What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia?
With almost 34,500 inhabitants, Nuoro is the kind of city that enchants us. Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, in Sardinia, one of the great Italian islands, the city is full of incredible details and incredible beauty. Today I take you to one of the most beautiful and famous cities in Sardinia, Nuoro. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
A little tour in Nuoro
Sardinia is one of the most famous regions in all of Italy. In the heart of the Mediterranean, the island presents itself imposing and with a splendid history, and it is home to cities, in fact, unique. One of these jewels is Nuoro, capital of the homonymous province in the center of the Sardinian region. Know more about Sardinia here!
A little more about Sardinia
Despite being famous for its beaches with white sand and crystaline water, Sardinia also offers us an incredible countryside, full of history, culture, art and much more. Today we head to Nuoro, a beautiful town located on a granite plateau at the foot of Mount Ortobene. Nuoro was a Nuragic settlement and underwent merciless Roman rule. With the fall of the Roman Empire, it came under the control of Vandals and Byzantines, but ended up in the hands of the Spaniards.
Good to know…
Sardinia has public transport of a somewhat lower quality than others. The best option for those who want to get to know the island is, definitely, to rent a car; a good option can also be to hire a driver or use a transfer – at least to go from the airport to your hotel.
If you want to use public transport, be patient, as delays are quite common – especially in low season and, during the summer, buses can be crowded. The road transport system is the responsibility of A. R. S. T, regional transport company. Domestic air connections only include the Cagliari-Olbia flight, and for sea connections there are transports to and from the island of San Pietro, Asinara and La Maddalena. The shipowners who operate these routes are Saremar and Delcomar. The Saremar departs regularly from Portovesme and Calasetta and heads to the island of San Pietro, in a journey of about half an hour; to the island of La Maddalena, you can board from Palau and the trip takes about 20 minutes. You can reach the island of Asinara, from Porto Torres, with the company Delcomar, which operates only three common criteria.
- IMPORTANT: buy your tickets, whenever possible, in advance, especially if traveling during the summer, as the island is very busy. Discover How to buy a train ticket in Italy?
1) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? VISIT MOUNT ORTOBENE AND THE NURAGHI
Without further ado, let’s get to know Nuoro! Well, Nuoro’s culture mixes art and archeology, being passed down from generation to generation. The territory has been inhabited since antiquity and there you can find archaeological sites. We start our tour by the iconic Mount Ortobene, with its 955 meters high, the symbol of Nuoro. There you can see various prehistoric dwellings, nuragic and pre-nuragic villages. The rocks, “drawn” by atmospheric agents, show us all traces of Roman colonization. The Nuraghi are also constantly present there: in this area, there are 32 of them, in addition to 12 nuraghi villages and the tombs of the giants that surround the territory.
What are Nuraghi?
Nuraghi are stone constructions that have a truncated cone shape. Some are quite complex, real castles with towers and so on; the tallest ones can reach 30 meters in height and, in fact, are impressive. The nuraghi are found throughout the island and represent the Nuragic civilization, which emerged in Sardinia and covered a period of time that goes from the total Bronze Age (2300 -1800 BC) to the 2nd century AD.
Mount Ortobene reminds us of a granite ‘Christmas cake’ with towers, pinnacles and rocks that take the most diverse shapes possible, shapes given by the Marreri, Cedrino, and Lovuli rivers, just to name a few. At the top of the Mount, we can see the image of the Redeemer, built in the early 1900s. Unmissable is the lookout point of Cuccuru Nigheddu, from where we can enjoy a breathtaking view that covers an area that goes from Mount Albo to the plateau of Orune. The nearby Sedda Ortai Park is also ideal for nature lovers; don’t miss the Chiesetta della Solitudine, erected in the fifties on the site of a 17th-century building: here are kept the ashes of Grazia Deledda.
2) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? VISIT THE HEART OF NUORO
Descending the Mount, we reach the heart of Nuoro. Walking through the beautiful streets of the city, one breathes history, which presents itself before our eyes from the sites of the Nuragic era to the modern 20th century. The city’s charm inspired famous artists such as Grazia Deledda, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature; Francesco Ciusa, an important artist who was recognized at the 1907 Venice Biennale; the poet Sebastiano Satta, the photographer Antonio Ballero and the painters Giovanni Ciusa and Giovanni Pintori. All of them contributed to the cultural and artistic development of Nuoro, which, thanks to these names, gained the nickname “Athens of Sardinia” for his impressive ability to introduce the world to very important artists, but also for his ability to inspire them.
3) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? VISIT THE MUSEUMS
In the city itself, you will find the fantastic Ethnographic Museum, located on via Mereu. This is the largest museum of its kind in all of Sardinia and houses more than 8,000 pieces of traditional clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, and even foods such as traditional breads.
It is also possible to visit the Deleddiano Museum, birthplace of the aforementioned Grazia Deledda. Nuoro wanted to honor the writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926, and so decided to build a museum dedicated to her. Grazia’s daughter-in-law donated several manuscripts, photographs and personal belongings of the writer to the site and, thus, the museum was inaugurated on March 5th, 1983.
- If you have time, visit the Santu Pedru district, the shepherds’ district. In this beautiful and fantastic historic district is also the Church of San Borromeo, from the 17th century, with decorations in beautiful pink stones. With a very simple style, its interior consists of a single nave with a copy of the Opera Madre dell’Ucciso, by Francesco Ciusa. The wooden tabernacle and the statues dedicated to Our Lady, St Francis, St Lucy and St Charles Borromeo are also very beautiful and deserve attention!
4) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? ENJOY THE HISTORIC CENTER
We arrive at one of the most important points of the city, the historic center, where the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve (“St Mary of the Snow”) is located. The Cathedral, known as the New Cathedral, has neoclassical shapes that date back to the 19th century – the city’s old Cathedral is the Madonna delle Grazie Church, which we’ll see shortly.
The New Cathedral is a structure from the 17th century and has a late Gothic appearance, with several frescoes from the 18th century. The building was fully completed in 1853 and spiritually refers to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The facade of this church has bell towers and some side chapels. Inside, there is a single nave and some side chapels, all of them very beautiful. A painting from the 1600s, which depicts the Dead Christ and was attributed to Alessandro Tirini, stands out.
5) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? GO TO PIAZZA SAN SEBASTIANO SATTA AND THE CIUSA MUSEUM
There is also one of the most important squares in the city, Piazza San Sebastiano Satta, dedicated to the famous poet. It is one of the most beautiful in the city and has an irregular shape, with granite slab floors and pure granite boulders; it is decorated with bronze statuettes – which can be seen climbing special steps and, all around, you can see that all the buildings are painted white.
Make the most of your presence there and, if you have time, visit another important museum in Nuoro, the Ciusa Museum. There you will find 6 rooms with around 60 works, being considered the most complete collection on Francesco Ciusa, the first modern art artist in Sardinia. The museum also presents us with a video telling a little about the author’s life and work. It’s worth the visit if you’re passionate about art! The Museum is located in the former courthouse of Nuoro, a large, recently renovated building that was also a convent some time ago.
6) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? VISIT THE COLLE DI SANT’ONOFRIO PARK
At the end of the day, head to Colle di Sant’Onofrio park, where the Museum of Life and Popular Traditions of Sardinia is located. The view from here is magnificent and you can see the entire city. Ah, important: from the Sierra of Oliena, take the opportunity to see the sunset! It’s one of the most beautiful on the whole island, believe me!
5) What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? VISIT THE BEACHES AND COVES
The city of Nuoro is indeed wonderful, but the province also leaves nothing to be desired. If you want to stay longer in the city, be sure to visit the province’s beaches and coves, which are always among the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Two of them are located in the territory of Siniscola: Berchida and Capo Comino. They really deserve a visit.
- When walking through the city’s streets, pay attention to the craft shops in Nuoro. Most of them are concentrated along Corso Garibaldi and it is difficult to choose the prettiest one! In this area, you will find artisanal objects, fabrics, chests, ceramics, rugs and many wonderful goods made by local artisans. The embroidered fabrics and silver jewelry are worth mentioning: they are unique! Among the most interesting pieces there is the ‘Alliance of Sardinia’, a gift given to the women they love.
- Try the aranzada, a very special nougat made from toasted almonds, mixed with honey and aromatized with orange peel.
- Other routes for those looking for great handicrafts are via Devoto, via Biscollai and the Shopping Room, on via della Costituzione.
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What to do in a day in Nuoro, Sardinia? Obviously, talking about Nuoro in just one post is almost unfair, given the variety of impressive attractions that the city and its province has to offer, but it is possible to discover the best of the city in just one day. If you don’t want to see the places in a hurry, stay two or three days there, you’ll have an unforgettable experience!
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