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The Gulf of Angels (Golfo degli Angeli) is a splendid scenery space that appears from the sea on the south side of Sardegna limited by Pula and Nora from the west and by the seaside resorts of Villasimius on the east, through the extreme Capo Carbonara in front of which a remote and wild Isola dei Cavoli is visible. Cagliari - the principal town is hidden like a precious jewellery in the centre of the gulf.
The name of the gulf has been inspirited by the old legend that arouses tourist's curiosity.
Long time ago Angels asked the God a gift and he promised them a piece of land where they could live in happiness and peace on the condition they find it themselves.
The Angels stepped down on the Earth and started to look for such a land but everywhere they found an evil and hatred. They would like to give up when they noted a beautiful, green island surrounded by the sea. The habitants emerged in the beauty of their land used to live simply and quietly taking care of their pasture and their fields.
Angels, happy to have finally found the desired land, asked the God to realise his promise. Afterwards they settled down in this wonderful place reminding them the Paradise.
Unfortunately they haven't had to wait for the quick reaction of a jealous Lucifer, who started to create confusion and to cause disharmony among the Angels in order to chase them away from the island. They were fought a long time in the waters of the Gulf creating high and strong waves until the devil finally got thrown from his black horse. Lucifer in his furiousness took the saddle and threw it over the hill leaving the mark of it while the Archangel Gabriel in his triumph stood out in the sea with his sparkling spade".
Nowadays, this hill is called Devil's Saddle (Sella del Diavolo) and reminds the form of a big saddle.
Numerous populations found a refuge in the wonderful sea below the hill – from peaceful Phoenicians through Romans, Bezants, Pisans and Genoas to Spanish and English.
The Angels were made to leave the land but the legend says they frequently stop to admire the Gulf from the top and when the sky is getting purple in the sunset, they silently descent to admire the land that used to be their second Paradise.
The coasts of the Gulf form interminable beaches with thin and bright sand. The longest one is the beach of Poetto - about 11 km long, only of few minutes from the centre of Cagliari and next to the small tourist port – Marina Piccola.
Across the panoramic street with spectacular cliffs and expanses of crystal and transparent water the easter bow unties through beautiful beaches and bays of Capitana, Torre delle Stelle, Solanas, Capo Carbonara, Isola dei Cavoli.
There are an infinite number of camping, residences, villas, hotels with series of services and sport activities from typical water sports (including diving and snorkelling) to trekking, horse riding and golf.
Regarding the the island history, there are a lot of interesting archaeological points to visit in the Gulf. For example Nora – the Sardinian Atlantis – the antic Phoenician – Punic - Roman town discovered more than ten years of excavations. According to the epigraphic Phoenician documents Nora was considered the most antic settlement of Sardinia. In the neighbourhoods of Nora, in Pula are there is the Tower of Saint Efisio (Torre di Sant'Efisio) of the unknown age, coming probably from around early VII century.
The landscape of the Gulf of Angels is very changeable – there are beautiful parks in mountains like the famous Park of Seven Brothers (Parco dei Settefratelli), a wide surface that covers different municipalities: from Burcei to Villasimius. It is possible to admire these harsh and savage granite massifs crossed by streams in the winter, inhabited by different species of animals as the sought-after Royal Eagle. There is one of the most frequented paths for the trekking enthusiasts – long for kilometres “Il Sentiero Italia". It offers the possibility to choose between alternative and signed tracks. It starts near the road S.S 125 that follows to Sassari.
Travelling through urban areas between Quartu S. Elena and Cagliari it is quite impossible to miss the expanse of marshland - lack of Molentargius (Stagno di Molentargius)– a settlement of beautiful aquatic birds, especially flamingos that reproduced there since 1993. They are protected and recognised nearly all over the world.
Mainly given to the agriculture, the Campidano is characterised by a flat morphology and by the most important motorway of the whole island, the SS.131, that crosses the land joining the cities of Cagliari, Oristano and Sassari. Only few Km far from the capital you'll find the ruins of the Acquafredda's Castle (literally fresh water's castle), today unfortunately quite decadent but still keeping its glamour. At the moment there's no practicable access to the castle, but they're planning to restore the whole complex in order to give it back its ancient magnificence.
Carrying on along the main road, one of the first sites you'll find is the Sanluri's Castle, a fortress erected during the XIII century, where Eleonora D'Arborea used to live for a long time and where the King Peter IV from Aragon spent some time. Since 1927 it's the “Museum of All Sardinian Dead for the Country".
Few Km forward, after passing Sardara, a village known for its thermal baths, a due stop is the Museum of Villanovaforru. Here it's also possible to admire a nuragical complex dated back to the II millennium B.C. This archaeological site is very close to the built-up area and all the findings, included those dated back to the Punic and Roman period, are well kept in a small but very interesting museum located in the village centre.
Anyway, just few Km further, you'll find one of the most interesting archaeological site of Sardinia: we are talking about the nuragical complex of Barumini. Brought back to the light in the 1950, the complex dates back to about 4000 years ago and it's by right included in the UNESCO list of the heritages of the world.
The least but not last stop of this trip is the Giara di Gesturi, a natural oasis of almost 4000 hectares watched by the little ponies, a breed of little horses unique in the world, whose origins are still uncertain. Apparently their introduction in Sardinia is supposed to be due to the Cartaginesis population.
The Campidano offers to the visitor a variety of occasions for an alternative holiday, making appreciate all the beauties of this wonderful island.
Sardinia has a mild climate that permits to spend a relaxing holiday in any time of the year. Therefore the beaches and the cities of the Sarrabus area begin to populate starting from the spring period. Tourist destinations are in particular the coasts along Costa Rei, Porto Corallo, Cala Sinzias and Cala Pira.
The most important event related to the popular traditions of this area is the “Sagra degli Agrumi" (the citrus fruits festival) in March, then the exposition of Sardinian handcrafts in July and the S. Agostino's feast in the end of August.
The Sarrabus is a wide natural area with a variety of vegetable species, including the Mediterranean bush and conifers.
It's a territory with a low population density, where the principal areas are Muravera and Castiadas, reachable through the suggestive motorway called SS.131 and crossing the park of Sette Fratelli (literally Seven Brothers), great destination for all trekking lovers, and the Serpeddi mountains.
Also very interesting is the archaeological area near Muravera, where numerous megalithic complexes have been found located following the position of the stars and dated back to the 5000 b.C.
Unfortunately many menhirs are partially , sometimes completely, covered by the thick vegetation.
Other interesting sites in the area are the Holy Nuragic Well of Is Pirois, dated back to the Bronze Age, and the Nuraghe Asoru.