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Slow Travel Google Map: Italy, Sardinia Virtual Tours
Here is a selection of images of the better known tourist locations including historic and archaeological sites, mountain towns and stunning coastlines.A presto!
Barumini Su Nuraxi
A UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best preserved bronze age "nuraghic" settlements which are unique to Sardinia. Constructed 3000-3500 years ago and subsequently developed with additional wall defenses around the original tower.
Nora Roman Site
Phoenician in origin and then Carthaginian and Roman. The Roman site includes remains of the thermal baths and the theatre. It is located near the modern day resort town of Pula, where you will also find the "Civico Museo Archeologico" which has displays of artifacts from the site.
Nuraghe di Palmavera
Nuraghe di Palmavera has a main central defensive tower and a surrounding settlement although for these only the bases of the walls remain. The central tower dates from c.1500 BC. The (pre-Nuraghic) Necropoli di Anghelu Ruju has over 30 burial chambers dating from 3300 to 2700 BC.
A site that includes an ancient nuraghic "well" temple (1000BC), remains of a nuraghic settlement and a 13th century church with surrounding monks' houses. The well temple, formed of accurately cut stones, has an orientation that means that on the equinox the sun completely lights the stairway.
Tharros Roman Site
Initially nuraghic and then Carthaginian until Rome was victorious in the first Punic war in 238BC. Raids by Vandals and Muslims from Africa made the location dangerous and the population moved inland to present day Oristano.
Areas of Natural Beauty
The drive into the town is dramatic, particularly if you take the winding road from the north. It is perhaps best known as the staging point for boats to the inaccessible caves, coves and beaches to the south and organised boat trips to the Bue Marino caves.
Capo Caccia & Grotto di Nettuno
A nature reserve since the 1970s it attracts many species of birds, such as griffon vultures, peregrine falcons, and herring gulls. Below is the famous Grotto di Nettuno, discovered around 1700. If you are feeling energetic take the steep 656 steps down the Escala del Cabirol (Roe Deer?s stairway), which leads you to the caves entrance.
With stunning views over the Maddalena islands and towards Corsica this is certainly worth the climb to the top of these dramatic rock-forms near Palau.
Mainland Sardinia?s most northerly point, the ancient Romans quarried granite here, (reputedly for the columns of the Parthenon) and from the undulating rock forms you can get great views towards Corsica (12km north).
Grotte is Zuddas
As you pass through the various themed "rooms" you can observe various stalagmite and stalactite with intriguing formations. Of particular note are the "eccentric" Aragoniti Eccentriche whose directions of formation defy gravity and are apparently unique in the world.
The bay ?Cala Viola? is a perfect area for windsurfing and is protected by three 17th century towers. Around is a rocky coastline with great views, however if you suffer from vertigo don?t go too close to the edge!
Costa Smeralda & Porto Cervo
Popular for the true International jet set: football (soccer) players, also a favoured place for Internet entrepreneurs (Microsoft) to moor their yachts and ex Italian prime ministers: Silvio Berlusconi likes to entertain in La Certosa, amongst others Tony Blair when he was British PM.
Remote but verdant area with coastlines which are viewed as the least developed in Sardinia. You can then follow the coast road south through ?Porto Palma? (don?t expect anything grand just a mooring point) and eventually beaches only accessible across unmade roads.
An unbroken 13km stretch of sandy beach between Porto Torres and Punta Tramontano near Castelsardo. Along the coastal road (littorale)are a number of roads down to the beach through the pineta.
Named after its red sandstone which sets off the azure blue water, this is an attractive town, which whilst sleepy off season is a popular place for boat trips, eating at its many restaurants or just lounging on the beach.
Isola di San Pietro
Ferries arrive at ?Carloforte,? which has an attractive portal area and is the only major town on the island. North of the town is ?La Punta?, which in late spring is the centre for a major tuna catch (presumably to satisfy the Japanese market with ?toro? for sashimi).
San Teodoro, although an ancient city, is now a developing tourist resort, with bars and restaurants and easily accessible from the port and airport at Olbia. Near the town is the Stagno di San Teodoro with abundant wildlife, including flamingos.
An island reachable by road from near Iglesias. The main towns are Sant'Antioco and Calasetta in the north west where you can get ferries to the island of San Pietro. There are attractive beaches all around the coast including Maladroxia.
Stintino "La Pelosa"
The origins of this town lie in the creation of a penal colony in the early 19th century on the Isola di Asinara (now a nature reserve famous for white donkeys "Asino") when its inhabitants were relocated to Stinitino. Nearby is "La Pelosa" one of, if not the, most beautiful beaches in Europe.
The Costa del Sud offers some dramatic coastal drives and beautiful beaches. Starting from Porto Teulada you can then follow the coast road to the beach at Tuerredda (in the direction of Chia) and take in some stunning views.
Tortoĺ and Barisardo
Ogliastra province (its name deriving from ancient olive trees) combines rugged mountainous terrain with beaches with beautifully clear waters. Originally populated by Nuraghic tribes then successfully ruled by Romans, Saracens, Pisans and the Spanish. South of the Spanish watchtower at Santa Maria Navarrese (built between 1785 and 1790) is a long pleasant beach.
Villasimius is located on the south eastern tip of Sardinia, around 40 km from the Island?s capital, Cagliari. A few kilometers out of Villasimus is the Stagno Notteri, which is a salt water lagoon, visited by flamingos mostly in the winter-time.
Reputedly the smallest episcopal centre in Italy) established by a decree of 1503. The original Cathedral was funded by the Contessa di Quirra Violante Carroç,it is suggested as a means of overcoming her guilt having unjustly ordered the execution of the chaplain of Bonorsoli "Giovanni Castangia." Birthplace of Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) Marxist politician and writer imprisoned by Mussolini.
Attractions include the ?Chiesa dell Rosario? (17th century) and ?Cattedrale di San Giacomo Maggiore? (18th). Nearby is the ?Chiesa di San? Antonio,? which is a 15th century church with pilgrim dwelling houses and a Pisan watchtower behind.
Abbazo di Nostra Signora
A early 13th century Romanesque Achurch adjoining the remains of a Benedictine monastery. Nearby on Monte Elias the remains of a nuraghic fort perched high on a hilltop with spectacular views over the countryside and down towards Castelsardo.
The original church was donated to the Camaldolite Order that constructed a monastery (consecrated in 1116) whose ruins remain, on the site of a previous church. Reputably Sardinia's best example of Romanesque-Pisan architecture with a 40m bell tower, the church was carefully restored at the end of the 19th century.
Bordering the Golf di Orosei and including some of the most rugged landscapes on the island. Popular for cliff climbing and trekking. Inland is Fonni (Sardinia's highest town and only ski resort!).
La Maddalena Islands
The ?Archipelago La Maddalena? (in Roman times known as ?Cuniculariae?; rabbit islands) has been a National Park since 1996, and is made up of seven islands with ?Isola della Maddalena? itself the largest and easily accessible, by ferry from Palau. The regular ferry crossing is a pleasant trip of about.20 minutes.
Alghero, founded in 1102, has had a succession of different rulers over the centuries but the most lasting is the links with Catalan leading to it being Christened Barceloneta (little Barcelona).
Founded by the Phoenicians in the middle ages it developed into a thriving commercial centre with its location at the estuary of the Temo river. The ruins of the ?Castello Malaspina? has within a small chapel with well preserved Catalan frescoes.
Cagliari has a history that extends back to the Phoenician?s (Karalis). It has a Roman amphitheatre and in the centre are 13/14th century ?Castello? and defensive ?torre? (towers). It is now the administrative centre for the autonomous "Regione" of Sardegna.
Arguably the most visually stunning town in Sardinia with its castle and well preserved historic centre perched high on the cliffs of a rocky promontory, affording stunning views over the Golfo d'Asinara. Still distinctly "Sarda" with good quality restaurants and accommodation and in a great central location to tour the north of the island.
Founded in the 13th century when nearby Roman mines were re-opened (precious metals: silver and lead) by the Pisans. Just off the ?Piazza G.Oberdan? is the remains of the tower of the ?Castello Salvaterra?(built 1248). The "Museo dell?Arte Mineraria? was originally a mining school and the displays reflect this heritage.
Founded in the 11th century, subsequently falling under Catalano Arongonese, Spanish and Piedmontese rule. On ?Piazza Roma? is one of the original city defenses the ?Torre di Mariano II? (1291). In a piazza of the same name is a statue dedicated to Eleonara, famous for establishing the Carta de Logu (law code).
Roman in origin, Tempio Pausania's centre is predominantly 18th/19th century. The "Cattedrale di San Pietro" has a 15th century bell tower and entrance, and opposite the "Oratorio del Rosario" is of Spanish origin.
Alghero Fertilia Aeroporto
Sardinia's fastest growing airport thanks to new low cost flights from the UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden and mainland Italy. Historically scheduled flights to Sardinia were via the mainland and expensive, which is why it is relatively less developed as a tourist location than other Mediterranean islands. For flight information
Cagliari Elmas Aeroporto
As befits the region capital, it has regular connections to all major Italian destinations as well as new "low cost" routes for the UK, Germany, Switzerland and France. Rumors abound in the local press of a potential connection with JFK, but we'll see?
Connections to Civitavecchia, Livorno, Napoli and Sicily (Trapani, Palermo).
Olbia Costa Smeralda Aeroporto
With scheduled and charter flight connections for all major European countries it is also popular with the true "jet set" (football stars, F1 owners and wealthy industrialists/politicians) who arrive by private plane and head for their yachts in the "Costa Smeralda" (originally conceived by the Aga Khan but now one of Tom Barrack's major investments).
The main access point for a large proportion of Italian population around "Ferragosta" (15th August) when they quit work and the mainland for the annual holidays in Sardinia. Modern, well-equipped, generally overnight ferries from Civitavecchia (near Rome), Livorno (Tuscany), Genova and Piombino. For ferry information
With connections from Genova, Marseille and Sardinia's closest neighbour, the island of Corsica (FR). For ferry information
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