The Nuraghe, a Thousand-years old heritage!

The island of Sardinia is one of the most ancient lands of Europe. Home of ancient cultures and a key stopping point for sailors and commercial traders for millennia, archaeological evidence suggests that the island was already populated from 8000 BC, and scholars consider Sardinia as one of the first cosmopolitan centres of the Mediterranean Sea. Undoubtedly, the Nuragic civilisation and its culture are considered the most fascinating and mysterious features of Sardinia’s history. This ancient civilisation derives its name from the characteristic and enigmatic monument called Nuraghe; majestic truncated conical towers made of extremely large blocks of basaltic stones and built without any bonding material. Built between 1800 and 1600 BC, these archaeological monuments, unique in its kind and only visible in this part of the world, represent a symbol of  Sardinia’s history and cultural identity. The most striking feature of the Nuraghi is that approximately 7000 are still evident all around the island, but archaeologists estimate that more than 10.000 have been constructed in ancient times.

The origins and purpose of Nuraghi remain mostly unknown and a matter of debate between scholars. During excavations, archaeologists found artefacts such as stone tools, cooking vessels and animal bones lead many to the conclusion that Nuraghes were utilised as homes or for household activities. Some theories, for example, hold that they were defensive structures and others claim that due to their position they were used as astronomical observatories. Along with the Nuraghi, it is possible to visit other remarkable and suggestive archaeological sites build by this mysterious civilisation and surrounded by nature like sacred wells and the megalithic tomb called “Giants Tombs”.

What you could experience with us

It is clear that the history of the Nuragic civilisation and how they construct these unique archaeological monuments remain a secret, and so many questions still need to find an answer. If you are planning to visit Sardinia and experience a day away from the magnificent coastline, Nuraghi and the Sardinian archaeological sites represent a must-see of the region and with our Barumini and Marmilla tour from Cagliari, we will lead you to the fascinating story of the island and beautiful sceneries. You will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini and learn more about the myths surrounding the Nuragic civilisation. Su Nuraxi was unearthed during the first excavation campaign in 1950, and it is considered the best-known example and the most complex Nuraghe of the island. Located in the Marmilla region, the site is famous for its central tower and surrounding village. Here you will also visit the Giara, a protected area home of 600 small wild horses unique in their kind throughout the world, with the opportunity to spend a whole day in close contact with the local nature.

But why visit only one? Your Sardinia Experience offers various Nuragic and archaeological tour where you can visit other noteworthy and exceptionally well preserved Nuraghi around the island like Nuraghe Nolza, Nuraghe Losa and Nuraghe Santu Antine just to cite a few.

Go back in time with Your Sardinia Experience and experience an entire day dedicated to the archaeology and nature of Sardinia!

 

⇒ Join us: https://bit.ly/32tiWwZ

 

Recent Trip Advisors reviews:

Amazing and Unexpected

My husband and I stopped in Cagliari on a cruise. Looking for things to do, I ran across this tour. I almost cancelled it and I am so glad I did not. It was truly one of the highlights of the cruise. The site was one of my favorite sites on my 2.5 week trip in Europe. You literally get to crawl through 5,000 year old ruins that are extremely well preserved. Our guide was excellent-very knowledgeable and friendly. He even brought us homemade cookies to welcome us to the island. A must-see if in Sardinia.

Amazing!

Our guide was amazing! One day we did Barumini and the tour was so amazing we booked Nora for the next day. The knowledge of our guide and his enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge of Sardinia was incredible. We have travelled all over the world and have had many experiences with tour guides, and this was one of the best by far. We would recommend this company without hesitation. Grazie!

Elisa Mameli ©
Copyright – All rights reserved – 2020
Your Sardinia Experience ®

SAINT ANTHONY BONFIRES AND THE SARDINIAN CARNIVAL

Last week, on the night between the 16th and 17th of January, the whole island of Sardinia celebrated the Saint Anthony Bonfires, one of the most awaited celebrations of the year and best representation of Sardinian folklore. A mixture of Christian traditions and pagan worship, the origins of this ritual has ancient roots and in the past, it represented one the main events for the rural communities of the island as a propitiatory rite for the new harvest year and in honour of Saint Anthony the Abbot.

But what is the story behind this cult of fire, a blend of sacred and profane?

According to the legend, in ancient times, temperatures in Sardinia were so low that Saint Anthony descended into hell to steal a spark of fire, to bring it on earth and give fire to humanity. This ceremony, full of symbols and meanings, has remained almost unchanged from the past. The fire, the main feature of the feast and symbol of community and the life cycle, is made of different wood, for example, rosemary brushwood or large hollow tree trunks, and takes different names depending on the area.

During the cold night of the 16th of January, the fire burns all night; creating a suggestive and magic atmosphere, with breath-taking contrasts between the lights and the shadows that warm the heart and soul. It is a custom that people gather on the firewood, where they dance together, sing traditional songs and enjoy eating the typical Sardinian sweets with a good glass of Cannonau.

Saint Anthony Bonfires is celebrated in more than 100 villages across the island, and each village has its own unique way to celebrate and cherish the tradition of this event. For many villages of Sardinia, especially in the inland area of Barbagia, these particular days are the most awaited by the locals since it represents the beginning of the Sardinian Carnival and the first appearance of “Sá Prima Essià”: the traditional masks crafted by local artisan. The small village of Ottana is the house of Boes and Merdules and in the small town of Orotelli, you can see the first parade of Sos Thurpos, or in Mamoiada, the first parade of Mamuthones and Issohadores, just to name a few.

What you could experience

Far from the beaches and the coastal areas, Barbagia is a tough place of mountains and shepherds. With Your Sardinia Experience, you can have the fantastic opportunity to learn the traditions of these small treasures in the heart of the island and live an authentic journey with the Barbagia Experience Tour!

A whole day dedicated to the discovery of the heritage and enogastronomic traditions of two of the most popular and picturesque town in Sardinia: Mamoiada and Orgosolo. Mamoiada is a small village with a population of less than 3000 inhabitants famous for the specific local masks, Mamuthones and Issohadores, and its wine, named after the grape variety, called Cannonau. Even Orgosolo is a small town with an estimate of 4000 inhabitants, and it is particularly renowned for its colourful and meaningful murals; a real outdoor museum in the centre of the island!

Some of the great experiences included in the Barbagia Experience tour are the visit to the MaMu, also known as the Mamoiada Museums network, the visit at the local wine cellar with the food&wine experience and the last stop is the walking tour in the village of Orgosolo between the murals and the old historic centre.

What are you waiting for?
Join us and enjoy an authentic and memorable experience in the heart of Sardinia!

→ web site link: https://bit.ly/2R8bwv8

Elisa Mameli | all rights reserved ©
Your Sardinia Experience | 2020
Photo credits: Valerio Deidda

The Family Experience.

An experience than you will never forget.

Where?

Aritzo is a small village in the center of Sardinia, 817 from the sea. Despite the town stands on the slopes of one of the highest mountains of the island, the Gennargentu.

The origin of the name is often juxtaposed with the distant Nuragic heritage, as a “place where waters are born”, in fact the village is rich in sources, the most famous are Is Alinos, Su Zurru and Sant’Antoni.

The variety of vegetation, colors and smells define the small town as the garden of Sardinia.

What further characterizes the village are the references of a tradition that has not completely disappeared but which is still visible in small houses built by shale and chestnut wood.

The economy of the village is based on sheep farming and handicraft, which takes shape from the wood of its immense chestnut groves.

The village is known for the ancient craft of the artisan known as “sos maistos e’ linna” who through the technique of carving produced chests that were once used for the conservation of bread and linen, especially for the bride’s wedding kit.

Why?

You will have the possibility to take part of some workshops of typical products (fresh pasta, bread, nougat, cheese and carapigna). The family environment in which you will be immersed will allow you to interact in person with the space and the people around you, enhancing work and passion.

You will make a real journey into the past, between simplicity, authenticity, local traditions and naturalness.

What?

If you are wondering what characterizes Aritzo and what you will have the opportunity to taste, here it is:

  • bread and fresh pasta, in the past they were a fundamental food for all the families of the village, but they also played a sacred and ritual role.

Among the typical breads of this small village of the Barbagia we find the pane carasau (or music paper) which is thin and crispy.

The preparation of the bread dough was literally placed in the hands of the women, it a very delicate process and requires some experience. After s’inthurta, the mixture of ingredients in large terracotta or wooden bowls, knead everything with decisive and quick movements. Then the pasta is placed in cork or terracotta containers, covered with thick cloths, so that it can weigh, or stand up and rise. Once the individual pieces are worked with small rolling pins, they are baked in ovens exclusively with wood and at very high temperatures. With a shovel women bake the discs of bread for a first firing that sees the bread swell like a ball. The bread is divided into two sides and fired a second time, hence the dialectal term carasadura.

Next to the carasau, we find sa coccoi cun gelda, a sort of small calzone filled with what remains of the lard after the extraction of lard, with the addition of onions and pecorino cheese.

And finally Su tancone, long-lasting bread with a hard crust called elsewhere civargiu.

 

  • Many are the desserts, among which Sa panesaba, obtained from the amalgam of walnuts, hazelnuts and saba, the wine must left to refine.

Is bucconettos, a mixture of toasted and ground hazelnuts with the addition of honey, stand out for their unquestionable taste.

Is caschettas, pastry wrapped in a spiral with a mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts and honey.

Is sebadas with cheese filling.

Is pabassinos, small cakes of short pastry, nuts and raisins, and last but not least Is orrubiolus made with fresh pasta and orange or lemon peel.

 

  • The carapigna is the typical sorbet of Aritzo; its origins are very ancient. During the winter the snow was deposited in specially built caves or quarries (the snowfields), where it was conserved all year round. For the country was an important source of income.

 

In the summer the ice, in the form of blocks, was transported and marketed throughout the Campidano for the different uses and for the production of the sorbet. The snow, cut into large cylindrical pieces, was loaded on horses, who traveled during the night to escape the heat and rays of the sun.

It is prepared with the use of an aluminium sorbeptory, inside of which is poured a lemonade prepared with water, sugar and lemon. Once closed with a lid with a handle, the sorbeptory is inserted into the inside of a barrel, an open wooden vat at the top. On the bottom and in the cavity around the sorbetier is placed ice cut into pieces and then sprinkled with salt.

 

The rotatory movement, which is manually applied to the sorbeptory against the cold surface, also thanks to the action of the salt, makes the lemonade in contact with the walls solidify.

It is prepared with the use of an aluminium sorbeptory, inside of which is poured a lemonade prepared with water, sugar and lemon. Once closed with a lid with a handle, the sorbeptory is inserted into the inside of a barrel, an open wooden vat at the top. On the bottom and in the cavity around the sorbetier is placed ice cut into pieces and then sprinkled with salt.

 

  • ham and salami, accompanied by bread carasau. Made from pork, whose killing represented a great feast for the all family.

When ?

With the sun or the rain, surrounded by the colors and scents of autumn or by a snowy landscape that could recall that of the most famous fairy tales, Aritzo, as well as its people, will be ready to welcome you at any time to make you live an incredible experience; it will be enough to escape from the hectic routine of the day and return to breathe the atmosphere of the past around a fireplace with a glass of wine and freshly baked bread.

 

Why?

Arizo and his people will make you feel at home, welcomed, well liked and loved.

The family experience we propose represents a way to spend time in a real corner of paradise, rediscovering the ancient Sardinian traditions in a comfortable, genuine and joyful environment in which reside culture, identity, emotions and … family!!

© 2019 | Francesca Figus | The family Experience

→ Link to our web site: https://bit.ly/3ar9C0d

Unveiling Mamoiada’s local culture: the MaMu – Mamoiada Museums network

Sardinia is one of Italy’s major islands and is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to this position, it has been for centuries a crucial crossroads of people and traditions, which contributed shaping its own unique culture tourists can experience through wine and food, traditional costumes, jewellery, music and folk festivals. In addition, by means of their collections and workshops, even museums can help visitors having a deeper understanding of these features.

Despite the recent development of business sectors such as industry and tourism, Sardinia has a centuries-long rural tradition that is still strongly present in popular traditions and idiomatic expressions like “pani e casu e binu a rasu”* or “salludi e trigu e tappu de ottigu”*, good wishes for prosperity in one of the varieties of the local language.

One of the best museum networks that will give you a better insight into Sardinia’s rural life, from trades to traditions, is the MaMu – Mamoiada Museums network, which includes three museums: the Museum of the Mediterranean Masks, the Museum of Local Culture and Trades and the MATer – Museum of Archaeology and of the surrounding Territory.

Mamoiada is a small town in an area called Barbagia, at the heart of Sardinia, with a population of less than 3000 and is particularly renowned for its distinctive local masks, Mamuthones and Issohadores, and its red wine, named after the grape variety called Cannonau.

These masks and their performance recall ancestral rituals for the propitiation of a good harvest. While the Mamuthones wear wooden dark anthropomorphic masks, dark sheepskins and around 30kg of cowbells, Issohadores wear more colourful clothes, a white mask and use a lasso called soha, after which they are named. During their performance, the local red wine plays a key role, symbolizing one of the essential elements for life: blood.

At the Museum of the Mediterranean Masks you will learn that each part of these costumes has its specific significance and why the traditional carnival in Mamoiada and throughout the Barbagia area has a completely different atmosphere than the idea people usually have about carnival. You will also have the opportunity to compare Mamuthones and Issohadores to some traditional masks and costumes from other Mediterranean Countries, such as Greece and Slovenia, finding they share several elements, such as cowbells and animal skins.

The visit begins with an audio-visual taking you into the colours and sounds of carnival, when men become Mamuthones and Issohadores, and ritually perform a kind of dance throughout the town. Stepping into the following room, you will experience an immersion into the typical Barbagia carnival and the museum guide will disclose the meaning of all the elements making up the costumes and the ritual performed. These elements will keep recurring when visiting the Museum of Local Culture and Trades, where the guide will take you to a tour into Mamoiada’s culture, customs and traditions, starting with the birth of a baby, his or her adolescence, marriage and traditional trades, such as wooden mask carpenters, winemakers and ropemakers.

Though learning about the different education men and women received, you will feel a strong sense of community, a mutual help and the desire of sharing one’s available resources which are still alive in the local people.

After visiting these two museums, you might feel a step closer to the spirit of Mamoiada and its people; however, there is still something missing to get the whole picture: the relationship between people and their territory. This is exactly what the MATer – Museum of Archaeology and of the surrounding Territory represents: an interactive museum of Mamoiada’s collective memory where people themselves are the key elements to read the territory. All you have to do is…touch people passing by on a screen and listen to the story they will share with you.

This small, though effective museum network, managed by the Viseras Cooperative, has a thorough narrative, which enshrines the deepest features of Mamoiada’s culture. This is not just a group of museums displaying objects; this is the story of a town and its surroundings, unveiled by different points of view, breaking down those layers that together make up the culture of the territory and the essence of their people.

Ilenia Atzori | All right Reserved © 2017

* “pani e casu e binu a rasu” and “salludi e trigu e tappu de ottigu” respectively mean: “may you always have plenty of bread, cheese and glasses full of wine” and “may you always be healthy and have plenty of wheat and cork stoppers” [cork stoppers were valuable and not everyone could afford them when they first appeared]