, the large Italian island is mostly known for its beautiful, Caribbean-style beaches and its sparkling lifestyle of the famous, V.I.P. people who spend here their holiday during summer. Yet, this region has many interesting cultural and historical features as well. This time, we will discover some of them.
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The most important evidence of the Sardinian long history is given by the many nuraghi (more than 7,000) spread all over the island. A nuraghe is an ancient megalithic building, symbol of the Nuragic civilization, ancestor of the Sardinian people, dating back to the Nuragic Age (1900-700 B.C.). The way these buildings were once used is still unknown: they may have been dwellings, religious temples, fortifications, or something else.
The most important and popular nuraghe in Sardinia is the archeological site called "Su Nuraxi", which is located some kilometers away from Barumini, in the central area of Sardinia. As it is the most representative example of the Nuragic civilization, "Su Nuraxi" was declared human heritage by UNESCO in 1997.
Built in the twelfth century B.C., 230 meters above sea level, "Su Nuraxi" is a very well preserved complex still nowadays and it features a fortification made of more than 10 towers (the main one is 19 meters high), and an ancient village with a maze of alleys, tunnels, houses, huts and wells, which is an amazing evidence of how the everyday life was like thousands of years ago. The only entrance of the nuraghe made it basically impossible for enemies to attack it so that it was an unconquerable fortification as well.
More about Nuraghe
The Natural Reserve Park of Giara di Gesturi
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Something more than 10 kilometers north of Su Nuraxi in Barumini, you can visit another wonderful natural attraction in Sardinia. It is the Natural Reserve of Giara di Gesturi (pic n°6), a park which extends on a basaltic and calcareous plateau, rich in thriving vegetation typical of the Mediterranean area.
The park is famous for its unspoiled environment, its amazing wild landscapes and its fauna: here, you can meet wild boars, hares, ducks, many species of birds, but the real and most famous attraction is the herd of horses (pic n°4) (pic n°5) that lives here freely. The horses that live here are called "cavallini della Giara" (literally: small horses of Giara), because they are smaller than the regular horses, and this park is the only place in Europe where they can be found. Tourists and animal lovers can access the park and spend some time admiring this unbelievable sight.