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Olbia: a city for tourists 0 Comments

Olbia: a city for tourists

The morphology has placed the city of Olbia in a privileged position, like a pearl that, looking at the Gulf of Olbia, is set between the left  shoreline that ends with Golfo Aranci and the right one that ends at Capo Ceraso , with the Tavolara Island placed as a sentinel. Since the dawn of time, Olbia has been an important access to Sardinia, as proven by the Neolithic finds (4000 a.C.).

With the starting of tourism in the 60s, Olbia has had a constant economic, urban and demographic development thanks to the port and Costa Smeralda airport connected with major Italian and foreign cities. For the guest of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites in search of the Total Leisure Experience, Olbia, 18 km away, offers the experience of real interesting cultural sites.

A quarter of an hour's drive south from the port of Olbia, 8 km far, there is the site of the Tomba dei Giganti of Su Mon'te' e s'Ape, one of the most important in Sardinia by size, dating from the Ancient Bronze Age to the Middle Bronze Age. (1900/1300 BC). A quarter of an hour's drive north from the port of Olbia and 10 minutes far, on the hill of Cabu Abbas (250 m. above sea level) lies the Nuraghe Riu Mulinu. The excavations have brought to light various findings in bronze and ceramic  (displayed by the Archaeological Museum of Olbia). A wall 220 meters long and 4m wide, surrounds the top of the hill with two entrances encircling a nuraghe and a small well in the middle of the site, dating from the Middle Bronze Age (1700/1600 BC) and the early Iron Age (900/800 BC).

Around 330 B.C. the Carthaginians built in the Punic city of Olbia a Cinta Muraria (City Wall) to defend themselves. Made with granite blocks, today you can admire the remains of a tower, a door and a section of the wall. A real gem is located in the residential complex of via Acquedotto, where there are two glass pyramids protecting the remains of a portion of the walls where coins of the emperor Commodus of the late 2nd century AD were found.

At 6 km and 10 minutes by car from the port, on the road that goes to Pittulongo, there is the Pozzo sacro “Sa Testa”, (a sacred well), one of the most famous worship sites of nuragic Sardinia. The well, fundamental element of the sacred rituals, datable to the Final Bronze Age (1200/1100 BC), has a large circular courtyard for the rites, a small trapezoidal vestibule and a staircase that leads to the chamber of the sacred well where the water was fundamental element of the rituals.

The aqueduct of Olbia, the Acquedotto Romano Sa Rughittola, is perhaps the best preserved monument of the Roman era in Sardinia, a section of about hundred meters long of which one can be still admired, complete with two arches.  Built in 100/300 AC, it brought water from the springs of Cabu Abbas to the Terme Romane of Olbia from the Roman age, which had two thermal plants: one in the ancient heart of the city, the other adjoining the ancient walls’ north side. The archaeological excavations testify swimming pools connected by canals for the water supply coming from the aqueduct, floors with black and white mosaics and rooms heated by the calidarium and tepidarium. From the same period the Foro romano (Roman Forum), placed  on the ancient port from the current Town Hall to Villa Tamponi. There were also two temples, one of which devoted to Venus, surviving today  as churches of S. Maria del Mare and S. Antonio Abate, which are located at the beginning of the existing Corso Umberto.

On the occasion of the works carried out in front of San Simplicio church (see OLBIA - ROMANIC CHURCH OF SAN SIMPLICIO link), a church built with bricks and granite in Romanesque style, with Pisan and Lombard influences, the excavations have brought to light the Necropoli of San Simplicio, which consists of a site of about 450 tombs of Roman age (200/300 AD) and a necropolis stratification, tangible evidence of the city's first 2000 years history, from the Phoenicians to the Middle Ages.

with the architecture Inspired to a ship, the Museo Archeologico (Archaeological Museum), whose archaeological findings cover the entire history of the territory from prehistoric through the Phoenician, Greek, Punic and Roman history, up to 1900. The three ship relics are very interesting ( out of the 24 Roman and medieval ships, found in the excavations), while the rudders and ship masts of the Roman age are the only ones in the world accessible in a museum.

"From Olbia to Nuoro everything smells good. Those less-than-a-hundred kilometres of green and blue, pine, mastic, vineyards, oak woods; of sea and mountains kissing, must be driven easily, slowly, rolling the car window down. Nuoro is a little further, half-hidden, on the plateau." (Salvatore Niffoi)

 

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Written by Daniela Toti

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