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Olbia - Monti
The departure is from Olbia, probably one of the locations in Sardinia that has changed its name the most during the course of its history. Founded by the Punic people as a commercial landing around the fourth century A.C., it passed, like the rest of the Island, under Roman rule and acquired great importance during the Imperial age with its present name as a feud of the Julia family. History reveals that it was also patrimony of Atte, rich concubine of the Emperor Nerone. With the decline of Rome’s supremacy, Olbia also declined, to relive again under the name of Fausiana and then, towards the year 1000, take on the name of Civita and then of Terranova, under the Ancient Kingdom of Gallura. It has another decline during the period of Spanish domination, to regain, with the intensification of traffic to Rome, capital of Italy, its important role as the port of access to Sardinia and the closest port to the Italian peninsula.
 
Situated in a profound bay, with a fertile, level inland, Olbia, with its port and airport, has reached a remarkable development thanks also to the numerous tourist resorts that extend, from North to South, along a coast of considerable beauty. The city is equipped with all types of facilities, hotel and restaurant structures making it extremely inviting. Interesting is the Romanic church of Saint Simplicio, built in granite hewn stone towards the end of the eleventh century. In its interior can be found a lovely collection of Roman funerary tombstone inscriptions. From Olbia you move on to the foot of the ragged Mount Limbara and the near artificial lake of Coghinas to reach Ozieri. A town with a suggestive appearance, constructed in the form of an amphitheatre in a sheltered basin, its architecture retains the aspect of “nobility”, with its stone buildings ornate with colonnades.
 
It is one of the greatest dairy producers with sheep, cattle, and above all horse breeding farms. In the nearby Chilivani, there is a horse breeding centre and a racetrack for horse galloping races. The culinary traditions of the products of its countryside are excellent, and famous are the “suspiros” typical biscuits made of almond dough and wrapped in colorful paper. The town’s cultural life is intense. It hosts the most prestigious literary award for poetry and prose in the Sardinian language.
 
Upon leaving Ozieri, on the S.S. 128, you reach Pattada, with its outskirts that are evocative both from a naturalistic and archaeological point of view. It is a centre famous for the production of the jack knives most used in Sardinia and probably, in all Italy, since the name “pattada” is commonly used to describe the hundreds of thousands of jack knives that are produced far from the Island. The authentic Pattada knife, that today is associated with the name of some great craftsmen, is an authentic jewel of quality blade production. The knife doesn’t have springs or locks, and presents itself in a characteristic lengthened leaf form to which a tempera flush is applied with a technique that is carefully kept secret and passed on from one generation of artisans to another. Upon leaving Pattada you move along the S.S. 389, that leads to Buddusò, a granite production centre, which presents itself in the grey shades of the stone that is used in the construction of all of the homes and pavements of the town. It is a sensation of almost uniform severity.
 
Buddusò is also the home of skilled craftsmen who work and carve wood. The object typically made by these artisans is a trunk. It is the most traditional and antique piece of furniture made by Sardinian wood craftsmen. At present the Sardinian trunks that expert artisans continue to produce have become very precious furniture elements. From Buddusò you proceed to the S.S. 389 to reach Monti. The landscape unfolds itself in a setting of incredible silence and rare, savage beauty. Cyclopean masses and granite pinnacles jut out from pastures that are broken here and there with small woods that get thicker as you go along, losing themselves in the horizon.
 
The streams that intersect the primitive landscape are deeply embanked and lost in little ravines, leaving uncovered the rounded rocks in its bed that contrast with the other granite rocks that are modeled by the wind with its flurry fantasy. Before reaching Monti, at the bottom of the valley, you can admire the scenario of the Mount Limbara with its ragged silhouette. The countryside around Monti is made up of well kept and orderly vineyards. This small and gracious town is dedicated to the cork industry and wine production. The white wines of Monti are very well known, amongst which excels Vermentino, used also for desserts and as an aperitif. The local Social Bottle Cellar annually hosts (on the first Sunday in August) the well known Sagra di Vermentino (Festival of Vermentino). Upon leaving Monti you join a new road that leads directly and rapidly to Olbia.
 
 

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