Ichnusa, an odd and fascinating ancient island
To combine sea, culture and nature to best effect, this tour takes in numerous coastal and inland beauty spots, offering a rich palette of colors from the beautiful island of Ichnusa (name of Sardinia in Ancient Greek), with pleasant stops by the sea and interesting visits to archaeological, natural, and urban sites. Though we’ll never be very far from the coast, which is a vital element of the program too, this tour mainly focuses on other, equally fascinating aspects of this ancient land, like the mysterious civilizations that lived here in remote times.
Wonderful velvet-black roads, with ancient forests, temples and nuraghes along our way.
The island offers a wealth of heritage from this historical period, too much to fit into these few days. So our tour will touch on just the most significant sites, including some of the most secluded ones set amid wonderful scenery that is barely reachable on four wheels but a joy to explore on two.
Let’s discover together Sardinia at its most authentic!
Sardinia is the only place in the world where you can find nuraghes, distinctive constructions that historians still know very little about, and the so-called Giants’ Tombs. Because of the high concentration of energy measured there, some researchers believe the Tombs were not only places of worship but also, and above all, centers for regeneration and healing for the warriors. To give you an idea of the historical importance of the mystery that suffuses this land, there is a growing school of thought that Sardinia might be the lost Atlantis, or what remains of it …
This is a taster of the historical periods that we’ll acquaint you with:
- Paleolithic, testified by the many flint-stone and quartzite objects found in Corbeddu cave (450,000–10,000 b.c.)
- Neolithic, with the birth of the Bonu Ighinu culture (6,000–2,800 b.c.)
- Eneolithic, in the form of the altar on Mount Accoddi: a platform atop a truncated pyramid, on which a sacellum (small shrine) with access ramp was built (similar to the Mesopotamian Ziggurats)
- Nuragic. The Nuragic civilization in Sardinia existed from the Bronze Age (1,700 b.c.) to the 2nd century a.d. There are no traces anywhere else on earth of this civilization, which is distinguished by its typical constructions called nuraghes (with 7,000 in all Sardinia). These are tower-like buildings with up to 3 circular rooms, one on top of the other, made of very large, heavy stones (many in perfectly squared blocks, many brought from elsewhere …) roofed by a “false dome” or “thalos”. Also from the same period are the various Giants’ Tombs, Well Temples and Holy Wells scattered all over the territory.
- Phoenician-Punic, testified by the magnificent cities of Tharros and Nora[singlepic id=170 w=320 h=240 float=right]
- Roman, with the Antas temple and Nora, again (founded in the Nuragic period, developed by the Phoenicians, and then transformed by the Romans), a unique testament to the three main civilizations that have lived in Sardinia.
- Byzantine. When the center of the Roman empire moved to Constantinople, Sardinia was converted to Christianity (Saint John’s Church – 6th century).
- Giudicati. When Sardinia was divided into four Giudicati (indigenous kingdoms), as reflected in the region’s flag with the four Moors, the Judges used donations to encourage Benedictine monks from Montecassino, Saint Victor de Marseille, Camaldoli, Vallombrosa, and Citeaux to settle on the island.
- Aragonese/Spanish. In 1323, the Infante Alfonso of Aragon landed in Sardinia … 250 years later, the hispanization of Sardinia was completed under the directives of Philip II (1556–98). On an artistic level, the resulting synthesis of Gothic and Classicist styles characterized the local architecture until the end of the 17th century. Remarkable testimonies of the Hispanic period are the enchanting town of Alghero and the Sardinian language itself.
As you can see, it’s a journey back in time with something for everyone.