Sagama

Sagama is a little village in the Planargia region, located about 55 kilometers north from Oristano. The village, inhabited by less than 200 persons, is immersed in the picturesque vineyards and forests. However, the small town is also an important historical place, inhabited in the past by the ancient Nuragic civilization, which lived in Sardinia in the Bronze Age. Scientists believe that the Nuragic were an endemic Sardinian civilization, which did not inhabit any other part of the world. The beginning of their presence is registered at around 1800 BCE, whereas the end corresponds to the arrival of the Romans in 238 BCE. While visiting Sagama and surroundings, you will learn more about the millennial history of the island, its fascinating culture and traditions.

Sagama, the center of a nuraghe crown

Sagama is located on a hill in the valley called Badd’e Sagama, in the middle of an ancient nuraghe crown. Originally, the crown was composed of nine nuraghe, megalithic constructions erected in the Bronze Age. Nowadays, we can still admire the remains of six of them, called Funtanedda, Nuratolu, Molineddu, Muristene, Mura de Ganes and Pascialzos. Other important constructions of the nuragic times in the area are funeral monuments, like the Giants’ Tombs in Triganino, Sa Costa-Triganinu, Terra d’Onore or Fakkiganu. The territory registers also traces of the Roman era, among which burials, coins or roof tiles, and a menhir Sa Pedra Marmurada in Mura Pianu. While visiting Sagama, do not miss the churches of Santa Croce and of Virgine del Carmelo, as well as the parish church of San Gabriele Arcangelo from the 17th century.

Tinnura

Known for the beautiful murals decorating walls of the buildings, the zodiac fountain and asphodel baskets, Tinnura is a small village of 247 inhabitants, located in the Planargia region, an area mostly belonging to the province of Oristano. The village is in fact an ‘open-air’ museum of modern art, which will enchant you with picturesque murals  painted on the facades of the houses, admired every year by Italian and foreign tourists. The name of the village has pre-Roman origin and derives from thinnías, the plant of thorny rush which grows in the nearby rivers. The patron saint is Saint Anna, celebrated on July 26th with religious and civil rites. Another heartfelt feast takes place at the beginning of September and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Remedy.

The murals of Tinnura

While walking around Tinnura you will discover numerous murals covering walls of the buildings. These paintings of great artistic quality represent scenes from the daily life of the community, images of denunciation, suffering and hopes. The origin of the Saridnian murals comes from the social discomfort of the 60s. As the times passed, the murals became a tool to tell the history of the small local realities of the island. The small village of Tinnura, in the province of Oristano, has to offer an extraordinary example of murals that tell the life of its inhabitants in pictures, depicted with an incredible realism. As a matter of fact, every gesture and expression is taken care of in the smallest details, the walls of the buildings come alive and become the stage of memory. The little village is worth a visit, it will leave you speechless.

Tresnuraghes

The region of Planargia, located on the east-north of Sardinia, hides numerous little villages of particular beauty and fascinating history. One of them is Tresnuraghes, a village inhabited by about 1,200 people, located ten kilometers south from Bosa. This centuries-old town will help you to discover many interesting facts about Sardinian history and culture.

Tresnuraghes, the village of three nuraghes

The name of the village comes from its vicinity to three nuraghes, ancient constructions built by the Nuragic civilization which inhabited Sardinia until the second century BC. From the three original constructions, only the remains of one of them survived until our times. In the surroundings of the village there are also other important buildings from the nuragic era, like the nuraghes Tepporo, Martine and Nani, as well as an ancient grave called the tomb of giants.

Visiting Tresnuraghes

While walking around the village take your time to visit the parochial church of Saint George Martyr (chiesa di San Giorgio Martire) and other temples in the area. Do not miss also the museum called Casa Deriu, where you will discover more about life of the bourgeois Sardinian families, see authentic furniture of the previous inhabitants of the building as well as a collection of roughly 1000 volumes published between the 17th and the 20th century. In the surroundings of Tresnuraghes, around five kilometers from the village, you will find the Torre Foghe, a watchtower built on the mount Riu Mannu during the Spanish domination. In the past, the watchtower Torre Foghe, together with the watchtowers of Ischia Ruja and Columbargia made up the coastal warning system of the area.

Montresta

Montresta is a little town in the north-eastern Sardinian region of Planargia, inhabited by about 650 people. The village, immersed in the beautiful landscapes and Sardinian nature, offers a possibility to discover rich local traditions, interesting millennial history and extraordinary works of contemporary street art.

History of Montresta

The town of Montresta was founded by a group of Greek Maniots in the 18th century, under the name of Villa San Cristoforo. The Greeks, who at that time were looking for a new settlement, were invited by the king Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia to move and settle on the territory of Montresta. However, their presence in the zone did not last long. Due to the hostile attitude of the inhabitants of Bosa, most Greeks abandoned the area in the following years.

Visiting Montresta

The surrounding of Montresta hides different traces of ancient civilizations which inhabited the area over the centuries. Among them, you will find some prehistoric graves called domus de janas, the nuraghe Badu de sa rughe as well as important rests of a Carthaginian fortress, known as “Sa Turre”. While visiting Montresta, do not miss the church of Sacro Cuore and the church of Saint Christopher Martyr (chiesa di San Christoforo Martire). The town is also famous for the traditional artisanal production of beautiful baskets, woven with rush and asphodel. During your visit you will be astonished by fantastic murals painted on the walls of the buildings, which show scenes from the everyday life of the village and history. From the town you can also enjoy the breathtaking view on the whole valley. In some places it is possible to observe the griffon vultures, a protected animal species.

Flussio

Sardinia is an island of extraordinary geographical diversity, with an exceptionally rich history and tradition. Although most tourists associate it with the emerald coastline and major cities such as Cagliari and Alghero, the island is also full of small villages that hide true pearls of history and culture. One such place is Flussio, a town where tourists will discover spots connected with the island’s extraordinary history and unique local traditions.

Flussio, a village full of history

Flussio is a little village in the region of Planargia, located on the north-east of Sardinia. The settlement, inhabited by around 440 people has been a home of humans since prehistoric times and still nowadays conserves traces of its millennial past. Among the most relevant ancient monuments, there are the nuraghes of Caddàris, Carcheras, Giannas or Murciu, two giant tombs called sa figu bianca and sos trainos, as well as a nuragic wall situated in proximity to the wonderful church of San Bartolomeo from the 12th century.

Artisanal production in Flussio

The little village is also famous for the traditional artisanal production of baskets called corbule. In April, during the harvest of the material used for baskets production – asphodelus, the inhabitants of the village celebrate the feast called Tirende isciareu. The festival is a perfect possibility to discover more about the asphodelus harvesting and traditional basket weaving. Visitors who will not have the opportunity to participate in the event should pay a visit to MUDAS (Museo Diffuso dell’Asfodelo), the museum of asphodelus. As far as the gastronomic tradition is concerned, the village is well-known for the production of the Malvasia wine and belongs to “Strada della Malvasia di Bosa”, the network of local wine producers.

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Blog dedicated to articles about all Sardinia and its peculiarities, history, places. nature (photos on Instagram )

 

 

Altar of Monte D’Accoddi

The Temple/Altar of Monte d’Accoddi (from the archaic kodi, ‘stone’), dating back five thousand years, is a unique ziqqurat in Europe for its singularity of architectural types. It was discovered in the middle of the 20th century.

When you visit it, you feel a sense of bewilderment and you perceive a strong ancestral energy that captures your gaze and involves you spiritually.  It is said to be an altar dedicated to the Moon, precisely to two moon gods, the God Narna and the Goddess Ningal.

Legend says  that the altar was commissioned by a Mesopotamian king named Uruk, which is why it took the shape of a ziqqurat.  Situated along the SS131 way, in the direction of Porto Torres, thanks to archaeological and historical research carried out, the altar is the overlapping of two phases, that of the ‘red temple’, in the final Neolithic (3500-2900 BC), and the subsequent ‘stepped temple’, in the Eneolithic (about 2700 BC). On the sides of the Altar, an elongated menhir (four and a half meters high), a huge slab with seven holes (perhaps to tie the victims) and spheroidal stone boulders, one of five meters in circumference. Around 2800 B.C., the structure of the ‘red temple’, abandoned for about two centuries, was covered by a colossal filling of earth, stones and calcareous marl, in turn ‘covered’ by large blocks of stone. The building preserved its religious function for a millennium: at its feet were found remains of ‘sacred meals’ and objects used in propitiatory rites. The site was abandoned at the beginning of the ancient Bronze Age (1800 B.C.) and reused occasionally for burials.

Studies are still in progress to define even better the historical and archaeological setting of the Altar of Monte d’Accoddi, certainly is that the symbolism helps us in defining the steps as having a probable function of ascent and ascent to heaven.

Archaeological research has also returned many finds that recall the “Cult of the Mother Goddess” which is the basis of the first spiritual conceptions of Europe and the Mediterranean, in which Sardinia is perfectly inserted. Fragments of statuettes, and two stone steles carved in stone refer without equivocation to this type of ancestral religiosity, linked to the earth and the feminine principle.  The “Cult of the Mother Goddess” venerated and honoured the divine aspects linked to the creation of life, with the mysteries of birth and death.

https://www.luoghimisteriosi.it/sardegna_montedaccoddi.html

http://turismosassari.it/it/esplora-it/arte-e-cultura/item/380-monte-d-accoddi-un-altare-preistorico-unico-nel-mediterraneo

https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/it/esplora/tempio-altare-di-monte-daccoddi

https://www.sardegnasacra.it/tempio-preistorico-di-monte-d-accoddi/

San Salvatore di Sinis, the town of the spaghetti western

San Salvatore di Sinis is located on the Sinis peninsula, in the central western part of Sardinia, close to the amazing ancient city of Tharros. Over the centuries, this little town has hosted different civilizations, which left various traces of their presence on the territory. However, San Salvatore di Sinis played also an important role in the history of the Italian cinema, as for years was considered the Italian “Far West” and served as a cinematographic set for different spaghetti western productions. An exceptional and particular town which should definitely be visited by the fans of cinema and history.

History of San Salvatore di Sinis

The village owes its name to a small church from the 17th century, located in the center of the town. But the temple of San Salvatore served not only as a Christian shrine; in the past, this particular spot has been the place of worship of different civilizations. In fact, the undergrounds of the temple hide an ancient pagan sanctuary, which was used by the nuragics and the Romans. The hypogeum, which can be accessed by small stairs, was built around a well, located in the main room of the shrine, and was transformed into a Christian church in the 4th century. The walls of the hypogeum still conserve some inscriptions in Greek, Latin, as well as in Arabic, which come probably from the Medieval. Around the church, there are some little houses called cumbessias, which served as shelters to pilgirims coming to the town.

San Salvatore di Sinis, a cinematographic set

The little town became well-known in the sixties and seventies thanks to its role as the cinematographic set in the Italian productions called “spaghetti western”. Its resemblance to the southern parts of the US as well as to the Mexican villages made of the town a perfect location for this kind of movies. The village hosted some of the most important productions of this kind in Italy, among which the western with Clint Eastwood from 1964 “Per un pugno di dollari” (A fistful of dollars), directed by Sergio Leone.

San Salvatore di Sinis nowadays

Nowadays, during the year the village of San Salvatore di Sinis is uninhabited and it becomes populated only at the beginning of September during the celebrations of the San Salvatore festivity. The most important element of the celebrations is the so called “Corsa degli Scalzi”, a barefoot run. During the 7-kilometers-long run, the participants who wear no shoes, bring the statue of San Salvatore from the town of Cabras to the church of San Salvatore di Sinis.

Sources

https://www.marecalmo.org/2017/09/07/ipogeo-di-san-salvatore-di-sinis/

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Salvatore_di_Sinis

https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en/explore/san-salvatore-sinis

Stintino: history and beaches

Stintino is a little village located on the peninsula with the same name, in the northwestern part of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari. Inhabited by about 1,600 people, this beautiful fishing village is a popular summer tourism destination, known mainly for its wonderful beaches, rich seafood cuisine tradition and proximity to the Asinara National Park. A beach holiday paradise and a perfect spot to discover the amazing nature of Sardinia.

History of Stintino

The foundation of the Stintino village dates back to 1885, when the Italian government decided to build a penal colony and an epidemic hospital on the island of Asinara. At that time, Asinara was inhabited by 50 families, which due to the project had to resettle to other territories. After leaving the island, the majority of the families decided to establish a village on the neighbouring peninsula of Stintino.

A little village whose inhabitants made a living mainly from fishing, started gaining in popularity as a tourist destination in the 20th century. Nowadays, during summer Stintino is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The visitors appreciate the breathtaking nature, rich seafood cuisine tradition, emerald sea and wonderful beaches, with the beach la Pelosa being the most famous among them. Nearby la Pelosa there is also a little islet with an old tower of the same name. Built during the Aragonian dominion, the tower served until the first half of the nineteenth century as a part of the defensive and communication system on the Sardinian coast. Nowadays, the fortification is the hallmark of Stintino and an attraction of the area. Behind the little islet, there is a wonderful view on the island Isola Piana, located in front of the National Park Asinara, easily reachable by boat from Stintino.

Visiting Stintino

The little village of Stintino will enchant the visitors with its characteristic architecture and wonderful nature. The eastern coast offers numerous beaches with white and morbid sand, ideal for a calm and relaxing holiday. Apart from la Pelosa, another beach worth visiting is the beach Le Saline in Capo d’Orso. This spot, located about four kilometers from Stintino, is appreciated for the quartz sand and the remains of old salt pans in the area. Other wonderful beaches in the surroundings are Ezzi Mannu with beautiful dunes, Cala Coscia di Donna recommended for snorkeling, Punta Negra, Cala Lupo or La Pazzona, located about 10 minutes drive from Stintino¹. Fans of diving and snorkeling will enjoy discovering the rich and colorful marine flora and fauna. The peninsula is also a site beloved by surfers and kite surfers, who can rent the water sport equipment in various points along the coast.

During summer, the town hosts an event called “Stintino Summer Festival”, full of concerts and different cultural meetings. In July, the seafood gourments will have the opportunity to taste various dishes prepared with octopus, served during “La Sagra del Polpo”. Last but not least, tourists interested in discovering more about the history of fishing in the village, especially the tuna finishing, are invited to visit the Tuna Fishing Museum (il Museo della Tonnara).

Sources

1. https://www.expedia.it/explore/le-7-piu-belle-spiagge-di-stintino

2. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torre_della_Pelosa

3. https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en/places/north-west/stintino

4. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stintino

Asinara, the island with an interesting history

A natural paradise in the middle of the emerald sea, inhabited by numerous endangered plant and animal species and strictly protected by the environmental law. Asinara, the second-largest Sardinian island after Sant’Antioco, is located on the northwest of the region. A pearl of the Sardinian nature and a territory with an extremely interesting history, the island attracts numerous tourists interested in discovering this unusual place.

History of Asinara

This little Sardinian island has a long and interesting history. As a matter of fact, Asinara has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. The oldest traces of the human presence, the ancient necropolis called domus de janas in Campu Perdu, date back to the Neolithic Age. In the following centuries, Asinara was colonized by the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans, who used to call it Herculis Insula¹. The waters around the island still conserve remains of the Roman boats whereas the cove Cala Reale hides a load of the ancient amphoras, which lay accumulated on the sea bed. Nowadays, the area constitutes and extremely important archaeological site.

In 1885, the Italian government decided to establish on the island a hospital and a penal colony. As a consequence, 50 families living on the island at that time were forced to resettle, and the majority of them decided to set up a village on the nearby peninsula Stintino. During the first World War, Asinara served as the penitentiary facility for war prisoners. Some years later, in the sixties, the Italian authorities established there a maximum security prison, where brigatists and mafiosi were incarcerated. In all these years, only one prisoner managed to escape from the strictly protected jail. For this reason, the Asinara’s prison used to be called the Italian Alcatraz.

The prison was eventually shut down in 1998. Two years later, the island was put under the protection and since then the territory constitutes the Asinara National Park (Parco Nazionale dell’Asinara).

The Asinara National Park

Limited human activity over the last centuries allowed the island to conserve a lot of its natural flora and fauna treasures and a unique ecosystem. The 52 square kilometers of Asinara are a habitat of many rare and endangered plant and animal species. A particularity among the animals are the white Sardinian donkeys. It is believed, that the island owes its name to this rare animal, since the Italian word asino means exactly a donkey. Moreover, the territory is the habitat of about 150 species of marine birds, horses and mouflons. With a relevant presence of the cetaceans, since years Asinara is a part of a Marine Protected Area called the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary.

Sources

  1. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asinara

  2. https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en/explore/asinara-national-park

  3. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcere_dell%27Asinara

  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligurian_Sea_Cetacean_Sanctuary

  5. https://www.itinari.com/it/discover-asinara-the-italian-alcatraz-kz9c