Driving Tour of the Iglesiente, Cagliari Attractions
A rewarding excursion is a tour of the Iglesiente (about 200km/124 miles), the hilly region in the southwest of the island. Leave Cagliari on S.S. 195, which runs southwest along the spit of land between the Stagno di Santa Gilla and the sea and past the large Santa Gilla salt-pans.
At the village of Sarroch (20km/12.5mi) is a very characteristic nuraghi. 7km/4.5mi farther on is Pula, from which a road leads south (4km/2.5mi) to the remains of the Phoenician and later Roman town of Nora, on a narrow peninsula (forum, amphitheater, baths, temples, foundations of villas, well-preserved mosaic pavements).
After some time the road leaves the coast. 38km/23mi from Pula it crosses a pass (301m/993ft), with the Nurag de Mesu, and comes in another 14km/9mi to the attractively situated little town of Teulada, chief place of the southern part of the Iglesiente, known as Sulcis. About 36km/22mi from Teulada S.S. 195 joins S.S. 126 at San Giovanni Suergiu.
From San Giovanni Suergiu there is an interesting excursion (11km/7mi southwest) to the volcanic island of Sant'Antioco (109 sq.km/42 sq.mi) with the popular little seaside resort of the same name (15m/50ft; pop. 13,000). On either side of the castle is a well-preserved Phoenician cemetery (fifth-third centuries B.C.; museum). Northwest of Sant'Antioco is Calasetta (29m/96ft), a little place of rather Oriental appearance, the inhabitants of which managed, like those from Carloforte on the neighboring island of San Pietro, to preserve the language and costumes of Genoa.
Carbonia (pop. 33,000), is a new town founded in 1938 in the middle of the Sardinian coalfield. 4km/2.5mi northwest of Carbonia, on Monte Sirai, the remains of a Phoenician-Punic fort have been uncovered. In another 11km/7mi a road branches off on the left to the little ports of Portoscuso (tuna fishing) and Portovesme, from which there are boats to Carloforte (10m/33ft; pop. 6,000).
13km/8mi beyond the turning for Portoscuso and Portovesme is Iglesias (176m/581ft; pop. 30,000), an old episcopal town in the center of the Iglesiente which still preserves remains of its medieval walls and has a Mining Academy (museum). In the Piazza del Municipio stands the cathedral built by the Pisans in 1288, and to the south of the square is the medieval church of San Francesco. Above the town to the east rises the Castello Salvaterra (14th century). From Iglesias it is 56km/35mi east on S.S. 130 to Cagliari.
Driving Tour of the Iglesiente Pictures View All