Discover local culture and history of Sardinia
The culture and history of South Sardinia is present everywhere! Whether you decide to visit the archeological site of Nora or the Cathedral of Cagliari, admire the beautiful costumes worn at festivities or learn about the antique rites of the island!
NORA, the sunken city
If you are passionate about the history of Sardinia and are staying around Pula, then you probably shouldn’t miss a visit to the archeological site of Nora, where Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans have left imposing traces.
Dominated by the Spanish Tower, Nora is located on the beautiful sea front, just outside the town of Pula (follow the signs). The atmosphere is fabulous in the late afternoon.
Nearby on the beach, you will see the cute little church of St. Efisio, which plays a predominant role on May 1st, during one of the most important celebrations of South Sardinia.
Sommer 9,00-20,00, Winter 9,00-17,30
Entrance fee: adults € 5,50, children under 14, € 2,50
Guided tours available
URBAN TRECKING – THE SECRETS OF CAGLIARI
Discovering Cagliari on your own, might be a bit daunting. But if you are interested in learning about the insights of the small narrow streets of the capital, where each house has its own story to tell … then that sounds really fascinating to me.
You will visit Castello, the district that dominates the city from above. Walking through the streets of Castello you can sense the history of the most authentic Cagliari, between the present and the past; the ancient palaces and hidden churches where the narrow streets have changed little since medieval times. You should not miss the magnificent Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the panoramic terraces of the ramparts of Saint-Rémy and Santa Croce, which in the summer nights are also the nightlife centre.
Guided tour for 25€/person can be booked at Sardeo:
BE A LOCAL IN SOUTH SARDINIA FOR A MORNING!
Sardinia has so many local products to offer – you have to see them all!
Markets are excellent places to absorb a little of the local culture and its traditions. Today, we invite you to visit the central market of Cagliari, one of the biggest fresh produce markets in Europe: the Mercato San Benedetto.
The market spreads over two floors and even onto the nearby streets, and really has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. The vendors are extremely friendly and welcoming while offering a once in a lifetime experience.
The ground floor is almost entirely dedicated to fish. In the buzzing atmosphere you will be gobsmacked by the sheer abundance and wide selection of fish and seafood available here. Feeling hungry in the middle of all this? Take a paper cone with freshly fried seafood – a cheap and very tasty snack!
On the first floor there is a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, meat and other local products. Enjoy the smells and the colors of real fresh food! Be curious and perhaps taste something you never tried before – just enjoy the real Sardinia.
The market San Benedetto is located in Via Cocco Ortu in Cagliari and is open every morning from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. To avoid the crowds, it’s better to plan your visit between Tuesday and Friday. Parking available in Via Santa Alenixedda or Via Manzoni.
VISIT BARUMINI AND ENJOY AUTHENTIC SARDINIAN FOOD
If you are staying in South Sardinia, you should not miss a visit to Barumini, just a 1.5 hour drive from Chia. Barumini features one of the most important archeological sites of the island (UNESCO heritage) where you can see the remains of the largest nuragic settlement dating from about 1600 BC! The entrance fee is 10 € for adults and includes the visit to the museum and the cultural center.
For lunch we can strongly recommend the Hotel Restaurant Su Nuraxi, which is just a few hundred meters further from the historical site. They propose authentic Sardinian food, cooked with the heart and served with the soul. Make your choice from the menu or just ask the friendly owner Carla, who will be happy to suggest the dish of the day. They also have a great choice of appetizers (antipasti) including local cheese and ham, as well as home-made pickled vegetables. If you decide to stay for the night, they also have cozy rooms in the back.
THE MINES OF SOUTH-WEST SARDINIA
The Sulcis Iglesiente, is a region in South-Western Sardinia, which extends from around Iglesias to the islands of San Pietro and San’Antioco. The area is particularly rich in minerals (especially lead, silver and zinc) and hosts many historical mining sites of industrial importance, part of which can be visited.
One of them is Porto Flavia located near Masua, just a few kilometres from Nebida. The mine was excavated in 1924 and was operating until the 70’s. Interestingly Porto Flavia revolutionized the transportation method of minerals: tunnels were dug at different levels and an ingenious conveyor belt collected the minerals, which by means of a jib, were then loaded directly on ships.
The mine is hanging between the sky and the sea, and the end of the tunnel opens up to a spectacular and breath-taking vista to the famous rock Pan di Zucchero (Sugarloaf). Today, Porto Flavia is a UNESCO protected site.
Make sure to book a guided tour to visit the tunnels to enjoy the view and then admire the old mine machines’ exhibition. The mine is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and visits are on reservation only (call +39 0781 491300).
Guided tour of the mine: adults € 8.00, children (6-12 years) 4.50€
Museum of mine machines: adults € 3.00, children (6-12 years) € 1.00
Porto Flavia is about 1.5 hour drive from our rental properties in Eden Rock and Chia. Thanks to its beauty and magic, with or without visit of the mine, this enchanting spot is the perfect destination for an unforgettable excursion.
For more information visit: http://www.igeaspa.it/it/visita_guidata_a_porto_fl.wp
EXPERIENCE ONE DAY EXCURSION IN THE PREHISTORY
This is journey into the past that allows you to travel and experience the region through knowledge and skills of Sardinia’s prehistoric ancestors. In this unique excursion you will camp over night, recognize and work instinctively raw materials to create utensils of daily use, you will learn how to light a fire with primitive methods, cook and eat what nature provides.
A unique and extraordinary excursion into the forest of Sette Fratelli, just about one hour drive from Cagliari and two from Pula.
Check out: http://www.sardeo.com/en/sardinia-for-families/
SAN MICHELE CASTLE – STUNNING VIEWS OF CAGLIARI
San Michele Castle is located on one of the highest hills of Cagliari, from where the best 360 degrees view of the city and the coast can be enjoyed. The main structure is from the Byzantine Period or first “Giudicale” Period (tenth century AD) which purpose was to defend Santa Igia, the capital of the “Giudicato” of Cagliari.
In 1327, after the Catalans conquered Cagliari, the castle was offered to Berengar Carroz. The Carroz family turned the castle into one of the most luxurious residences in Sardinia but when the last family member died in 1511, the property got included into the goods of the Spanish Crown.
During the black plague the Castle was used as a hospital and after that, it ended up suffering a long period of decadence. In 1895, a private owner bought the castle and committed to restore the building and plant a pine forest, which is still present today. In the Thirties the hill and the castle became a military domain. Today, following the major restoration works of 1990, the San Michele Caste offers a space for exhibitions, lectures and cultural events.
The park is huge, the view fantastic! It’s a great location to relax after a tiring city tour. Entrance: 3€
7 CHURCHES IN THE HEART OF CAGLIARI
The medieval district of Castello (Castle) is the oldest of the four historic districts of Cagliari. It is prominently located on a hill, about one hundred meters above sea, and is the heart of the city with its mighty walls that still surround most of the district perimeter.
Alone in Castello there are seven churches: 4 are in Gothic Aragonese style and 2 in Baroque style. However the most important is the Cathedral of Santa Maria, which was built by the Pisans in the thirteenth century and underwent profound stylistic changes over the centuries. In 1930, the facade was restored in an effort to give back to the church the original Pisan-Romanesque style. The church obtained cathedral status in 1258 and is now the seat of the archbishop of Cagliari.
The Cathedral is open daily from 8:00 – 12:00 and from 16:00 – 20:00. On request you can also visit the Cathedral Museum, where are held the most important works of the Cathedral Treasury.