The route winds through the main towns in the center of Sardinia; places of legends, myths, and with a considerable wealth of culture and traditions. Orgosolo is located in a valley at the foot of Supramonte and is known for being the town of murales, a true open-air art gallery. Mamoiada is rather famous for its traditional masks that led to the establishment of the Museum of local Masks. From Mamoiada continue to Fonni, the highest mountain village of Sardinia. Not far away Desulo, nestled in a woodland heritage of undeniable beauty; Belvì, home to the Natural Science Museum which houses important relics of mineralogy, paleontology, entomology and wildlife; Aritzo known for the trade of snow and the lemon sorbet called Sa Carapigna. Finally Gavoi, that in ancient times was part of a network of strategic importance to the ancient populations for the large number of roads and Roman bridges, remains of which can be still observed today.
Day 1: Orgosolo
The morning will be dedicated to the visit of the natural landscape in which Orgosolo is immersed, full of charm and splendor, with its landscapes of rare beauty, alternating high cliffs, caves, canyons carved by the river Cedrino and sinkholes. The ancient forest of Supramonte is unique for its richness and variety of oaks, junipers, yews, as well as a dense vegetation sometimes impenetrable, where you can meet wild sheep, wild boars and golden eagles that dominate with the majesty of their flights. In the immediate vicinity of the village you can visit archaeological sites of great interest: Domus de Janas, menhirs and Nuraghi. After lunch we leave to the discovery of Orgosolo, very famous for its murales, a true open air art gallery: about 200 paintings on the walls of the town. They tell of the hardships, the complaints and the great achievements of the community of Orgosolo, passing by the colorful stories of history to the depiction of everyday events and political world struggles. We will come to the dearer church to the people, the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, built in 1634, which houses the statue of the Virgin placed inside an urn of gilded wood, adorned with precious votive offerings. For a few years, an intense flow of tourists has shown interest in the birthplace and the crypt of the Blessed Antonia Mesina, whose relics, consisting in a simulacrum wearing the traditional costume of Orgosolo, are preserved in the parish church .
Day 2: Mamoiada and Fonni
At the Museum of Masks you can observe the most representative carnival masks, witnesses of an ancient Dionysian ritual with a savage and bloody flavor. The tour will continue towards Fonni, to the Domus de Janas de Istevene and Sa'e Mazzozzo, the menhir "Sa Perda Pintà", a unique piece. On the road between Fonni and Desulo is the Park of Donnortei, full of hiking trails in the green where we can admire the flora and fauna; beautiful specimens of Sardinian deer accompanied by their puppies, wild boars and other rare animals including, in particular, the Golden Eagle. Do not miss the hundreds of specimens of Natural Bonsai embedded in the rocks, and a few centuries old. After the hike a delicious stop for lunch with typical local dishes accompanied by a glass of myrtle and a bit of Filu Ferru. We will spend the afternoon in Fonni, the highest town in Sardinia. The first settlement dates back to the nuragic period and was formed in the district Canio. The old town is characterized by small houses from the roof of wooden splinters that develop around the fourteenth century church of the patron saint, St. John the Baptist; murales narrating traditions enrich the streets with scenes of daily life; the Basilica of Our Lady of Martyrs and his eighteenth-century paintings offer the discovery of particularity, with an artistic and cultural heritage among the richest and most famous.
Day 3: Desulo-Aritzo-Belvì
A tour through the historic center of Desulo will charm you with its glimpses unchanged over time, characterized by the typical houses made of schist stone. Also worth visiting is the old parish church dedicated to the patron Saint Anthony Abbot with an important structure from the architectural, historical and artistic point of view. In the forest Girgini we will find the highest Nuraghe of Sardinia at “Ura ‘e Sole”. In the afternoon we will leave Desulo to visit the mountain villages of Aritzo and Belvì, a short distance from each other. Belvì is a small town quite important in the past. Its houses are built with stones of schist, with wooden balcony and small windows. The streets are typical of the mountains, narrow and winding. We will visit the parish church, which was established in honor of St. Augustine, the church of San Sebastiano and the train station. Do not miss a visit to the Natural History Museum which preserves examples of mineralogy, paleontology, entomology and wildlife, with many examples of Sardinian fauna. Highlight of the museum is the collection of butterflies and that of diurnal and nocturnal birds, with species now rare. A short distance away lies at the foot of the Gennargentu Aritzo, famous for the trade of snow and the lemon sorbet called Sa Carapigna. In the village you can still see remnants of the old domus de nie, the houses of the snow. Important economic activity in the mountain towns is the craft of chestnut wood which follows the aritzese traditional techniques of carving. The use of wood has also spread to the balconies of the houses, which stand out with their pink color from the harsh stone walls. Near the village is the Tacco Texile, a limestone - dolomite rock formation resembling a mushroom.
Day 4: Gavoi
Leaving Belvì we head towards Gavoi for a nature and archeology hike in the heart of Barbagia between mountains, valleys, plateaus and rivers. The village is surrounded by spectacular Gennargentu forests, home to rare animals of particular interest and in the surrounding territory, inhabited since prehistoric times, several menhirs, Domus de Janas, but especially the Nuraghe of Castrulongu and Talaikè . We will reach the valley of Lake Gusana framed by a thick forest of oaks, chestnut trees, holly, walnut and cherry. The basin is interesting for lovers of sport fishing and water sports like canoeing and windsurfing. In the afternoon we will visit the town, dating back to Roman times. Striking is the basilica dedicated to Sant 'Antioco Martyr, surrounded in a large area from the catacombs. The church houses a wooden statue of the saint, dating from the eighteenth century, and many ex-voto made of gold and silver filigree. Within the village you can also visit the museum Jocos, dedicated to the aspects of local agro-pastoral culture, and the Civilization of highland dedicated to the life of the transhumant shepherds.