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NUORO and Province

The Nuorese province border with the Cagliari province to the south, with Oristano to the west and Sassari to the north. Its territory corresponds to some natural sub regions: Baroni, Ogliastra, Quirla, lying on the east along the Tirrenian coast; Barbagia, with Nuoro, Sarcidano, in the heart of Sardinia; Logudoro in the most southern part; Planargia, facing the Sardinian sea.
It is on the average the most elevated province, as it includes a large part of the Gennargentu mountain, the highest peak being Punta La Marmora (1,834 mt).
The configuration of the territory is extremely varied where there is an alternation of mountains, different natured plateaus, and deep valleys. The climate is typically Mediterranean along the coast, and can be cold in the mountainous areas with abundant snow falls.
Human presence in the area goes back to prehistory, as shown by findings in many locations and also ancient is the presence of nuraghic civilizations, which left many sites especially in the Marghine and Nuoro area.
Many were the dominations on this land: from Carthago in the 6th century B.C. to Rome, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Pisans, the Aragonese, and the Spanish, down to the Savoia.
Very important the crafts tradition of the Nuoro province, which boasts great traditions in different sectors: the classic walnut wood chest manufacture, carpet and blanket, weaving, ceramics (Dorgali), baskets (Ollolù, Olzai and all Planargia) and gold, silver and filigree objects.
Interesting also the sagre (festivals), which take place all year round and offer the tourist a chance to approach local customs and admire the gorgeous traditional costumes one of the attractive features of the territory. Nuoro has been chief town of the third Sardinian province since 1927, representing and preserving the traditions of the most remote inner areas, and at the same time of a more modern culture such as Nobel Price for literature Grazia Deledda, the poet Sebastiano Satta, the writer Francesco Calvia, the lawyer-writer Attilio Deffenu.
The town is dominated by Monte Ortobene, from whose top you have a stunning sight over all Barbagia, the Supramonte of Orgosolo and Oliena, as far as the Tirreno Sea, becoming aware of the Sardinian landscape.
Part of the Giudicato del Logudoro, Nuoro was conquered in 1300 by the Aragonese who included it in the Alghero diocese.
Its historical centre shows two distinct features: the modern town and the old San Pietro and Sèuna quarters, with their narrow lanes and low houses. The centre gathers around the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie, built in the 1950s on the homonymous square, the nearby Chiesa delle Grazie, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria della Neve, built in the early 19th century in neoclassical style.
Important the presence of museums, which make up an interesting itinerary. The “Museo della Vita e delle Tradizioni popolari Sarde”, situated on Sant’Onofrio hill and opened in 1976, is dedicated to the Sardinian folklore, craftsmanship and culture, including a section entirely dedicated to traditional costumes and daily life objects, a rich collection of tools of old trades and halls for the most famous masks of the Carnevale Barbariceno (mamuthanes, insokatores di Mamoiada, merdùles, bòes di Ottana and thurpos di Orotelli) the speleogical-archeological Museo Civico (Viale Da Vinci, 5) gathers paleonthological, archaeological and naturalistic material with important finding such as 4 outstanding menhir-statues found in Làconi, some nuraghic age votive bowls, bronze age funeral objects and jewellery, and the reconstruction of a Byzantnthine tombs (7th-8th century).
Grazia Deledda’s native house in the homonymous street at number 28, houses the Museo Deleddiano, with the artist’s most significant documents and works. In the north-eastern outskirt of the town there is the Chiesa della Solitudine (SA Solitai) built in the mid XX century, near Grazia Deledda’s tomb and the Santuario della Madonna di Valverde. From here a road takes you up to Monte Ortobene where is the Chiesa di N.S. di Montenero (17th century) and the statue of the Redentore (7mt high Vincenzo Jerace’s bronze work) near which since 1901 at the end of August one of the island’s most important festivals has taken place the “Festa del Redentore”. Nearby, heading towards the farthest south western part of the town, you cannot miss an excursion to the Tanca Manna nuraghe, which clings as if with just one piece to the impressive rock on which it stands.
At about 15 km west, you find the domus de Janes of Sas Concas, a group of prenuraghic buildings with a series of magic-religious wall carvings.
At about 25 km, in the territory of the Comune di Orune, you can visit the Su Tempiesu sacred well and Noddula nuraghic site. From Nuoro we suggest a detour to Orani and Sarule, trekking up to Monte Gonare, Barbagia’s most interesting peak, enjoying the panorama and the little medieval church, Madonna del Gonare. In Orani visit Museo Nivoli, dedicated to the local artist Costantino Nivola and situated in the ancient lavatory.


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