The former cathedrals of Baronìa and Barbagia

Chiesa di san Nicola - Ottana

The former cathedrals of Baronìa and Barbagia

A tour to discover landscapes of intense beauty, deeply-rooted traditions and Romanesque monuments, once bishoprics in central-eastern Sardinia

The churches of San Pietro, San Giovanni and San Nicola are splendid examples of medieval Sardinian religious art and architecture and have attracted worshippers, scholars and enthusiasts for centuries. Today, these are still places not to be missed during visits to three villages characterised by hospitality and food and wine excellence as well as natural and cultural attractions.

The tour starts in Baronìa, in the shadow of Mount Tuttavista, proceeding along state road SS 129, provincial roads SP 38 and SP 131 DCN in a westbound direction, until almost reaching the centre of the Island.

San Pietro, Galtellì

The former cathedral of the diocese of Galtellì peeps out from between the lines of the novel ‘Reeds in the Wind’ by Grazia Deledda, falling completely within the Deleddiano Park. It was a cathedral ‘out of necessity’, as the ‘new’ church, which was to be built next to it, was never completed. Its series of frescoes, depicting scenes from the Exodus and the Old and New Testaments, is one of the oldest to be found inside medieval Sardinian sanctuaries.
Monte Tuttavista - Galtellì
A medieval village in Baronìa, in the central part of eastern Sardinia, built of stone, authentic, fascinating and extraordinarily religious

San Giovanni, Orotelli

It was a cathedral for ‘just’ 23 years, while awaiting consecration as San Nicola of Ottana. The side naves are a recent addition, as there was originally a single-nave layout, with a T-shaped cross. The red trachyte used for the construction and the ‘rear’ bell tower, decorated with bas-reliefs and cornices, stands out. The celebration dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of the village, combines sacred and profane elements, diligently handed down over time, like the carnival rituals and the Thurpos mask.
Thurpos - Orotelli
A characteristic "granite" village in central Sardinia, half-way between Nuoro and Macomer, with a wealth of craft and carnival...

San Nicola, Ottana

A jewel of Sardinian Romanesque architecture. Its mixture of black basalt and pink trachyte makes it unique, while its size gives it majesty and grandeur. The church of San Nicola was the cathedral of the diocese of Ottana from the 12th to the 16th century. The furnishings are also worth admiring, especially the Ottana Altarpiece, a 14th-century polyptych depicting Saints Francis and Nicholas. Ottana is also a village of great traditions: The Boes and Merdules masks are the protagonists of the Fires of Saint Anthony ritual and Carnival.
Maschere di Ottana
A village in the 'heart' of Sardinia, thirty kilometres from Nuoro, famous for an ancient cathedral, carnivalesque traditions and dozens...

Mappa dell'itinerario

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