southwards, headed towards San Teodoro, are the yellow-ochre sandy shores of Lido del Sole, Le Saline, Bunthe, Li Cuncheddi and Punta Corallina. To this fascinating array of sea and archaeology add fine food in the form of Olbian clams, to be paired, of course, with a glass of Vermentino.
A sun-kissed Gallurian town of elegant villas and flowers that looks out over the turquoise sea of the north-eastern coast of Sardinia, home to a wide variety of stupendous beaches
La Cinta, a long, thin stretch of golden sand bathed by a crystalline blue sea, Cala Brandinchi, a white shore with water that resembles a tropical paradise nicknamed, for good reason, Tahiti, Lu Impostu, its natural progression, the magnificent Marina di Puntaldìa, with its modern tourist harbour and the Caribbean-like s’Isuledda beach. These beaches are the symbols of San Teodoro, a celebrated resort town that is a favourite among young people for its night life. The coastline here is home to a variety of beautiful seashore ‘gems’: Cala Ginepro, its air fragrant with the aromas of the native Mediterranean brush, Coda Cavallo beach, which will amaze you with views of the grand Tavolara and its protected marine area, Cala Ghjlgolu, where the wind and the sea moulded a boulder into the shape of a turtle, an attraction very popular with visitors, especially children. Other places may be less famous, but they are no less beautiful: Baia Salinedda, Cala d’Ambra, Cala Suaraccia, Li Corri di Li Becchi, Li Marini and Seghefusti. The spectacle is completed by, behind the beaches, the San Teodoro lagoon, where flamingos come to rest during migration and home to the long-legged black-winged stilt. It’s a wonderful place for a nice walk and a spot of bird watching.
Known all over Gallura as Santu Diàdoru, this town is home to less than five thousand people in winter, a number that rises to tens of thousands in summer. Although man’s presence here dates to prehistoric times, the town came about in the XVII century, just inland from the eastern slopes of Mt. Nieddu, when shepherds and fishermen populated this amazing stretch of land. The nuraghe in the area of Naracheddu is its most important relic. People had also settled here in Roman times, as documented by archaeological finds now at the Museo del Mare. Among the events not to miss are the festivities surrounding patron saint San Teodoro, whose church was rebuilt in the mid XX century, and festivities of Sant’Andrea, which take place in the Montipitrosu quarter. The bonfires of Sant’Antonio Abate during the Lu Fuculoni festival are especially spectacular, when the faithful gather around the raging flames in honour of their saint. San Teodoro is a town of culinary delights: in May there is the Agliòla, during which local specialities are celebrated. You will love the Gallurian zuppa made with bread and cheese in a tasty beef stock. At meal’s end you’ll be tempted by such delicacies as cucciuléddi milàti, honey rolls, frisjióli léti, fritters and niuléddha, with almonds and grated orange peel. All of it to be washed down with, what else, a glass of vermentino di Gallura!
White beaches kissed by a sea with shades of silver, turquoise, blue and topaz. Sandy coves, cliffs, islands. Many of the legends about Sardinia’s splendour come from here, from the enchanting northwestern side of the island. Explore it with us.
The northwest coast of Sardinia has its own scent, that of the sea combined with the rocks, of clumps of myrtle shaken by the wind, rock rose and strawberry tree, that you find in the area’s exquisite honey.
On this coast the sea is king, with its colours it licks the white beaches and offers up its prized fish to embellish the tables.
The journey starts from Castelsardo, an ancient medieval fortress, featuring Doria castle, which overlooks the sea and has a deep-rooted history as a defensive fortress. Savour the delicious Castellana lobster and immerse yourself in the beautiful Punta la Capra, which plays on sea and rocks to create a true open-air swimming pool.
The beaches in this area are among the most famous on the island with their characteristic white sand, such as the marvellous La Pelosa beach, which will enchant you with its crystal clear water. Visit Stintino, situated on the last limb of Sardinia, which stretches out towards the island of Asinara as to touch it, showing itself to the world as a masterpiece of rare beauty. Savour real seafood here and visit Capo Falcone, a promontory with wild charm in whose clefts the peregrine falcon gives life to her little ones.
Sassari, in the hinterland, historic urban centre of Capo di Sopra and ancient royal city rich in art and nature, is the most important reference point of northern Sardinia. Visit the Sanna Museum, rich in historical artefacts, and take a look at the Fontana di Rosello, together with the splendid Piazza d’Italia, symbol of the city.
Highlights include the natural lake of Baratz, the beaches of Porto Palmas and Porto Ferro, with their dazzling colours.
If you love the story of the nuraghe, visit the Monte d’Accoddi complex.
Alghero and the Coral Coast are the pearls of this side of Sardinia. Immerse yourself in the pure blue of the Bombarde beach.
Near the town the promontory of Capo Caccia emerges where the famous Grotta di Nettuno lies. Here the water’s reflections create a play of light on the walls, where nature has embroidered real salt with stalactites and stalagmites. The underground salt lake is the stuff of fairy tales.
If you're looking for a moment of romance, walk along the scenic road that connects Alghero to Bosa, an ancient village that lies on the banks of the river Temo. Enjoy a glass of Malvasia as you watch the sun set over the Ponte Vecchio and impress on your memory photos of a unique landscape
Historic city at the northern tip of the western coast of Sardinia, a renowned resort also known as the capital of the Coral Riviera. It retains well-preserved traces of Catalan dominance and is also known as Barceloneta
With its 44,000 inhabitants, it is the 5th largest city of Sardinia. Alghero is the island’s main harbour town, home to Fertilia airport and one of its best-loved cities for the popular walkway along the port’s bastions, the red roofs that touch the sky and the gorgeous natural bay that flows into the emerald sea. The shoreline is some 90 km long and known as the Coral Riviera, home to a major colony of the finest coral. The most famous beach here is Le Bombarde, blessed with crystalline water and a clean sandy bottom, it is a favourite destination of families, young people and surfing enthusiasts. Just a kilometre away is Lazzaretto, ten inlets with soft sandy beaches. A bit further away in the bay of Porto Conte is the leisurely Mugoni beach, graced with golden sand and the still waters of a sea that is always calm and crystalline, a completely protected oasis. The shoreline at the city’s centre, on the other hand, is home to the splendid Lido di San Giovanni beach, while just outside of town are the Maria Piadunes, dotted with centuries-old juniper trees. Much of the coastline is within the protected marine zone of Capo Caccia – Isola Piana, where hundreds of treasures are safeguarded, including the grotta di Nettuno, which can be reached over land via the Escala del Cabriol, and by sea with boats that depart from the harbour.
The Porto Conte park will amaze you with its expanses of Mediterranean brush, dense woods and the laguna del Calich. The domus de Janas of Santu Perdu, the Anghelu Ruju necropolis and the complexes of Palmavera and sant’Imbenia bear witness to Alghero’s prehistoric origins, starting in the Neolithic era. The historical centre is the city’s most interesting area, a labyrinth of narrow streets that connect piazzas bustling with life. The yellow walls and ancient houses echo the Catalan origins of the city. As do the churches: the Cathedral of Santa Maria (XVI century), the churches of Carmelo (late XVII century) with its great gilded retablo, that of San Michele with its coloured ceramic dome, and the late Renaissance Sant’Anna (1735). If it’s culture you’re after, then visit Casa Manno, a research centre full of important paintings, furniture, books and manuscripts. Alghero is famous for its fine coral, which is used locally with gold to make every manner of adornment. Do stop in at the Museo del Corallo and learn more about the history of coral and how it is used. The big event in 2017 will be the opening race of the great multi-city Giro d’Italia cycling event. Another great time to be here is at Cap d’Any de l’Alguer, or “New Years at Alghero,” when a myriad of shows enliven the city centre. The most passionate time of year is Holy Week, with heartfelt religious rites from the Spanish tradition.
One of the loveliest towns in Italy is a medieval fortress surrounded by nature and steeped in history, religious traditions and ancient crafts. It sits perched on a promontory in Anglona, in the centre of the Asinara Gulf in north-western Sardinia
It may have been the legendary Tibula of Roman times, but by the Middle Ages it was already an impenetrable centuries-old fortress protected by thick walls and 17 towers, until the advent of modern weaponry. The original nucleus of Castelsardo grew up around the castle of the Dorias, which tradition dates to 1102, although it was probably constructed in the late XIII century. Today it is the seat of the lovely Museo dell’Intreccio Mediterraneo (or Museum of the Crossroads of the Mediterranean), one of the most visited museums in all of Sardinia. In the early XVI century the castle was renamed Castillo Aragonés and became the seat of the bishopric until the Cathedral of Sant’Antonio Abate was built in 1586. This amazing building has a bell tower perched over the sea, is graced with a gleaming ceramic dome and houses crypts in the basement, which in turn are home to the Maestro di Castelsardo museum. During the reign of the Savoy dynasty, the town was given the name it has today. It belongs to the Most Beautiful Towns of Italy Association and its noble fortifications – the bastions and steep stairs – remain intact. The city tour includes not-to-be-missed visits of its religious and historical buildings, like the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Benedictine monastery, the bishopric, palazzo La Loggia, which since 1111 has served as City Hall, and the Palazzo Eleonora d’Arborea.
The town’s most characteristic events take place during Holy Week, when religious rites with a Spanish flair involve just about everyone. Lunissanti, on the Monday after Palm Sunday, is heartfelt and picturesque, especially at dawn when a long procession heads towards the Basilica of Nostra Signora di Tergu. After sundown, the town is illuminated by torches and sacred chanting fills the air. The Prucissioni that take place on Holy Thursday and the Lu Scravamentu on Friday are also not to be missed. The town celebrates its patron saint, St. Anthony, on 17 January with great bonfires. But there is more to this town than cultural tradition, there are archaeological sites and natural monuments to be visited as well: the nuraghe Paddaju, the pre-Nuragic megalithic walls at Monte Ossoni and, just four kilometres from town, the domus de Janas, raised bull horn decorations and the roccia dell’Elefante. This stretch of shoreline is made predominantly of high red bluffs, but there are some beaches too, including Marina di Castelsardo, at the entrance to town, and Lu Bagnu beach, some two and a half kilometres away and protected by cliffs topped with green. The sandy shore boasts crystal clear water dotted with flat rocks. Windsurf and sailing enthusiasts should not miss punta La Capra, a natural pool set between the sea and the shore. Local restaurants feature fresh catch: lobster, crayfish, crab, sea urchins and shellfish.
Nestled in the last stretch of Sardinia, Stintino reaches out to the Island as if to touch it, a masterpiece of rare beauty.
The true wonder of Stintino is the coast: a necklace of white beaches and a nature oasis. Make sure and see La Pelosa Beach: shallow waters, impalpable sand, a Spanish tower and the dazzling, calm blue sea. Visit Cape Falcone, a promontory of rugged beauty, where peregrine falconslook after their fledglings in wild ravines. Two hundred meters up, a terrace offers a spectacular view of Asinara Island, Isola Piana and the coast.
The place is unique for its double view of the seascape: to the west, on the Outside Sea, it's dark and wild and swept by the wind; to the east, on the Inside Sea, clear blue waters fringe the pure white edges of the coast. The town was built in 1885 on a small fjord, when the Italian government set up a leper hospital and penal colony there; hence the name s'isthintinu, meaning gut. And so it was that the "Communion of 45", a cooperative of fishermen and their families, gave birth to a flourishing town.
Near the village are the ancient tuna traps, which until the twentieth century were the main source of income for the town; they are now restored and will greet you with their historic charm united with the blue sea. At about 3 km from the town center, hidden between the hills and the sea, is the pond of Casaraccio, home to numerous species of birds such as cormorants, larks, terns and egrets. Stintino's culinary tradition is based almost exclusively on fish: urchins, shellfish, mussels and clams are the treasure of its narrow streets and alleys, along with tuna roe and Stintino style octopus. If you love to practice or watch Latin Sail regattas, this is your paradise for sure!
A spectacular area, where the low and sandy coast alternates with gigantic ridges. Ponds, beaches and the sublime charm of the mountains. Discover the beautiful Sardinian east coast.
The eastern coast of Sardinia, alternating low shores and golden inaccessible cliffs overlooking a turquoise sea, stretches for kilometres. Wild sheep, donkeys and wild boar roam freely in the woods of strawberry trees, holly oaks and oaks in the Supramonte, secretly watched by the royal eagle, which nests on the highest peaks.
Visit Posada, one of Sardinia’s most beautiful towns, its ancient Castello della Fava and famous, award winning beaches.
Explore Cala Ginepro, located in the Lido di Orrì, famous for its small juniper forest and clear blue sea that has many shades of blue.
Go swimming at Cala Liberotto and visit Orosei, a lovely city located on the fertile plain formed by the mouth of the river Cedrino. Cala Gonone rising up from the Golfo di Orosei, is located on a steep hill at the foot of the extinct volcano Codula Manna and slopes down to the gulf. From here you can go on to discover numerous beautiful bays, such as Cala Ziu Martine, Cala Fuili, Cala Cartoe and Cala Luna, a beautiful pale blue bay dominated by steep, lunar grey rock walls.
Heading south, further inland, discover Baunei, a mountain village behind which opens up one of the most beautiful Mediterranean seas. Here canyons like Gorropu, karst valleys, steep limestone cliffs and Su Sterru, the famous Golgo chasm, a natural bottleneck nearly 300 metres deep, await you.
In the forest, near the Golgo, be prepared for intense hours of hiking to reach the splendour of Cala Goloritzé, a rocky, dazzling turquoise bay, and other lesser-known coves along the Selvaggio Blu, one of Italy’s most challenging and scenic hiking trails.
Continue your trip along the eastern Sardinian road and do not miss the Santa Maria Navarrese coves. The tourist resort of Arbatax is a hamlet of Tortolì, famous for its red rocks, cliffs of red porphyry stretching from the Bellavista promontory into the sea. Worth visiting are the small beaches of Cala Moresca and Porto Frailis.
Take a dip into the calm of Cea beach backed by the original red cliffs, where you can enjoy the priceless view of the bay.
Visit Barì dominated by the seventeenth-century tower that splits the beach in two and stroll along the beautiful marinas of Cardedu and Gairo.
A top destination on the eastern coast of central Sardinia, a town famous for its archaeological remains and craftsmanship, for nature of incomparable beauty both in the hinterland and the coast.
History and archaeology, traditions and craftsmanship, gorgeous seas and the mountain wilderness of the Supramonte, covered in a mantle of fragrant woods, will guide you into a magic legendary world. Dorgali boasts 225 square kilometres of wilderness, one of Sardinia’s largest and most beautiful areas. Along the characteristic streets of the historical centre you will stroll past houses made of volcanic rock and boutiques featuring delicate filigree jewellery and ceramics that, along with rugs, exemplify the artisanal vocation of this town. The churches of San Lussurio, of the Madonna d’Itria and Santa Caterina bear witness to the religion so heartfelt by its people. You will take a journey back in time at the archaeological museum, where relics from the Nuragic Age (especially those from the Nuragic village-sanctuary of Serra Òrrios) and from the Punic and Roman areas are on display. Not far from town are trails that lead hikers to the valle di Lanaittu, and through the legendary Tiscali Village, the defensive fortress built to hold off the advancing Romans.
Outside of town, just after a short tunnel, is a veritable gateway between the mountains and the sea, your eyes will gaze over the spectacular view of the Gulf of Orosei. A windy dirt path will take you down to Cala Gonone, famous for its coves and inlets, the destination of nature lovers, adventurers and romantic boating excursions. It sits on a steep hill that runs down to the water’s edge, where beaches of golden sand like Cala Cartoe, Ziu Martine e Cala Osalla offer quiet relaxation. By boat, or a strenuous hike, you can reach Cala Luna, which borders on Baunei, one of the Mediterranean’s most enchanting beaches. Graced with a beach of almost powdery sand and surrounded by blooming oleander trees it was the setting for the Lina Wertmüller cult film Swept Away. Further inland is the Codula di Luna, a deep gorge of steep walls and ancient juniper trees that have always acted as guardians of the beauty of this place. A guided excursion from Cala Gonone will take you to see the famous natural Grotte del Bue Marino, a series of grottoes that are home to ‘forests’ of stalagmites and stalactites, an underground saline lake and once the dwelling of the Monk seal. During the Cala Gonone Jazz event, the grotto becomes the venue of a truly unique, and spectacular, concert. And speaking of marine biology, don’t miss a chance to visit the aquarium in the town of Cala Gonone.
Orosei, with kilometers of white sand, such as in the beaches of Su Barone and Marina di Orosei, combines the magic of the mountains with the purest sea.
Orosei is surrounded by gorgeous seaside resorts that combine the magic of the mountains with the purest sea.
At about 11 km from the town center you can find the seaside village of Cala Liberotto, featuring light-colored coarse-sand beaches, popular with surfers and scuba divers, and the village of Sos Alinos, just one kilometer from the sea, where the main services are.
The old town has plenty of religious buildings; we recommend the baroque church of San Giacomo, the Church of Souls, featuring an eighteenth century wooden pulpit, and the church of Saint Anthony the Abbot, built in volcanic stone, featuring fifteenth century frescoes; nearby, bonfires are lit in celebration on 16 January. If you love the surprise of beautiful art, visit the "Don Giovanni Guiso" Museum of Miniature Theaters, exhibiting a special collection of tiny theaters from all over Europe. In Palatzos Vetzos, the site of the museum, there are also drawings from the "Roman School," a portrait of Alberto Moravia by Pier Paolo Pasolini and a rich library of ancient books that keeps a 1587 tome on the history of magic.
If you love the history of the ancient nuragic peoples, Rampinu nuraghe and the nuragic village of Sa Linnarta are in the area. On the last Sunday in May, the festivities in honor of Santa Maria 'e Mare start off with the procession of the statue of the Virgin by the river; an event where all the poetry of the small town unfolds. Pamper yourself with a dinner table full of flavors from the sea and make sure to take the opportunity to taste a seadas dessert coated with golden strawberry tree honey at the end of your meal.
Nuoro and the small townships are the island’s hidden and silent heart, dominated by the rugged and wild mountains of Supramonte and Gennargentu, where you can find the essence of Sardinian traditions and hospitality.
The centre of Sardinia, the island’s heart, is a stranger to the rhythms of the coast. A mountain scenery rich in forests, waterfalls and rivers in a breathtaking natural setting characterize this area.
Here reign special flavours, from the richness of the forests and the farms in the area. Mountain charcuterie, roast meats, cheeses, chestnuts and hazelnuts, predominate over a table enriched by the typical Carasau bread and accompanied by a glass of good Cannonau wine.
Here people live better and longer; the recipe for the “elixir” of long life is simple: fresh air, good food, a natural lifestyle and a vibrant social life that animates these mountains.
A trip to Sardinia’s interior is like diving into the ancient world of the island, where traditions testify to the deep roots of the Sardinian culture and the unique hospitality of the people who live there.
Each season has its charm. During the Cortes Apertas of Autunno in Barbagia, at the weekends from September to December, each one of the 26 hamlets involved opens their historic houses’ courtyards for a journey into art, craftwork and products of the earth. Each week is a different emotion, because the character and traits of each of Barbagia’ s small realities is different.
In winter when snow falls on the Gennargentu, almost everywhere bonfires are lit for Sant’Antonio del fuoco and in February the Carnival begins. In Mamoiada, Mamuthones and Issohadores masks lead one of the oldest rituals of the Sardinian tradition on stage, followed by collective, lively festivals with music, theme singing and dancing in the square in which both tourists and residents participate.
But spring and summer are magical too, through unforgettable trekking: paths to reach the Nuragic Tiscali village, guarded by a wide cave and going down to the Gorropu Canyon, two pearls in the heart of Sardinia start from here.
The heart of Sardinia, a complementary alternative to the marvels of the sea and chic lifestyle of the coast: small towns, warm hospitality, wholesome food, ancient traditions and timeless culture.
The Barbagia is the heart of Sardinia. A vast territory that encompasses the slopes of the Gennargentu, the massive mountain range at the centre of the island, and the lower peaks that surround it. The name Barbaria comes from the fact that it was here that the Sardinians took refuge as they resisted the onslaught of Carthaginians and Romans. There is, in fact, more than one Barbagia and the area is composed of various historical regions: the Barbagia of Belvì, of Bitti (the northernmost area), of Nuoro, Ollolai and of Seulo (the southernmost), as well as the area of the Mandrolisai, west of Gennargentu. You will be enchanted by the picturesque historic centres of the small towns, with their granite houses, coortes and the overhanging vines that line the narrow streets. Like, for example, at Gavoi, home of the famous Fiore Sardo cheese. At Orgosolo the streets seem to talk to you via the murales, wall paintings that tell of life, culture and local politics. The Barbagia is famous for the internationally renowned cannonau wines made at Mamoiada, Oliena and Dorgali.
If you love outdoor activity then go to the Supramonte, where the white of the rocks, the green of the vegetation and the blue sky come together with stunning chromatic beauty. At Oliena you’ll find the Su Gologone springs and the valle di Lanaittu, where the island’s oldest human remains have come to light, and the village of Tiscali, where, legend has it, the last Sardinians sought refuge from invading conquerors. At Orgosolo you can go to the Montes forest and enjoy gorgeous views of the top of mount Novu Santu Juvanne. You can walk all the way to the lovely Nuraghe Mereu, built with white calcareous rock, and the impressive Gorropu canyon, with 450m high walls, home of the royal eagle.
For a well-rounded understanding of Barbagian culture and tradition, visit the Museum of Sardinian Life and Popular Traditions in Nuoro. And to really satisfy your curiosity, don’t miss the carnival-like costumes, whose origins reach back to pagan fertility rites. Sheepskins, cow bells and masks depicting animal-like snouts and deformed faces symbolise the eternal battle between good and evil, life and death, the conqueror and the conquered. The most famous costumes are the Mamuthones of Mamoiada, the Thurpos at Orotelli and the Merdules of Ottana. The masks can also be seen at the museum of the Maschere del Mediterraneo in Mamoiada. Another local tradition is Tenores chant-like singing, which has earned a well-deserved place on the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage list. Its origins date back to time immemorial, when shepherds far from home in winter would gather around a fire and sing. If you miss hearing a live performance, you can listen to historic renditions at the Museo multimediale del Canto a Tenores in Bitti.
Sardinia’s highest peak rises at the centre of the Island, surrounded by pure air, pristine arid landscapes, dense forests, starry nights, the flavours of the mountains and the small villages that encircle it like gems, come to the heart of the island.
There is a massive mountain range at the centre of Sardinia, one covered in ages-old trees, the habitat of the royal eagle and the mouflon. The Gennargentu is a triumph of nature in a wild and pristine area. In spring its prairies are graced with colourful sa rosa ‘e monte, or peonies, which in Antiquity were the only flowers to bloom on Mt. Olympus. And when the many bushes of thyme begin to bloom just before summer, the air is filled with their intense fragrance. Many trails lead hikers to magnificent panoramas: go to Punta La Marmora, Sardinia’s highest summit at 1834m. The Gennargentu is a fairytale land in winter, when the snow whitens the peaks and everything seems to come to a halt. Go to Fonni and catch the ski lift to the slopes of Mt Bruncu Spina and Spada.
If you really want to get to know Sardinia, then explore its villages, small gems set in the mountains, surrounded by the island’s oldest woods, sample the cuisine and experience the traditions, allow yourself to be welcomed by the locals. The warmth of their hospitality will linger in your heart. The products made in the mountains are blessed with an inimitable flavour. In Desulo it’s the chestnuts, hams and famous Carapigna, a shaven ice snack that was once made with the snow preserved in the mountains. In Tonara try the delicious torrone (nougat) made with local hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts and honey. The ancient culture of these places is echoed in their traditions. Some of the older women still wear the brightly coloured garments of the past, and young women are adorned with precious jewellery, like the Sardinian wedding ring, passed along over generations. Young men test their manhood by participating in S’istrumpa, the Sardinian version of Greco-Roman wrestling that made the town of Ollolai famous, and sometimes they battle wits with improvised poetry accompanied by a choir of Tenores singers. The body of poetry that tells of the spirit of the Gennargentu is vast, but two Sardinian poets stand out above the rest: Antioco Giuseppe Casula, better known as Montanaru, from Desulo and Peppino Mereu from Tonara, who wrote numerous poems that were then set to music in such popular songs as Nanneddu Meu, Su Testamentu and Galusè, a tribute to the essence of these places, to the purity of the water.
The Barbagia region’s most populous town is steeped in tradition and culture, home to museums and art set in charming and beautifully preserved historical quarters
Nuoro is the Athens of Sardinia, bustling with cultural life since the 1800s, home to artists like Salvatore and Sebastiano Satta, Francesco Ciusa and the author Grazia Deledda, who made the city famous the world over. A stroll through the historical centre is a relaxing pastime, a step back in time as you walk over ages-old cobblestones along streets lined with old stone houses, courtyards, porticos and little squares that seem to appear out of nowhere. Among the old quarters is Séuna, once home to farmers and craftsmen, and Santu Pedru, where shepherds and landowners lived. It is here that you will find the Deledda Museum, the birthplace of the Nobel prize winner. The house is an homage to the memory of this author who opened Sardinia up to the world. She lies at rest in the little church della Solitudine at the feet of the Ortobene, city’s mountain or, as she defined it, “our soul,” a natural park well worth a visit. Corso Garibaldi used to be called Via Majore and has always been the social hub of the city, with shops and timeless cafés. Have a coffee at one of the outdoor tables there, then stroll about the narrow streets and enjoy a meal in one of the many characteristic restaurants or trattorias. Not far away is the old delle Grazie church, and the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve. Next to it is a belvedere that leads to the Tribu cultural centre and the Ciusa Museum, home to many fascinating sculptures made by Francesco Ciusa, the first prize winner of the 1907 Venice Bienniale. The Museo d’Arte di Nuoro (MAN) is a short walk away and hosts temporary international exhibitions and permanent shows of XX century Sardinian artists. Also not to be missed is the Museum of Sardinian Life and Popular Traditions, which will give you a taste of material and immaterial culture through displays of garments, jewellery, masks, textiles, tools and references to traditional singing, religious practices and festivities. Don’t miss seeing costumes like these in actual use during the sagra del Redentore on the last Sunday of August, featuring folk groups from all over Sardinia. The celebrations include a procession of the faithful walking from the city to Ortobene, at the top of which, at altitude of about 1,000m, is the statue of Christ the Redeemer (the Redentore). The 1,600 hectares of the mountain boasts traces of settlements dating back to prehistoric times, like the domus de Janas, as well as an infinity of gorgeous scenery, like Sedda Ortai park. Granite rock formations of unusual shapes hover interspersed between valleys, the home of a variety of mammals and rare birds of prey.