Le Nuraghe:
Sardinia's Unique Archeological Sites
[Regions of Italy] [Back to Sardinia]

Torralba, S. Antine. Section Around 1500 BC, a group of settlers arrived in Sardinia from an as-yet-unknown place and spread rapidly throughout the island, taking with them advanced building techniques, beautiful Hellenic pottery and what appears to be a fairly well-developed religion. Obsessed, as Sardinians have always been, with protecting themselves from invasion, the Nuragic people built roughly 30,000 circular fortified dwellings, strategically located so that each could easily see its neighbor. Today, 7000 of these megalithic structures survive, and they are unlike any other ruins in the world. The most important complex is Nuraghe Su Nuraxi, in Barumini, centered around a three-story tower built 3500 years ago. This site was recently added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. The complex consists of circular defensive towers in the form of truncated cones built of dressed stone, with corbel-vaulted internal chambers. Extended and strengthened in the first half of the 1st millennium under Carthaginian pressure, it is the finest and most complete example of this remarkable form of prehistoric architecture. Barumini is reached from Oristano or Cagliari by taking route 131 and turning off on route 197, toward Barumini. The ruins are located alongside the provincial road to Tuili, on the left, after about 1 km. It usually takes about 90 minutes to see the site; there is a snack bar and a parking lot. Click here to browse nearby lodgings.

Torralba, S. Antine. Section
Santu Antine

T
here are many nuraghe spread all over the island. Among the best preserved are S. Antine, which also has a central three-story tower connected by walkways to three two-story watchtowers; the Nuragic village of Serra Orrios, an unforgettably mystical spot where the abandoned ruins are immersed in an olive grove used mainly by shepherds; and Nora, an extensive village complete with amphitheatre, forum, baths, temple and kasbah.

To find S. Antine, take route 131 from Sassari, exit at Torralba and follow the Carlo Felice road towards Thiesi. There are no signs for the ruins, but you can see them from the road. A dirt road on the right leads to the entrance. Count on at least one hour for the visit. Click here for photos.



For Serra Orrios, take route 129 from Nuoro towards Orosei. After you pass the km19 milestone, turn off onto the provincial road for Dorgali. 3 km later, just before you get to Dorgali, signs will show you when to turn left. You'll need to park here and walk the remaining 600 yards on a dirt road to reach the Nuragic village. There is a small entrance fee, and guided tours are available.



To get to Nora from Cagliari, take route 195 south to Pula, at the very southern tip of Sardinia. From here, a poorly-marked provincial road leads to the ruins, which occupy a very picturesque seaside location.

Other good choices for sites to visit are Genna Maria in Villanovaforru (take route 131 from Cagliari toward Sassari, at the km50,500 milestone exit towards Villanovaforru. After 5.6 km, turn left towards Collinas. 450 meters later, turn left onto the dirt road that leads to the ruins. This is all well marked. There is a small entrance fee); Palmavera in Alghero (take route 127bis from Alghero towards Porto Conte/Capo Caccia, drive past Fertilia and the turnoff for SM La Palma, then continue for 4 km until you suddenly see a sign on the right, at km45,300. The ruins are half-hidden behind a row of trees, and are guarded); and Losa in Abbasanta (take route 131 to km 123 or 124, depending on the direction you are driving. When you come to the turnoff for Siniscola, you will see the ruins on your right [coming from Sassari] or left [coming from Cagliari]. There is a tiny museum and the road is well marked).

Most Nuraghe are closed in the afternoon and on Sunday; many charge no admission fee.


Arrubiu

Palmavera

Palmavera

Is Paras

 

Click here for lodgings in Sassari.

Click here for lodgings in Cagliari.


[Regions of Italy] [Back to Sardinia]