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Vivere la campagna


Cover of Atmosphere
marzo 2009 - Cantelli-Rotoweb


Echoes of ancient civilisations, mature woods and deserted beaches

Would you like to see the biggest knife in the world? Visit the most majestic nuraghs on the planet? Enter a castle where Eleanor of Arborea lived? Observe wild horses grazing among primroses and asphodels? Admire the amazing mining archaeological remains? Hear the belling of deer in the mating season as you descend to deserted beaches through thousand-year-old holm-oak woods? Gaze on the golden plains that for centuries have been the granary of Italy? Visit the most comprehensive collection of mementoes of the Risorgimento and the Great War? Relax in warm, health-giving thermal waters? Climb gently rounded hills drawn by Vulcan to denote the breasts of Venus? Meet people who have always been the symbol of humanity and friendship? And, of course, enjoy cuisine that reflects all the richness of the area?

Welcome to Medio Campidano.
Divided by the Carlo Felice main road that crosses it from Cagliari to Sassari, this slice of centre-south Sardinia descends from the Giara di Gesturi to the outstanding sand dunes at Piscinas; it has stories of heroes and peasants, of bloody battles and everyday life in a landscape that is both wild and gentle and dotted with towers, castles, nuraghs, mines and agricultural crops.
The extensive, fertile plain that gives it its name is dominated by incredibly beautiful historical and natural monuments. The most enchanting are the Giara, with its famous wild horses; the nuragh palace of Barùmini, the most impressive evidence of the unique civilisation that lived on the Island from 2000 to 500 B.C.; the Las Plassas hill, the most geometrie of the many highlands that are so similar to women's breasts that the Romans called them the rnammillae (the derivation of the historical name of the area, Marmilla).
In the west, between the mountains that have been a notable source of mining products since antiquity -demonstrated by the numerous shafts, tunnels, washing plants and extraction equipment that have remained – the land descends to the sea between shale and quartz gullies in deep woodland inhabited by deer, mouflon and other wild animals. The beaches at Piscinas, Scivu and Funtanazza are still relatively unknown to mass tourism and the primordial landscape is dominated by dunes of up to 50 metres high, cobalt-coloured water, fine amber sanel, the penetrating aroma of curry plant and absolute silence.
Far museum enthusiasts, Arbus hosts the knife museum, which includes the largest knife in the world among those that are typical of this Sardinian craft; at Sanluri the medieval castle where Eleanor of Arborea lived hosts an exceptional collection of war mementoes donated by the Duke of Aosta to the current owners, the counts Riva Villasanta; at Villanovaforru, the archaeological museum has magnificent remains from the nearby Genn'e Maria nuragh; standing alone in the middle of two valleys slightly further on, the territorial museum will host a major mammoth exhibition until the end of June; there is also a chairlift to see the horses on the Giara; not to be missed at Pabillonis are the museums of ceramics and costumes, the curator of which is Rita Cossu, who also makes traditional costumes far men and women. So, welcome to Medio Campidano. It promises sea and mountains and it always keeps its promises,

The green basket
The various initiatives organised by the Province of Medio Campidano to enhance the area include "The Green Basket", which links the quality of the typical local products, the specific environment and its tourism offer. The basket contains 20 of the specialities that best represent the area (saffron, artichokes, asparagus, oil, cheese, salamis, etc.) and it can be bought from over 250 local restaurant and hotel operators. The basket is also a fine example of the ceramic work that is another of the great artisan traditions of Medio Campidano.
By means of a symbol of quality, the project's aim is to provide a transparent guarantee about the area's food products and allow consumers to make an informed choice.