Sardinia - Travel Guide and Tourism Information for Sardinia, Italy

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Sardinia, Italy

SARDINIA
Provinces: Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano, Sassari

Sardinia is, by extension, the second largest island in the Mediterranean: situated in the middle of the Western Mediterranean, just 12 km from Corsica, and at a distance of 120 km from Tuscany . The Sardinian coasts are generally high and rocky, and in many sections run more or less straight; the coast is however varied by more articulated sections, with promontories and wide and deep bays surrounded by islets.

CAGLIARI


Situated at the center of the southern gulf that extends from Cape Spartivento to Cape Carbonara, Cagliari is the main harbor and one of the gateways to Sardinia. Dotted with Pisan towers and a Spanish castle, Cagliari has other Spanish touches, such as its flower-lined patios, decorated with ceramics similar to the Portoguese azulejos.

Have a walk in the Castello neighboorhood in the old town and visit the Cathedral, the 16th century church of the Purissima, the churches of Santa Maria del Sacro Monte di Pietà, Santa Croce and San Giuseppe. Near the Cathedral are the former City Hall, the Palazzo del Vicerè, and the Archbishop's Palace. Further away - the Arsenal, today transformed into the Cittadella dei Musei (Citadel of Museums), and moving down, the Belgrano Palace, home to the city's University.

The National Archaeological Museum hosts ceramics and pre-nuragic statuettes, Phoenician tomb furnishings, splendid Punic jewelry Roman sarcophagi, and gold jewelry dating from the High Medieval period. Other museums include: National Art Gallery, Siamese Museum, Anatomical Wax Collection.

In the Marina neighboorhood next to the port have a look at the churches of S.Antonio Abate and Santa Rosalia which are Baroque in style, while San Sepulcro and Sant'Eulalia are Gothic-Catalan in design. Sant'Agostino, with its monumental interior, is one of the rare examples of Renaissance ecclesiastical architecture on the island.

The area of Stampace is home to some of the island's most important archaeological sites.like the Amphitheater (2nd century A.D.) and the Tigellio Villa. Near the S.Avendrace neighborhood, the Tuvixeddu necropolis with its Phoenician-Punic origins (a cemetery later utilized by the Romans), and the monumental Grotta della Vipera, a 1st century tomb.

SASSARI


Sardinia's second largest city. The most important monumental buildings are: the St. Nicholas Church, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Giordano, Piazza Italia and the Rosello Fountain. St. Nicholas dominates the old town with its impressive, baroque façade.

The Palazzo Ducale was built at the end of the 18th century by Antonio Manca, the marquise of Mores and duke of Asinara, most likely according to Carlo Valino's project. Piazza d'Italia, constructed in 1872, spreads over 1 ha and is also called "Sassari's lounge”. The Rosello Fountain dates back to the 17th Century, a time when there was no aqueduct in the most important point of the city. The fountain is covered with marble and decorated with sculptures.

ALGHERO


A walk around the old town should take in the series of seven defensive towers which dominate Alghero's centre and its surrounding walls. At the bottom of Via Umberto stands the sixteenth-century Cattedrale, where Spanish viceroys stopped to take a preliminary oath before taking office in Cágliari. Outside the old quarter, most of the tourist activity takes place around the port, its wide quay nudged by rows of colourful fishing boats and bordered by bars.

NUORO


The modern aspect of this town lives side by side with the signs of its antique origins, found in the San Pietro and Seuna districts.

The exhibits at the Speleo-Archaeological Museum provide a clear synthesis of the prehistoric and proto-historic periods; the Ethnographic Museum displays the objects and costumes of popular traditions. Among the items of architectonic and artistic interest are the church of Le Grazie, the Cathedral, the country church of Valverde and that of La Solitudine which hosts the remains of the Nobel for Literature in 1926, Grazia Deledda.

ORISTANO


Founded in the XI Century, it became the capital of the Giudicato of Arborea in 1070. Visit the Duomo of Santa Maria and Eleonora D'Arborea's house. This building is located in Parpaglia Street, where the city's oldest and most traditional inn is also located The Duomo of Assunta is also in the same area.

It's a mixture of different artistic styles, baroque being the outstanding one. Opposite is the St. Francis church, completely rebuilt in the neo-classical style.

Inside, to the left of the altar, is the famous Nicodemo's crucifix, the most important example of a Spanish gothic sculpture in Sardinia. Oristano houses the important Antiquarium Arborense Museum, with its numerous findings from the Nuraghic and Roman Ages. Other interesting monuments in the historical centre include the church of St. Dominic, the church of St. Clare and the Chiesa del Carmine.

MADDALENA ISLANDS


They are located inside the Straits of Bonifacio along the north-eastern coast of Sardinia and can be reached by ferry from Palau in 15 minutes. La Maddalena Island is surrounded by Budelli, Caprera, Razzoli, Santa Maria, Santo Stefano and Spargi. This group of small granitic rock islands has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

Budelli - Is one of Italy's most enchanting beaches and it is famous for its pink sand produced by the coral shattered by the raging sea. Today, it is a highly protected island. The best mooring places are the almost deserted little beach of Cala d'Arena (south-eastern point) and the Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach).

Caprera - This island has been declared a natural reserve for the particular species of seabirds living on it. You may visit Garibaldi’s house, now a museum and a memorial chapel. La Maddalena: the largest island. It has a triangular shape, a surface of 20 km2, nearly 45 kilometres of generally high and jagged coasts and a rich vegetation of berry trees, myrtles and cysts. An ideal island for holidays.
 

Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the northern area has become a favourite retreat of Italian celebrities, especiallty the glamourous towns of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo.

The "Nuraghi": There are numerous Bronze Age remains throughout the islands, the best known being the nuraghi - circular (sometimes conical) stone dwellings. The largest collection of these may be found at Su Nuraxi, about 80km (50 miles) north of Cagliari ; they are circular defensive towers in the form of truncated cones.

Santa Teresa di Gallura: here you’ll see natural sandstone formations which resemble animals like elephants or rhinos.

Porto Torres - With its 11th century church of S.Gavino.

Gennargentu is a rugged crest of mountains, formed principally of schists which lend an undulating aspect to the landscape. The main activities carried out are sheep-rearing and exploitation of the forest. In the Gennargentu Natural Park there is also much evidence of the nuragic era, such as the remains of the Mereu and Gorroppu nuraghes and the nuragic village of Tiscali.

Sardinia, Italy - Travel Guide and Tourism Information
 
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