PHOTOGENIC SARDINIA

Sardinia; it’s picture perfect.

We saw this on the internet and couldn’t help but smile because it’s just so true! In inspiration of this clever collection of photographs, today on our blog we thought we’d write about some of the best spots in Sardinia to photograph.

Bosa

Bosa lies on the banks of the river Temo, the only navigable river in Sardinia, a few kilometres from its estuary. The city has its origins in Phoenician times, although the centre is of a later date. During the Middle Ages, the village moved to the slopes of the Serravalle hill under the protection of the Malaspina family, to escape attacks from marauding pirates.

Bosa is of indisputable fascination, with the Sas Conzas buildings (warehouses which were once used for the tanning and working of leather), mirrored in the calm waters of the river, and the Sa Costa quarter, with its narrow streets and steps, where women still sit in their doorways, working lace. The towers and external walls still remain of the Malaspina Castle, which was built in 1112 by the Marquises of “Malaspina dello Spino Secco”. Inside the walls, the Church of “Nostra Signora of Regnos Altos” has also remained standing: it was built in the fourteenth century and a number of frescos of the Catalonian school come from here. The Cathedral of Bosa is noteworthy, and still conserves the majesty of its renovation in late Piedmontese Baroque style, carried out in the nineteenth century. On the left bank of the Temo, the Romanesque ex-cathedral of San Pietro rises in the countrified area of Calamedia. Built in red trachyte, it dates back to the second half of the XI century.

Setzu

Setzu is situated on the slopes of the basalt plateau of the Giara, and is a small village, whose structure still shows its close relationship with the countryside. The houses are typical of an economy based on farming, characterised by an entry portal that opens onto a roomy courtyard or “lolla”, overlooked by the house.

The Giara di Gesturi

The nature reserve of the Giara di Gesturi includes the vast balsaltic and calcareous highland of the Giara, edged by steep walls and covered by seasonal ponds. Within the park, there are many luxuriant woods of cork oaks, downy oaks, holm oaks, olive trees and areas of Mediterranean maquis. The area is most famed for its wild and unspoilt beauty, home to many rare animals. It is in fact, the habitant for the only herd of wild horses, (better known as the “small horse of the Giara”), in existence in Italy and Europe. Fairly small in size, their origin is bound in mystery, a point which further enhances the charm of these strong, calm animals.

The Giara is however, not only alive with the sumptuous gallop of the little horses, but is also famed for its wild boars, hares, ducks, woodcocks, jays and other animals, which are all protected from hunting. A visit to the highlands not only stirs intense emotions for its evocative inhabitants, but also for the splendour of its natural configuration, in which we find Sa Zeppara Manna and other hills that interrupt the level flow of its flatlands. The various bordering towns (Gesturi, Tuili, Setzu, Generi, Sini, Ginnisno, Albagiara, Assolo and Genoni) have opened up access roads, making it easier to reach the nature reserve by all forms of transport. Pleasant rest areas in strategic points have also been added to welcome the visitor. The area is not only of great interest for its natural patrimony, but also because it includes many important archaeological monuments, such as the proto-Nuraghe of Brunci Madugui and the famous Nuraghe of Barumini, declared by the Unesco as patrimony of humanity.

Tharros

The ancient world’s most formidable navigators, the Phoenicians, were the first outsiders to make permanent settlements on Sardinia, starting in the eighth century B.C. Their main port was at Tharros, just outside Oristano, on the Sinis Peninsula, which encloses the Gulf of Oristano. The promontory was easy to defend and its stone provided good building materials. It enjoyed good winds and was well positioned for travel to and from not only Sardinia, but also Spain, Marseilles, Africa, Greece and Etruria.

Relations between the nuragic peoples and the Phoenicians were peaceful: the Sardinians traded their valuable minerals for pretty glass beads and gradually withdrew to the interior, whilst the commercial superpower set up shop on the coast.

Much of what is visible today on this large and fascinating site, (where excavations are still in progress), is a Roman city, complete with houses, temples, baths and streets – a result of Roman building over and improvement of, the Punic city in the third century B.C. The Cardo Maximus (the main north-south street, with its open drain running down its middle, now covered), is a particularly fine example of a Roman city of A.D. 200.

Sinus Peninsula

The Sinis Peninsula is a protected marine area, encompassing lagoons and several lovely beaches including San Giovanni di Sinis, Is Arutas and the famous Mari Ermi; a long beach of bright white quartz, with areas of fine, ochre coloured sand.

Travelling north, the coast becomes high and imposing at Capo Mannu. Beyond, low reefs alternate with sandy beaches until one reaches the dunes of Is Arenas, which stretch inland for 8 km, forming a true desert. Close to Capo San Marco, there is the Catalano, an ancient volcano 230m in diameter, with deep fissures at its centre.

The Sinis Peninsula is a landscape of great natural beauty. Cabras lagoon is one of the largest in Europe and is inhabited by a wealth of fauna, including wild fowl and heron. The lagoon is teaming with a great variety of fish, including gilt head, mullet, eel and bass. The Scoglio del Catalano reef and Mal di Ventre island also form part of the Sinis peninsula. The reef is un-polluted and has many small beaches on its western side.

Oristano Province & City

The province of Oristano, also known as the Sardegna Region, is a sparsely populated area on the west central Mediterranean coast. It borders on the Sassari province to the north, the Nuoro province to the east and the provinces of Medio Campidano and Cagliari to the south and includes 88 municipalities. There are over 90km of coastline ranging from sandy beaches to imposing cliffs. Two rivers cross the province: the Tirso, which opens to the Gulf of Oristano, and the Temo, the only waterway of the island, although it is not entirely navigable. Much of the area was once covered by marshes, and several towns such as Arborea, were created when Mussolini’s government decided to drain some of the wetland areas.

Oristano Province is a rural area, largely known for its farming and seafood industry and the local dishes are unique. Beyond Torre Grande, stretches the fertile Campidano Plain, that provides much of the province’s agricultural output.

Several Roman and pre-Roman ruins are to be found at various sites. In the north-west approximately 25km from Oristano, is Fordongianus, with its Roman aqueduct, amphitheatre and thermal baths. Just outside the village, is the church of S. Lussorio, built in the 12th century on a Paleo-Christian hypogeum, where S. Lussorio was allegedly buried after being martyred during the persecutions by Roman emperor Diocleziano in 304.

The capital city, also called Oristano, is situated on the River Tirso and is the largest in the province, with over 30,000 residents. The city itself hosts regular cultural events and festivals during the summer, which include colourful costumes and parades. The area near the city has been inhabited for over 3,000 years.

For more information on more amazing places to photograph and visit in Sardinia, call our specialist team on 0208 9732297.

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