The city of Oristano, whose origin started back to 1070, lies in a fertile plain very close to the Tirso River estuary in the West coast of Sardinia. It still keeps a lot of visible and well-kept remains of the medieval age including some buildings and lovely churches. In the heart of the city visitors can relax in the piazza Roma, which is dominated by the Mariano II Tower also called Tower of San Cristoforo.
The nearby Via Dritta is one of the main shopping streets in town, it also brings the visitor to Piazza Eleonora d’Arborea with a lovely monument dedicated to this well respected and primary political figure in the 14th century. Within two minutes’ walk two lovely churches can be found: the superb Duomo dell’Assunta with numerous works of art in display and the neo classic Church of San Francesco with its famous crucifix of Nicodemus dated 14th century.
A visit to the Museum Antiquarium Arborense in the city centre is highly recommended. It contains a large amount of archaeological material from the Neolithic age, Nuragic age and Roman period. Many of those remains were found in the numerous archaeological sites in the Sinis peninsula which recently covered the front page of many magazines due to the recent discover of dozen of statues (called Giganti di Monti Prama) from the Nuragic period (900 BC) some of which are in display in the Museum of Cabras.
Oristano is a quiet and relaxed town and the locals constantly work throughout the organization of the annual most important festival: Sa Sartiglia.
It’s a medieval ritual provides spectacular exhibitions on horseback and a tournament that started during the XII century and it’s held on the last Sunday of Carnival and on Shrove Tuesday. The knights with fascinating masks have to run their swords into a hanging metal star and pick it up to guarantee prosperity to the city for the year according to the tradition.
The unspoiled coastline around Oristano is characterised by a variety of lovely sandy beaches and rocky coves and local tourism is based on sustainable and green models.
Most important attractions in the area are:
Archaeological site of Tharros and Sinis Penynsula. The city of Tharros was founded by the Phoenicians around 730 BC and was an important commercial port for many centuries thereafter. Today, the remains of several civilizations are still visible and include Corinthian columns, well supply water for sacred rites, drainage system, Punic walls and sanctuary, a necropolis, well-kept ancient roads, and other various areas. They are some of the most important archaeological remains to be found anywhere in the Mediterranean region. The Sinis Penynsula is a marine protected area that includes also the uninhabited Mal di Ventre island. Since the early 80es it preserves marine and coastal biodiversity, promote environmental education and host scientific research projects. It also play a key role in preserving the vast local cultural and historical heritage, which are deeply embedded in the natural context. The area is also surrounded by really nice beaches such as San Giovanni, Funtana Meiga and Maimoni. All of them very close to the Naturalistic Reserve of Seu with its unique vegetation and protected wildlife.
Is Aruttas, Mari Ermi, Putzu Idu. Is Aruttas and Mari Ermi are relatively small beaches (only few hundred metres) with the sand made of beautiful small white quartz grains. This unique aspect of the sand makes this beach a very popular spot among the locals. Few bars and restaurants provide good comfort during the summer days if you want to take a break from the sun. This coastline is also quite popular for surfing due to the mistral wind that creates good waves. The waters are rather deep and fresh and full of marine biodiversity and fish as the area is included into the Marine Protected zone. A really good spot for snorkelers. Putzu Idu beach resort offers a beach with fine white sand and calm shallow water. This small resort, surrounded by the salt pan stretches between S’Arena Scoada and Mandriola. It is one of the favourite spots for families for its tranquil and safe environment. There are some small restaurants, bars and supermarkets in the area if you are looking for food or fresh drinks.
Bosa. This fisherman and farmers town is the only one with a navigable river in Sardinia (Temo).It was originally a Phoenician settlement which became occupied by the Romans at later stage. Some remains of their presence are still visible in the surrounding areas and countryside. In the last 15-20 years Bosa became an important tourist resort for relaxing vacations away from busy beaches and noisy nightlife. There are plenty or restaurants and bars to relax and enjoy the lovely sunsets by the beach. The town is famous for its handicraft traditions, textiles, woven asphodel baskets, food and wine. The most popular white grape in this area is called Malvasia which we really suggest you to try a glass or two of the homonymous wine. The Malaspina’s Castle (built in 1112) dominates the pastel-coloured houses which make the town picturesque and romantic. There are also other nice attractions in the town which include the lovely 12th century Cathedral. The Bosa Marina is the only seaside village in the area with plenty of facilities for everyone. The town is usually awarded with the blue flag for the quality of its service and pristine environment. If you love fish dishes then Bosa is the place for you.
Archaeological area of Santa Cristina.
This well preserved site is located in the territory of Paulilatino and can be easily reached from the SS 131 Sassari-Cagliari at km 114.3.
The site includes a well preserved nuragic village and a sacred stone well dedicated to the mother goddess back 1st millennium BC. The stone stairway, still exceptionally well preserved, leads to the underground ritual’s chamber which contains a spring. Local guides will walk visitors to the centre and explain the functions of each building and the mysteries still surrounding this fascinating site. The entire area is rich in Stone-Age and Nuragic remains. More than one hundred nuraghes can be found in this region and an abundance of Giant’s Thumbs and Domus de Janas, and many other archaeologic attraction. On the way to Santa Cristina from Cagliari – along the motorway 131- often visitors stop to admire the majestic Nuraghe Losa (1800-1000 BC), which is one of the 8000 nuraghi currently found in Sardinia. Nuraghe Losa is one of the best preserved and a visit to this ancient dwelling is certainly recommended. The local visitor centre and guides will provide plenty of information to better understand the fascinating and mysterious Nuragic civilization.