REGIONAL CAPITAL: Cagliari
PROVINCIAL CAPITALS: Nuoro, Oristano, Sassari
OTHER INTERESTING PLACES: Sant’Antioco and San Pietro Islands, Iglesias, Costa Verde, Barumini, Alghero, Porto Torres, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Palau and the Maddalena, Costa Smeralda, Olbia, the Barbagia.
Sardegna has always been considered an isolated land, and even today its people and culture maintain a separate identity from the mainland which they call il Continente (the continent). Despite the succession of invaders and colonisers it is often said that the Sardinians(Sardi) were never really conqured, but simply retreated into the hills. Even today the Sardi of the interior speak an ancient dialect and proudly maintain traditional customs. Sardegna’s savage, dark-bushed, sky-exposed land has incredibly beautiful gorges and highlands and kilometres of unspoiled coastline with salk lakes and herons. The island offers visitors a wide range of attractions from spectacular beaches and archeological treasures to the isolated interior , perfect for the more adventurous travellers.
PLACES TO SEE:
Cagliari: Anfiteatro Romano; Museo Archeologico Nazionale; Pinacoteca Nazionale; Torre di San Pancrazio; Cattedrale di Santa Maria; Bastione di San Remy;Orto Botanico.
Costa Verde (Buggerru, Sannicolao, Piscinas): magnificent stretch of coastline almost entirely unspoiled.
Oristano: Torre di San Cristoforo; Piazza Eleonora d’Arborea: Chiesa di San Francesco; Convento and Chiesa di Santa Chiara; Museo Antiquarium Arborense.
Penisola di Sinis (Tharros, Putzu Idu, Su Pallosu): lovely sandy beaches and ruins of the ancient Phoenician settlements.
Nuragic settlements ( Pozzo Sacro di Santa Cristina, Losa, Barumini, Serra Orios, Gerghi, Capo Caccia, Anghelu Ruju ): nuraghi are conical megalithic stone fortresses that are the only remnants of the island’s first inhabitants, the Nuragic People.
Alghero: Chiesa di San Francesco; the cathedral; Torre del Portal; Torre de l’Esperò Reial; Torre de Sant Jaume or Torre dei Cani; Spiaggia di San Giovanni; Spiaggia di Maria Pia; Grotta di Nettuno.
Stintino: Spiaggia La Pelosa with its gorgeous whitw sand and aquamarine water.
From Cala Gonone’s small port you can catch a boat to the spectacular Grotta del Bue Marino,Cala Luna ,Cala Sisine and Cala Mariolu.
Baunei, Urzulei and around: a good base for exploring the Gola di Gorropu and the high plain known as the Golgo.
In Sardegna you can taste many delicious variations of fish soup or stew such as brodetto and burrida. Bottarga is a dried, pressed tuna roe served grated over piping hot spaghetti. Culingiones are parcels of pasta filled with potato and wild mint. A typical dish is sa purcedda/ porcheddu a roast sucking pig flavoured with herbs and wood-roasted whole on a spit. Pane carasau is a particular crisp and paper-thin bread;topped with tomato, egg and pecorino sardo cheese is called pane frattau.Culizones e calameda are home-made ravioli stuffed with ricotta and mushrooms and served in meat sauce. Other specialities are: kid goat with olives; lamb trotters in garlic sauce; lobsters and sea urchins. Among the wines excellent is Anghelu Ruju.
In Cagliari on 1st May is celebrated the Festa di Sant’Efisio: the effigy of the saint is carried in procession to the small church of S. Efisio in the nearby town of Nora. In Oristano on the last sunday of Carnival (late February or early March) is performed sa Sartiglia, that had its origins in a military contest executed by the knights of the Second Crusade. Now involves masked, costumed riders who parade through the town before partecipating in a tournament where they must pierce the centre of a silver star with their swords while riding at full speed. In Sassari on 14th August town representatives in medieval costume carrying huge wooden columns through the town.
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