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Sardinia
 
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THE NURAGHI ISLAND
 

Discover Sardinia: Nuraghi, Sacred Wells and Tombs of Giants. What are and where are?
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SECRETS OF OLBIA
 

Ezcursion to the Olbia surroundings, full of amazing and mysterious archaeological sites.
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VILLAGE OF SERRA ORRIOS
 

Not only nuraghi: the nuragic civilization had its own villages, here is an example.
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NURAGHE LOSA
 

Abbasanta: discover the silent giant and ask him its secret.
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THE MOON OVER THE WELL
 

Santa Cristina Holy Well: lots of coincidences for a big mistery.
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Discover the island: Art and Archaeology
 ORIGINS - 6000 b.C TO 2500 b.C
 
The first artistic events in Sardinia date back to the ancient Neolithic age (6000-4000 BC). To this period belong the terracotta vase fragments decorated by impressing the valve of a seashell - the popular white arsella (clam) of Marceddì – on raw clay. Between 4000 and 2500 BC the Culture of Bonu Ighinu developed in the island, with small urban settlements and finely decorated ceramics in addition to the Culture of Ozieri, which saw the enlargement of towns and development of funerary architecture. Indeed, there is significant proof of archaic cults connected to the “Great Mother Land”, “Fertile sky” and “Cult of the Dead”. The domus de janas (fairy homes), rock tombs formed by an antechamber with wall niches and a chamber facing cells for the dead, belong to this period, too. Also important is St. Andrea Priu Necropolis, at Bonorva, some 50 km from Sassari, NE, on a 10-m-high trachyte wall with 20 domus de janas.
 
 NURAGIC CIVILIZATION - 2500-1500 BC
 
Megalitism spread on the island from 2500-1800 BC, with dolmen - simple burial chambers made of massive upright stones set into the ground and covered by a capstone and by perdas fittas (pierced stones), monoliths forming a circle that often bordered the tombs. In the Copper Age, Filigosa and Abealzu replaced the Ozieri culture. Towards the 16th century, the nuragic civilization developed, leaving 8000 nuraghes behind; the latter is a megalithic construction with one or more towers, interconnected with each other between galleries and ring-like corridors, with central aisle, pointed arch, defensive terraces and brackets. Nuraghes were placed in strategic points, often connected with each other, as can be seen visiting the Valle dei Nuraghi at Torralba (NW).
Usually, near Nuraghi there are the Giants’ Tombs, collective megalithic burial places formed by a corridor covered with exedras and bordered by smooth plates, with central monolithic stele and doorway called “delle anime” stand. This structure can still be seen when visiting, for instance, the Giants’ tombs of “Lu coddu ecchju” (or Capichera), 14 m long, and surmounted by a 4-m granite stele and that of “Li Lolghi” – both nearby Arzachena (NE). The nuraghe civilization is still visible in the Monteclaro and Bonnanaro Cultures, characterized by the processing of metals from which the numerous small bronzes found on the island, statues portraying warriors, ships and animals, were forged. The cult of water was evidence of religious faith and in its honor well temples or sacred wells were raised: these constructions feature ceiling stairs down to the level of groundwater (wells) under a false dome structure. The construction technique is more refined than that used for nuraghes, as witnessed by the sacred well of Santa Cristina in the province of Oristano (NW).
 
 PHOENICIANS AND ROMANS IN SARDINIA
 
Phoenicians invasions started in VIII century BC: this brought the first colonies along the coast: Bithia (Chia), Tharros, Nora, Carales. Still visible in these centers are signs of this ancient civilization and subsequent domination (Roman domination) under which they expanded further and flourished. Nora excavations show baths, floor mosaics, a beautiful II-cent. BC theatre, while two temples built around a “Punic” plant and two thermal structures, in addition to the remains of the ancient city, were found in Tharros.
With the Middle Ages and the intensification of commercial relations with the Maritime Republic of Pisa, Romanic art developed in Sardinia. The latter is the most important and varied in architecture. Most churches date from the XII to XIII centuries. Even though most churches are very different from one another, one can identify common traits such as the use of different stones, usually red trachyte and the use of different colors for the facades. Note Olbia’s St. Simplicio cathedral and St. Saccargia Trinity Church. Worth visiting are also older churches like S. Giovanni di Sinis (built around the XI century). After the Aragonese came the Pisans who left traces, instead, of a Gothic-Baroque style as witnessed by the Cathedral and the church of St Mary of Bethlehem in Sassari.
 
 

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