One of the major highlights of Sardinia (besides the beaches) is the archaeological heritage. The island was once the center of the Nuragic civilization which developed from 1700 to 600BC. Not much is known about the Nuragic age (sounds like the headache age) except that these Bronze Age folks were traders and they built thousands of stone structures known as nuraghe. The one in Su Nuraxi is the best preserved and is a Unesco world heritage site.
Getting to Su Nuraxi from Cagliari
But how to get there? We had determined to get around by public transport which presented some challenges here. The site is about 1 1/2 hours drive from Cagliari. A tour company offered to take us out there for €60pp which seemed excessive. Diligent research revealed that there was bus transport to Barumini, the adjacent village with a change at Sanluri for a total travel time of 2 1/2 hours. It sounds like a lot but the buses were comfortable and we got to see some of the countryside which was mostly flat and dry. The ancient Sardinians provided grain to the Roman empire and even now we saw a lot of cultivated land, mostly grains, vegetables, olive trees and the occasional vineyard.
Visiting Su Nuraxi
The entrance ticket to the site includes an obligatory hour-long tour that leaves every half-hour. We started at 4 and left in a small group of about a dozen people.
The complex has four towers but it’s unclear what the structure was used for. Residence? Fortress? Temple? Who knows. They did build a solid structure using stones and no mortar that managed to last 3000 years so, bravi tutti. There was a well in the center and some alcoves in the walls may have been used for food storage.
The ruins outside the towers are the remains of late Bronze Age huts that were later occupied by the Carthaginians and then the Romans.
From Cagliari to Su Nuraxi the countryside was pretty much as depicted above.