Plan your 2020 holiday in Iglesias, in Sardinia, Italy! Find useful tourist information about Iglesias and the surrounding area, to help you to organise a truly memorable experience. Discover the best things to do, must-sees in the vicinity, and choose your ideal holiday accommodation in Iglesias. Check destination ports and airports, including distances. Plan your next holiday, book online and find the very best prices for you, your family and friends on Sardegna.com! For assistance and advice, please contact our expert, multilingual personnel, specialised in Sardinia, who will be happy to help you find the perfect solution, at no extra cost. Buon viaggio!
Iglesias' history is tightly linked to the mining industry. As a matter of fact, more than one archaeological site proves that the mining resources were an attractive force for populations interested in trading including the Phoenicians, the Punics and the Romans.
Thanks to its mining, the so-called Villa di Chiesa became the most important city in southern Sardinia, after its capital Cagliari.
Beginning at the end of the century, the mining industry's deep crisis caused a search for a new balance and today, there is an attempt to establish a new economy based on tourism.
The territory still offers a rich wooden and botanical patrimony, despite its past mining activity. About 3600 hectares, the vast Marganai area, is entirely covered by a thick, oak forest, sometimes impervious even to sunlight. It preserves endemic species of great naturalistic and scientific interest. All of these species can be found in the Botanical Garden "Linasia" recently opened in the heart of Marganai.
Covering about 9000 square meters, the Garden Linasia offers visitors and experts alike, numerous specimen difficult to find in nature because they are rare and live on steep, inaccessible slopes.
Inside the Garden you'll also find a small museum where Marganai's fauna are exhibited.
The Garden is open Monday through Friday from 7am - 6pm and 10.30am - 6pm holidays.
The western side of Iglesias' territory is flanked by the Mediterranean sea and its coasts are only 10 minutes from the city. The coastline going from Fontanamare beach to Cala Domestica beach is considered one of the most magnificent in all of Italy. From Fontanamare, the coast becomes rocky and multicoloured. A safe scenic route, amongst steep slopes, allows us admire the wonderful, massive stacks broken away from the coastline about five hundred million years ago.
The most famous of them is Pan di Zucchero, a 132 m high rock that was declared a national monument.
Along the way to Nebida, evidence of the past mining activity is quite clear and includes very charming sites such as the Lamarmora laveria. The laveria is delicately balanced between land and sea and can be admired from the scenic route.
Continuing further, you come across the small but fascinating Masua beach, dominated by the imposing ramparts of Monte Nai, opposite the Pan di Zucchero.
Past the Masua and Cala Domestica beaches and sandy dunes, the coastline is accessible only by boat.
Almost half of the land here is formed by limestone and dolomites, strangely and creatively shaped by time's passing.
From a scientific point of view, the S. Barbara cave, near the San Giovanni mine, is the most interesting. It conserves barite crystals in its walls and its vault. These crystals prove that the cave is one of the oldest in the world.
A few km. from Iglesias, in Domusnovas. The San Giovanni cave is a massive underground karstic system, the most important among a myriad of other small caves and all quite interesting from an archaeological point of view. In the S. Giovanni cave, the entrance room used to be a holy place for water worshipping during the Neolithic Age.
The numerous mining villages spread all around the territory are surely very interesting and deserve a visit. Among the most important and containing proof of the past mining activity are Seddas, Moddizzis, Acquaresi, Malacalzetta, Tiny and Arenas.
S. Barbara's well also deserves a visit, characterised by massive walls giving it a medieval castle-like look.
Nostra Signora di Valverde (Our Lady of the Green Valley) is also known as the Capuchins' church. It was built in compliance with the Franciscans' will in the last decades of the XIII Century. The façade is divided by a moulding, the portal is quite simple and covered by an arch. The interior, aisle-less with chapels on the right side, has been restored in XVI and following centuries.
The Chiesa del Collegio or della Purissima was founded by the Jesuits present in the area since 1578. Its façade is simple and it has a portal made of red trachyte. The building is aisle-less, quite big, and has three chapels on each side, with baroque-inspired altars. The slightly elevated presbyteral area has a magnificent altar made of polychrome marble, with columns and a rich fastigium.
The St. Saviour church is Iglesias' oldest building and represents a real Medieval masterpiece. It's shaped as a Latin cross and has low, barrel vaults.
St. Clare's church was built between 1284 and 1288 according to Lord Ugolino of Donoratico's wishes. The lower part of the façade is in Romanesque style and in the upper area, close to the central rosette, there are two precious arcades. On the right side there is a bell-tower that has been restored at different times. It holds a bell melted by Andrea Pisano in 1337. The interiors, restored between 1503 and 1588, are aisle-less and have lateral chapels. The large presbyteral area is square with a large transept. The church became a cathedral in 1502, when the diocese was transferred to Tratalias by Pope Julius II.
Among religious traditions, the most suggestive is the Holy Week, characterised by a performance repeated since the XVII Century. Easter Sunday, a parade called "S'Incontru" takes place, and on the following Tuesday the "S'Onterru" procession closes the celebrations.
Different cultural events are also organised throughout the year, mostly in October. Just a few examples are the art exhibitions (including paintings, sculptures, photography and minerals), Iglesias' Journalism and Literature award (October) and the Sardinian handcrafts exhibition (first ten days of July).
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