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North Sardinia

Logudoro

The Logudoro region encompasses a vast area in northern Sardinia and corresponds to what was historically known as the Giudicato of Torres, one of the autonomous political entities that ruled over Sardinia during the medieval period.

Thanks to its fertile volcanic soils and the abundant presence of water sources, the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Dating back to this period (4th millennium BC) is one of the oldest cultural expressions on the island, known as the Ozieri or San Michele Culture. This name derives from a cave located in the municipality of Ozieri, within which elaborately crafted ceramic artifacts have been discovered, including vases adorned with geometric motifs and colored with red ochre.

The prehistoric communities in Sardinia were deeply spiritual and had a strong reverence for the deceased. During this era, domus de janas, rock-cut necropolis abundant especially in the northern regions of Sardinia, made their appearance.
These communities worshipped the Mother Goddess, a female deity associated with fertility, motherhood, and life. She was often depicted by figurines made of marble or clay with ample breasts and a prominent abdomen. The cult of the Mother Goddess was closely linked to the cult of the bull, also symbolizing fertility due to the animal’s perceived strength and power. It was not uncommon to find decorations or reliefs depicting bull heads on the walls of many domus de janas.
Both of these cults may have been connected to agricultural and biological cycles, much like numerous matriarchal and animal cults found in other ancient cultures.

With the transition to the Bronze Age, complex megalithic monuments like the nuraghi were erected throughout Sardinia, including the north. The most iconic among them is the Nuraghe of Santu Antine, which stands as the tallest and best-preserved nuraghe in Sardinia.

In addition to these prehistoric evidences, showcasing the remarkable social and cultural progress achieved by the ancient Sardinian populations, another distinctive feature, especially in northern Sardinia, is the high concentration of Romanesque-style churches. Among these, the Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia stands out, representing one of the highest aesthetic expressions of Romanesque-Pisan style, thanks to the bichrome walls made of limestone and black basalt ashlars, a distinctive element of the Umbro-Tuscan churches.

Gallura

Gallura is a historical sub-region located in the northeastern part of the island, bordering the larger area of Logudoro. Even in Gallura, the presence of humans has been documented since the Neolithic period, thanks to findings of Cardial pottery and the presence of dolmens and megalithic funerary circles, which are typical expressions of the Arzachena Culture.
This culture has not only influenced the Gallura, but also the nearby Corsica.

Despite its predominantly mountainous terrain, Gallura is primarily known for the Costa Smeralda, a coastal stretch that experienced significant economic development in the 1960s thanks to the tourism industry founded by the Arab prince Aga Khan. He recognized the potential of this area due to its stunning landscapes and enchanting coves.

With the support of some of the world’s best architects of the time, an architectural style was created that aimed to maintain continuity with the traditional appearance of Gallura. This style is characterized by harmonious simplicity that blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment.

Must-see towns in

Northern Sardinia

Castelsardo

Perched on a hill overlooking the coast, Castelsardo has played a strategic role since ancient times due to its geographical position.

During the Roman period, it served as a commercial port and later became one of the most important centres on the island under Genoese rule. It was during this period that the Doria Castle was built, along with the urban layout that developed around it, which has survived to the present day.

Thanks to the defensive effectiveness of the castle’s walls, Castelsardo was the last royal city to be conquered by the Aragonese. From the Aragonese era the cathedral of Sant’Antonio Abate was built, inside which numerous sacred artworks can be admired.

Alghero

Capital of the Riviera del Corallo (Coral Riviera), named for the abundant supply of precious red coral found off its shores, Alghero is also known as Barceloneta due to the Catalan rule which has hand down the language, still spoken by around 10% of the population.

The city we see today is the result of constructions dating back to the 12th century under the Genoese Doria family, who designed the first system of fortifications. This system consists of a long curtain wall with bastions, punctuated by 7 towers and 3 forts, along with various architectural styles that inspired the creation of palaces and churches, especially Neoclassical and Baroque.

The territory of Alghero has been inhabited since ancient times. Dating back to the Neolithic period are the domus de janas of Anghelu Ruju and Santu Pedru, where little statues of the mother goddess, bronze weapons, and inverted-bell beakers were discovered.

The archaeological village of Palmavera dates back to the Nuragic age, where one of the most important sandstone and limestone nuraghe can be found.

Nearby, within the magnificent natural park of Porto Conte, it is possible to admire numerous animal species such as griffins and peregrine falcons, as well as to visit the famous Neptuno’s Caves, inside the promontory of Capo Caccia, its cliff shaped like a sleeping giant.

 

Bosa

A member of the association “I Borghi più Belli d’Italia” (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy), a recognition awarded to small and picturesque villages renowned for their beauty and cultural heritage, Bosa also has human presence dating back to the Neolithic period. Evidence of this era can be found in the domus de janas necropolis of Pontes.

Its recent history is linked to the Marquis Malaspina family. The charming village, with its colorful houses and narrow cobbled streets, developed on the slopes of their castle, known as the Castle of Serravalle.

Within the castle walls, you will discover a quaint church dedicated to Our Lady De Los Regnos Altos, adorned with captivating frescoes depicting evangelical scenes.

Crossed by the Temo River, the only navigable river in Sardinia, along its banks lies a museum dedicated to old tanneries and the Romanesque church of San Pietro Extra Muros.

The Museo delle Conce, in particular, preserves the memory of the most significant industrial heritage that has characterized the village’s economy since the 15th century. The museum houses the original masonry processing tanks, a diverse array of equipment and tools, and a fascinating collection of photographic documents.

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Need a taylor made Tour?

Call us

+39 389 019 0723

Write to us

carlo@letsgotosardinia.eu

l

Contact the form

Fill in the form