Going further back in time in Barumini – Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy

We had a great afternoon out in Pula yesterday. The streets were deserted as we walked through until we got to Piazza del Popollo which was full of people dining in the sunshine. Kev clocked another “best ever” for the trip, this time seafood spaghetti not for the quantity of seafood but for the flavour and it was perfectly cooked. We then headed to Bentu, a cool bar on the piazza where we got chatting to Alberto another friendly local with excellent English, apparently his accent is so good because he enjoys BBC tv! We were later joined by another member of staff (name promptly forgotten 🤭) who was off duty and came and joined us for a drink. It was a great atmosphere full of locals having fun. A great night out.

Next morning was a bit of a slower start…. We had found a motorhome service centre near Cagliari we wanted to visit. We have a fault on our Truma heating system when it is plugged into mains electric, works well on gas. Seems to be a common fault but we will need both working if we managed to go skiing later on our trip. After a drive around Cagliari we located the Dot.camper service centre but although they advertise Truma it seems they are not an official dealer and beyond a quick check of the fuses, there was nothing they could do. They were very helpful though and we stocked up on a few consumables while we were there. They had 20 vans queues up for service obviously there are lots of campers on Sardinia.

Passing the big city Cagliari

It was still early and we decided to make the most of the day and continue on to Barumini in more central Sardinia. A UNESCO heritage site for the Nuraghe which is there. As I mentioned on a previous post, Nuraghe are found only in Sardinia and are the work of the Nuraghic civilisation as fortification and housing. The Su Nuraxi Nuraghe in Barumini was built between 17th-13th century BC of basalt blocks weighing 1-2 tonne each in weight and carried from volcanic site some way off by oxen.

The site was only excavated in the 1950’s by a local archaeologist. As many Iron Age sites seem to start, it just looked like an odd shaped hill before excavation according to the photos shown us by our guide. There does seem, to my uneducated eye, a number of other similarly odd shapes hills nearby, including one with the remains of a castle on. Looking on the map there are also a number of known ones in the area, there being over 8000 in Sardinia.

The Su Nuraxi Nuraghe is one of the biggest and contains the remains a village of houses next to it. It’s main tower is 14m high, though it was originally believed to be 20m, the tops of the towers now being collapsed. However, the stairways, doors, two storey structure are still present though the wooden structures which connected them has long since disintegrated. However, it was piece of wood trapped in the wall which allowed carbon dating of the site.

Walking through the narrow corridors and steep stairs really did feel like stepping back in time, to an era which is almost all lost to us now. The scale is really impressive and showed quite a level of civil engineering skill as it was all built without cement. As per our visit yesterday, some of the structures in the surrounding village had been not very sympathetically restored, but there were some interesting features like what appears to be a sauna with seating and fire connected to one house.

House with sauna

Su Nuraxi was well worth the visit and drive inland for the ability to clamber through where ancient feet have trod. The museum next to it, which we had to wait 20 minutes for a guide to show us in Italian around some photos and locked glass cases, not so much. We left early from the tour as we could not really tell what we were looking at.

We then had a really terrible panini for lunch at the nearby bar as part of the meal deal with your ticket. After these two experiences we head back to the van. We were due to stay the night here but decided although it was a nice quiet spot we would rather move on.

Murmuration spotted on route

So we set off for Villasimius, another on the Sardinia must-see list we are ticking off before we leave for Sicily on Saturday. A lovely drive down the coast road with the occasional mountain goat for company and an another amazing murmuration of starlings. We finally pulled up in a quiet spot by the sea as the sun set. Looking forward to exploring tomorrow.

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