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Carbonia is an ex mining village of about 30.000 inhabitants, located in south-western Sardinia. From an architectonic point of view, Carbonia is characterised by typical fascist elements apparent on the village's main buildings such as the Roma Square, the Littoria Tower (27.5 m high), the Town Hall, the Church, the Cinema-Theatre and two big fountains.
St. Mary's church was built during the XI century in Romanesque style, with no aisle or apse. Its façade was at first very simple; during the seventeenth-century, the arcades were added. The interiors have been left mainly untouched and the ceiling has a trussed, wooden roof. The church was given to the Montecassino monks in 1066 by Cagliari's Judge Torchitorio. The building has been recently restored.
The Archaeological Museum "Villa Sulcis" collects archaeological findings that can be dated back between the Old Neolithic and the Byzantine periods. They come from different sites, mostly around the Carbonia territory, like the rocks of Su Garroppu, the Mount Crobu and Cannas di Sotto Necropolises, the narrow gorges of Coderra, the prehistoric village of Barbusi, the A.Ca.I cave, the Nuraghe Sirai and the Baccu Arrus cave.
Not to be forgotten for its historical importance is the Phoenician settlement of Monte Sirai. The top of the mountain used to host the residential area and public buildings, among the most is Astarte's Temple.
The temple was built over the pre-existing Nuraghe. Sometime around 520 B.C., the village was completely destroyed by the Carthaginians who, in the following century, conquered the entire Sardinian island.
On the inside of one of the 13 tombs located on the archaeological site, you'll notice the symbol of the goddess Tanit carved on the entrance's column.
The coastline around Carbonia offers numerous beautiful beaches. On the northern side are the wonderful Porto Paglia and Funtanamar beaches. On the southern coast and from the old tuna fisheries, it's possible to admire a charming view of the surroundings including Is Arenas and Porto Pino beaches.
The landscape offers thick and luxurious woods, characterised by the presence of junipers, mastic trees, citrus and rosemary plants. In the southern area, there are beautiful beaches with dunes sometimes 15 m high.
In the Mediterranean underbrush, you'll find interesting, rare species such as foxes, hares, partridges, robins, weasels and porcupines.
Handicrafts play an important role in the local economy. Among those to be noted are the artisans who work with wood, ceramic, glass, gold, silver and other metals, as well as those who produce carpets and leather goods.
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