CAMPIDANO AND SULCIS
The region hosting the Campidano plain is of a fluvial origin and extends from the southern part of the Gulf of Oristano – crossing the Island diagonally in a south-eastern direction – to the Gulf of Cagliari. The plain is filled with archaeological finds of historic -artistic value that are often found in the middle of the countryside. One example is the country chapel of Santa Maria that stands to the east of the village of Uta. It was built in Romanesque style and considered one of the most beautiful churches on the Island.
If you want to be swept away by the beauty and charm of vivid colours and expressions of modern art, we suggest a tour of San Sperate, an outdoor, living museum that is also famous for its orchards.
"Carlo Felice" is at the heart of the island, connecting southern and northern Sardinia. The road skirts the towns located along the island's largest plain and each town has its own particular characteristic: San Gavino Monreale is known for its saffron and the picturesque festivals held there during Carnival; Sarda hosts the famous thermal baths and along with Aggius, Laconi and Gavoi , it was awarded the prestigious Touring Club Orange Flag in July 2005.
The city of Sanluri is not far from Sardara. It is the capital of the province of Medio Campidano along with Villacidro. Its most famous monument is the "Eleonora d'Arborea" castle, the only medieval castle in Sardinia that is still inhabited since it has been restored recently to host museum exhibitions at the "Duca d'Aosta" Risorgimento Museum. Sanluri is also renowned for "civraxu", exquisite bread made with durum wheat.
The other provincial capital is Villacidro and is famous for being the birthplace of Giuseppe Dessì (winner of the Strega Award for his Paese d'Ombre). The city is immersed in an area characterized by majestic mountain ranges, extended woodlands and various bodies of water from which streams and waterfalls originate. One of these is Sa Spendula, a traditional destination for tourists, that was visited by Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1882 and to which he dedicated a sonnet. This area also delineates the border between the Medio Campidano plain, the Linas' massif and the imposing mining structures in Guspini.
Generally speaking, the towns in the Campidano area are often filled with houses built in the typical tradition calling for a group of buildings in bricks of clay gathered around a courtyard with juniper beams and reeds on the ceilings.
Cagliari has always been a crossroad for different cultures and the economy of the island. It shines under a particularly dazzling sun that glows on the churches and alleys even during the winter. The historical districts of the city include Castello, Marina, Stampace and Villanova. The same sun glistens on the entire gulf area where the cities are arranged in semicircles and stand next to important sanctuaries overlooking breathtaking views.
Aside from the countryside and the sea, the province of Cagliari is also famous for Molentargius, a wetland surrounded by groves of reeds, canes algae and majestic pink flamingos that have settled here permanently.
Lastly, there are many small inlets where naturism can be practiced during low tourism season.
Sulcis is the southernmost area of the Island, bordering Campidano to the east, the Mediterranean to the west and Iglesiente to the north.
The area of Sulcis has been inhabited since prehistoric times due to the wealth of coal mines. It is densely covered in Mediterranean brush and is characterised by the presence of the Mediterranean strawberry tree. Aside from its flourishing landscapes, this area also offers many places of cultural interest.
Among the naturalistic areas in the Sulcis area we would like to suggest a tour of Monte Arcosu – which has become a natural WWF oasis – filled with flourishing flora and fauna (beautiful deer) and in the vicinity of the evocative beaches at Chia and Santa Margherita di Pula. The Is Zuddas grotto is located in Santadi and home to spectacular calcareous concretions.
There is great evidence of "Pisan" Romanesque architecture in the Sulcis area as well, as can be seen at the Santa Maria di Tratalia cathedral.
Narcao is another town in the area that became internationally known in 1991 for being the home of the prestigious Narcao Blues Festival – a destination for all Blues fans.