Wild, secluded and fascinating, Barbagia is a place to immerse yourself in nature, visit its wonderful villages and indulge in its delicious cuisine, long studied for the longevity of its inhabitants. Or where to be bewitched by the most characteristic manifestations of the culture, history and nature of Sardinia, which it jealously guards.

The navel of Sardinia.
Barbagia owes its name to the ancient Romans, who called it Barbaria, because of its inhabitants, particularly proud and rebellious, who strenuously opposed their conquest. Located between the area of Oristano and the province of Nuoro, it is a mountainous region dense with woods, with steep valleys and deserted plateaus that give way to equally wild and bare peaks. Here customs and traditions, together with a generous nature, have characterized and differentiated the life of its people for millennia.

Barbagia and its wilderness
Barbagia proves to be an authentic paradise for those who love to indulge in exciting outdoor experiences. You can start with the Supramonte, a vast limestone-dolomitic mountain complex where the white of the rocks, the green of the vegetation and the blue of the sky offer spectacular color contrasts. But also the source of Su Gologone in Oliena is an area of ​​extreme naturalistic, geological, historical and even archaeological interest. Lovers of antiquity certainly cannot miss the Lanaittu Valley, where the oldest human remains of the island have been found. Another must is the Nuragic village of Tiscali, where, according to legend, the last Sardinians took refuge to escape the conquerors.

To immerse yourself in the green, the Montes Forest is unparalleled, with its infinite green expanse that is unique in the Mediterranean basin in terms of extension and characteristics. Near there, moreover, the view from the top of Mount Novu Santu Juvanne is priceless. Finally, the impressive Gorropu Canyon deserves a visit, considered the most spectacular in Europe but also one of the deepest.

Barbagia is also sea
Amazing sea to be honest, as is the case with Cala Luna, a dazzling strip of fine sand, protected by steep rocky walls. One of its most striking features is the presence of numerous caves overlooking clear waters, such as the Grotta del Bue Marino.

Around the enchanted villages of Barbagia
Barbagia is dotted with charming villages with historic centers characterized by granite houses, narrow alleys, coortes and vine pergolas. This is the case of Orgosolo, a place where the streets are expressed through murals, paintings on walls that tell about life, culture and political claims. Another village of incredible beauty is Oliena, the home of Cannonau wine, a perfect place to get lost in the narrow streets of the center. Among other things, these pretty villages are part of a Sardinian “Blue Zone”, one of the longest-lived areas on the planet.

The secret of the longevity of their inhabitants
The longevity of barbaricini certainly depends on several factors. Genetics are not only influencing life prospects, but also environmental factors and a more or less healthy lifestyle. Scholars agree on one thing: Sardinian cuisine makes an important contribution to making them particularly long-lived. The Sardinian-Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables and animal proteins derived from milk (in particular from goat and sheep). Among the foods and healthy eating habits that may have contributed to making Barbagia a blue zone are the consumption of olive oil and local cheeses, a little wine during meals and a little red meat. Pane carasau may also play a role. It is the most common bread consumed by Sardinian shepherds, dry and flat. With its high protein content, low gluten content and high fiber and complex carbohydrate content, it does not cause a spike in blood sugar, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. This particular type of bread is the protagonist of an exquisite typical dish of Barbagia, the “Pane Frattau“, that is carasau bread seasoned with tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and egg.

Fall in Barbagia
Every year, from September to December, this region is animated by a very popular event: “Autunno in Barbagia”. Numerous villages are involved, each committed to organizing parties, events, shows, exhibitions, concerts and many other events to honor the tradition and culture of the place. The courtyards and streets of the villages of Barbagia are flooded with music, the scent of typical dishes and groups of visitors curious to immerse themselves in local traditions.

When to go
Generally speaking, the temperate Mediterranean climate of Barbagia brings moderately hot summers and cool, rarely freezing winters. Perhaps autumn can be a suitable period due to the numerous festivals and gastronomic events to make the products of the territory known. The organization of the trip is quite easy. If time is short, perhaps it is best to seek the assistance of agencies that specialize in creating personalized individual holidays in this area to suit your specific interests, like Sicily & Beyond.

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