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6 reasons to fall in love with Cuglieri

S'Archittu and other wonders of a Thousand-Year History in this village of Sardinia

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Where is


09073 Cuglieri OR, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


1. The historic village of Cuglieri, pearl of Sardinia

The historic village of Cùglieri rises on Montiferru at almost 500 meters above sea level, with an unforgettable view of the sea. It is watched over from above by the grandiose basilica of Santa Maria ad Nives (14th century). We are in the province of Oristano and an incredible journey into the history of Sardinia is about to begin, among castles, churches and early Christian sites, coastal towers and nuraghi, discovering ancient secrets guarded by stones and ruins. Are you ready?

2. S'archittu, the arch carved by Nature

On the coast, about 20 kilometers from the village, a very white cliff surrounds a delightful little beach. Here an extraordinary arch opens, a natural bridge almost ten meters high carved by wind and sea into the limestone rocks, so white that they are called "lunar." Passing over or under the arch you will be overwhelmed with wonder!

3. Domus de janas and nuraghi: echoes from the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

Burial monuments are often what allow us to evoke our most ancient past. This is also the case here: many are the domus de janas. Look for Fanne Massa with its seven baked caves, Pittudi, Sa grutta de Serruggiu and especially Sa spelunca de nonna, with an atrium, semicircular cell with a sunburst vault and two alcoves. Tombs of Giants also abound , for example Oragiana and Oratanda surrounded by betili (sacred stones). And in the vast territory of Cuglieri there are also numerous nuraghi: there are over sixty of them! Some names? Oratiddo, Nuraghe Maggiore, Baragiones, Mannigos, Frommigas and Uglieras. Happy explorations!

4. Cornus, the times of the Romans

To discover the ancestor of Cuglieri we must go between the coastal hamlets of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and S'Archittu. Here the ruins of Cornus, the city that saw Sardinians and Punics allied against the Romans, await us. These ruins are incredible: they tell of times shrouded in mystery, of the drama of the Roman conquest, of persecutions to early Christians and, thanks to the presence of many Roman tombs, of funerary traditions that have survived the centuries.

5. Casteddu Etzu, the Middle Ages

On a peak in Montiferru stand the ruins of the Castle of Montiferru or Casteddu Etzu. Remains of defensive walls, towers and a few underground structures, probably cisterns. It is not much, but it tells the medieval history of the area: built in the late 1100s, it had a defensive function and remained active until it was abandoned in 1670. Today it is a fascinating vantage point: the 360-degree view of the sea and hinterland is enhanced by that gentle, melancholy patina of abandoned witnesses of the past.

6. Sa Tanca Manna, the thousand-year-old olive tree.

Among all these incredible witnesses of history, one is truly special because it is living: Sa Tanca Manna, the thousand-year-old wild olive tree that has not been defeated even by the fires that have ravaged Sardinia. Burned down completely in 2021 and given up for lost to the great sadness of the whole community, against all reasonable hope the great patriarch, thanks to the care of volunteers and botanists, gave new, slender shoots after a year! That is why it has become a symbol of hope and resilience for all of Sardinia. And for all of us.

Does it end here? Of course not!

Much is yet to be discovered, about Holy Week celebrations, the Marian cult, carnival, oil and panadas... But that is another story and we will tell it to you another time.

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