Artistic magnificence, shared memory, authenticity and a sense of community: this is the most encompassing effort to safeguard, enhance and promote the cultural heritage of Sardinia. In 2023, the 27th edition of Monumenti Aperti (Open Monuments) runs across five weekends, from the 6th of May until the first weekend of June. Hundreds of cultural sites will open their doors during this time, such as museums, archaeological sites, churches and historical buildings, natural monuments and parks. Each town will tell its tale through literary itineraries, architecture routes in cities that have been marked by centuries of powerful rulers. Students and volunteers are warming up to lead you along a travel through the beauty that crosses millennia, all the way to the farthest past. It is not a coincindence that this year's title goes by the name of 'Pratiche di meraviglia' (Practices of wonder').
A priceless material and intangible cultural heritage lies spread along the territory of 60 towns, with seven new entries, such as Stintino, 'keeper' of one of the most iconic Sardinian beaches, La Pelosa. In Sassari area, Monumenti Aperti welcomes Chiaramonti and Monteleone Rocca Doria, both of them entangled with the history of the ancient Doria family. Aritzo comes as the new entry in Barbagia, while in Ogliastra the newcomer Triei, with its archaeological and natural treasures, participate along with Tertenia. Here, the Giants' Tomb of Osono is a must see. Moving to the surroundings of Oristano, two villages are joining the event: Gonnostramatza, where you will have the chance to 'meet' the pirates in the Turcus e Morus museum, and Ardauli, a village overlooking the Omodeo lake.
Among the 'faithful' partakers in Monumenti Aperti, the island's capital cannot be missing. Cagliari displays evidence of thousand-year old events, from its Phoenician roots to the Roman traces, going through medieval fortifications up to its most recent buildings, which have been stylishly set into the city's layout. The surroundings of Cagliari are not any less: Elmas, Monserrato, Selargius, Sestu, Settimo San Pietro and Quartu Sant’Elena are taking part in the event, with their historical buildings, churches and archaeological sites. One example? Nuraghe Diana, a 'sentinel' overlooking Quartu Sant'Elena coast. Still in the Lower Campidano area, a number of villages steeped in history and rich in traditions make their comeback: Decimoputzu, Monastir, San Sperate, Ussana and Villasor.
Sometimes culture rhymes with landscape, as among the romantic bastions of Alghero: around its territory you will find mysterious and charming evidence of the pre-Nuragic and Nuragic Sardinian past. Sassari offers its historical buildings and adds up 'Viale della Rimembranza', a real 'green monument'. The offer in Sulcis could only wind between the sea and the mines: Iglesias and Carbonia are joined by two of the jewels in the Sulcis archipelago: Sant'Antioco and Carloforte. Speaking of the sea, here comes Pula and Villasimius, while Villaputzu bears the Sarrabus 'flag'. Medio Campidano offers a wide range of attractions: Nuraminis, Samatzai, San Gavino Monreale, Sanluri and Serramanna are joining this edition. Towards West, you will dive into sceneries enriched by woods, waterfalls and abandoned mining villages in Arbus, Guspini and Villacidro.
Nature comes first also at the feet of the spectacular plateaus called Giare, in Marmilla, participating with Genuri, Lunamatrona, Siddi, Tuili and Villanovafranca, 'home' of nuraghe Su Mulinu. Heading slightly towards West, you will embark on an exciting travel back in time, in Sardara. Here, the Nuragic Age is represented by the sanctuary of Sant'Anastasia, and the historical evidence found in its territory up to the Middle Ages is on display in the Villa Abbas museum. In Ballao you can admire the surprising Nuragic well-temple of Funtana Coberta. Oristano shows its Judicial past and, moving South, visitors can explore Terralba. Up again on the West coast, an unmissable place is Bosa, with its mighty castle, the historical tanneries and the churches, especially the most ancient Romanic church in Sardinia: San Pietro extra muros.
Charming atmospheres and intense fascination are the trademarks of the inner villages, where cultural sites and centuries-old traditions come along with handcraft and culinary excellences. This happens in Gavoi, Neoneli and Ovodda. On the edge between the Supramonte peaks and the sea of the Gulf of Orosei lie the monuments of Dorgali. In Logudoro you will explore the treasures of Ozieri, Ploaghe, Thiesi and Padria, where the highlight is nuraghe Longu. Around Sassari, the enchanting mix of nature, culture and history of Ittiri, Ossi, Porto Torres and Tissi reveals itself. On the Western side of Montiferru massif, a must-see is Cuglieri, with the old Capuchins' monastery and the Santa Maria della Neve basilica.