a - Z of Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

On this page you will find all the art, archaeology and history sites and museums in Sardinia in our database listed A to Z. Although we have a number of thematic guides to the various sites and museums around Sardinia (four are listed below), we have created this list for people who want to see all places to visit to explore a complete list of places to visit when creating a personalised itinerary.  Scroll through the list and add whatever sites and museum interest you. You can easily edit your itinerary when you see your choices mapped. 

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Nuragic Sites & Museums

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Archaeology & History Sites & Museums in Sardinia

Alghero Medieval Walls

One of the most striking and picturesque features in Alghero are the medieval walls surrounding the town’s historical centre. Canon and catapults, towers and forts along the way are a fascinating reminder of Alghero’s rich history. Like many places, these walls were built and then repaired and developed over the centuries. Alghero was a fortified Genoese port town as early as the 11th century. In the mid 1300s the Catalans repaired the walls, but much of what we see today was built in the 16th century by the Aragonese.

Antas Roman Quarry

The quarry represents a rather rare case in the ancient world, since it is in direct contact with the site where the stone was quarried. Approximately 800 m away, in a path not too far from the sanctuary, but still challenging due to the uneven terrain, there are three quarry areas set within a grove. Looking around, one can still clearly see the cutting lines that were followed during the extraction of the limestone. The beginning of the quarrying activity could refer either to the first Roman phase of the sanctuary in the 1st century BC, or to its reconstruction in the 3rd century AD.

Archaeological Museum Ferruccio Barreca

The museum has been open to the public since 9 January 2006, and houses numerous artefacts related to the ancient city of Sulky, which lies beneath modern Sant’Antioco. The centre was founded by the Phoenicians towards the end of the 9th century BC and was one of the most important trading ports in Sardinia throughout antiquity. The museum tour is narrated in three rooms, which respectively display the finds of the settlement, the necropolis, and the tophet, i.e. the three main nuclei of the urban settlement. Phoenician, Punic and Roman artefacts are displayed in the showcases, which attempt to narrate the different aspects of society, related to daily life, religious, funerary and sacred contexts.

Archaeological Museum of Olbia

The archaeological museum in Olbia celebrates hundreds of years of history in Sardinia’s north-east area. Located in the city’s harbour, this modern building was designed with portholes and walkways to reflect Olbia’s history as an important port. The permanent display take an extensive view of the various periods of Olbia’s past, from the Phoenicians, Greeks, to the Punic and Roman eras. Pride of place in the museum are the conserved remains of Roman boats that had sunk in the ancient harbour and discovered again during the construction of the museum building.

Aymerich Castle, Laconi

Set in a public park created in 1830 are the ruins of the medieval Aymerich Castle. Although much of what we see today dates to at least the 13th century, it is thought that there was an earlier settlement probably dating back to the 12th or even the 11th century. The castle was built to defend the borders of the Judicate of Arborea from the Cagliari Judicate. In the 19th century, when the ruling family of the fief of Laconi were living here, the castle was destroyed by fire. Visitors are free to walk among the ruins and see  the vaulted arch entrance that is flanked by a rectangular tower, and the remains of the palace, with its Catalan-Gothic windows.

Basilica of San Simplicio, Olbia

The Church of Saint Simplicio in Olbia is one of Sardinia’s most important religious monuments. And it stands on a small hill that has a long sacred history, with Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and the early Christians. This is also the spot where Simplicio was persecuted for his Christian beliefs and killed on 15 May 304 AD. He is still the patron saint of Olbia. The Romanesque basilica we see today was built in three distinct phases, beginning in the 11th century. Built entirely from granite, it has a striking façade with a triple lancet window and a three aisled nave. The aisles are separated by columns some of which have decorated Romanesque capitals.

Basilica of Sant'Antioco

The church was built between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 6th century on Byzantine models, and is one of the oldest structures on the island for this type of building. It rises exactly above the Punic catacombs in which the Saint was buried, around the 2nd century AD. The basilica underwent several alterations both in the 12th century with the Victorine monks from Marseilles and in the 18th century, when the late Baroque façade was added. The interior clearly shows Byzantine forms, discernible in the small central dome from which the four barrel-vaulted arms originate. Inside, there are the remains of an ancient stone baptismal font, some sarcophagi, and the entrance to the catacombs area, which can be visited by paying a ticket.

Biru'e Concas Archaeological Park

It houses the highest concentration of menhirs in the Mediterranean area, with around 200 monoliths scattered throughout the park. The menhirs, almost all of simple type without any anthropomorphic character, date back to a period between the 4th and 3rd millennium BC. At the time of its discovery, almost no stones were found in their original position, but most were found split or lying on the ground, perhaps due to the evangelisation work ordered by Pope Gregory the Great, which included the island towards the end of the 6th century AD. The site is free to visit and allows visitors to rediscover the works of the pre-Nuragic and Nuragic civilisation, where traces of an ancient megalithic wall and a nuraghe also remain.

Civic Archaeological Museum of Cabras

The Museo Civico “Giovanni Marongiu” – Cabras opened in 1997 exhibiting the local history of the Cabras municipality (including the Sinis Peninsular), from prehistory to medieval times. Artefacts come from Neolithic, Nuragic, Phoenician-Punic, Roman and medieval sites in the area. Two notable displays include the Roman shipwreck of Mal di Ventre, dated to the 1st century BC, and a small collection of the large stone statues, the ‘Sardinian Giants’, recovered by archaeologists at the Nuragic necropolis of Mont’e Prama.

Coddu Vecchiu Tomb of Giants

Tomba dei Giganti di Coddu Vecchiu is one of the larger ‘Giants’ tombs’ in Sardinia. It is remarkably well preserved. Located near the town of Arzachena, the funerary monument is one of a number of Nuragic archaeological sites in the area. It dates to the Bronze Age (around 2500 BC) and is fronted by an impressive 4 m high stone slab. The structure was used as a mass burial chamber and contains a series of megaliths which form a dolmen corridor. The site is surrounded by vineyards with the prestigious Capichera winery situated nearby.

Domus de Janas S'incantu - Necropolis of Monte Siseri

Those who visit it are confronted with one of the highlights of Neolithic art in Sardinia and beyond. It is called ‘s’Incantu’, which literally means ‘the enchantment’, because of the mood it arouses. It is carved into the rock, dating from between 3200 and 2600 BC, with a corridor leading to a small atrium, followed by the central cell and side cells, used for the deposition of the dead. Each corner has engravings related to the funerary world, such as false doors, taurine protomes, and concentric circles engraved on the floor. The site, with free entry, is difficult to reach because of signposting, but visitors who manage to find it will certainly not be disappointed.

Holy Trinity of Saccargia

Said by many to be the height of Romanesque style in Sardinia, the church is the work of Pisan-Pistoise builders. Built in two phases: the first around 1112 at the behest of Judge Constantine I of Torres, and the second around the middle of the 13th century. It was later donated to the monastery of Camaldoli. Externally the church has a striking black and white colour scheme, capturing the attention of visitors from a considerble distance. Inside a 12th century fresco survives on the central apse, one of the few preserved on the island from the Romanesque period. Next to the church the ruins of the monastery are still visible.

Masua Mine

Part of the the Geological Mining Park of Sardinia, Masua Mine has been operational since the 17th century. Mineral extraction here reached its peak in the mid 19th century when there were around 700 workers living on site. The abandoned and now ruined mining village on a steep slope of a mountain still has remnants of the school, hospital, church and houses. The onsite museum houses over 70 machines as well as other tools and equipment used by the miners. From the 1960s mining activity in the area started to decline, and the mine eventually closed in the 1990s.

Menhir Museum, Laconi

Since 2010 the museum has been housed in the Aymerich Palace, built in 1846 to a design by the Cagliaritan architect Gaetano Cima. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting museums on the island, 44 menhirs from the territory of Laconi and the province of Oristano are on permanent display. Following a tour of 11 galleries, the visitor traces the evolution of this phenomenon, which from simple shapes, goes on to represent complex symbols and anthropomorphic characters. Many statues represent engraved ‘upside-down’ and ‘dagger’ signs, expressions of a complex society to which the museum gives voice.

Mont'e Prama Archaeological Site

The archaeological site at which the fragments of the so-called Giants of Mont’e Prama were found is not open to the public. Although you can see the excavation from the road. This is because archaeological investigations are ongoing. Regular events are organised, however, either by the museum in Cabras or the Mont’e Prama Foundation. And these often include guided tours of the site. These last about an hour, and we highly recommend taking one if you can. Although it seems that there is very little to see (certainly there are not giant sculptures in place), it is possible to get an appreciation of the ritual context of the larger than life sculptures.

Monteponi Mine

On the outskirts of Iglesias are the abandoned remains of one of Sardinia’s most important producers of lead, zinc and silver. Extraction of minerals started at Monteponi mine in the 14th century, but it was not until a concession was granted in June of 1850 that modern mining commenced here. Mining took place until the mine’s closure in 1992. Part of the sprawling site is open to the public. Visitors can take guided tours of the Galleria Villamarina – an underground tunnel that is connected to the two entrances of the mine, the Pozzo Vittorio Emanuele and Pozzo Sella. These two shafts were used for the transfer of extracted rock and miners.

Montevecchio Mine

One of eight sites that make up the UNESCO recognised Geomineral Park of Sardinia, the site of the Montevecchio Mine is a popular tourist attraction. A number of routes have been set up that allow visitors to explore all aspects of this once thriving mining community. From the humble cottages where the workers lived to the luxurious offices that accommodated the mine’s management. As well as the various points at which the mechanical and technical activities were undertaken, from extracting the rock to producing a product ready to be forged. It is only possible to explore this abandoned mine by taking a guided tour.

Mount d'Accoddi

The complex represents a unique case, both in Europe and in the Mediterranean area. It was built over 5,000 years ago, between 4000 and 3200 BC, and is currently the only type of sacred building with forms similar to those of the Mesopotamian Ziqqurat, discovered in the 1950s. After paying the ticket, the ruins of the temple are located on a plain in open country, formed by terraces on several levels in the shape of a truncated cone, with a long ramp leading up to the top, presumably the most sacred point. Around the area, interesting artefacts of the pre-Nuragic civilisation survive, such as a menhir, a large stone table thought to have been used for votive offerings, as well as the remains of a village.

Museum of Coal in Carbonia

What was the lamp room of the Sebariu coal mine has ben converted into a museum. An extensive permanent exhibition fills this vast industrial space. A series of displays tells the history of coal, as well as the story of the mine and the social impact it had on the town of Carbonia. Theer are many artefacts on display, such as the mine lamps, tools and everyday objects associated with the day to day activities of the miners. These objects are supplemented with photographs, historic documents, period film footage as well as video interviews with some of the miners who worked at the mine. Visitors can take an hour-long guided tour of the underground tunnels and the winch room.

National Archaeological Museum, Cagliari

Given the quantity of objects from all over the island, this museum is certainly the most important in Sardinia. Since 1993 it has occupied one of the buildings in a complex known as the ‘Citadel of Museums’, built within the district of Castello, reusing the space of the ancient medieval walls. It houses more than 4,000 objects that tell 7,000 years of history, ranging from Prehistory to the Early Middle Ages, in an itinerary that is divided over 4 floors, each with different themes. In the collections visitors can admire statuettes of the mother goddesses, Nuragic bronze statues, a large part of the Nuragic giant statues of Mont’e Prama, as well as Punic and Phoenician jewellery and Roman statuary.

Nebida Mine

Besides the spectacular views over an idyllic stretch of Sardinian coastline, the Nebida Mine is known for its majestic architecture. The most important feature of this site is the Laveria La Marmora – a highly sophisticated extraction plant. The ore extracted from the nearby mine was ‘washed’ to produce the lead and zinc mineral that was then shipped to foundries around Europe. The plant was built in 1897 and was active until the 1970s, with work interrupted by the two world wars. The mine and the town were then both abandoned. These ruins are included in the Geological Mining Park of Sardinia.

Necropolis of Sant'Andrea Priu

One of the most fascinating sites of the pre-Nuragic period in Sardinia, where prehistory unintentionally merges with Christian art. The necropolis, consisting of 20 hypogea excavated within the rocky bank, dates between 3200 and 2850 BC. Of all the tombs, the famous Tomb of the Chief certainly stands out. In terms of size, it is one of the largest in the entire Mediterranean area, with a surface area of 250 square metres and 18 rooms following one another. The Christians reused it as a church, plastering and frescoing it several times between the 4th and 6th centuries AD, and today it is still possible to see part of the decorations, in a unique mix of prehistory and Christian art.

Nora Archaeological Site

According to ancient sources, Nora was the first city to have been founded in Sardinia, home to a number of different cultures over the centuries. Nuragics, Phoenicians, Punic and Romans followed one another on this small peninsula, which established itself as an important trading centre in the ancient Mediterranean. Most of the visible structures are from its Roman phase, built between the 1st century BC and the 4th century AD. Visitors can explore the remains of the Roman city’s main features, such as the baths, sanctuaries and living quarters, in which splendid mosaics survive, and the theatre, which, given its excellent condition, is still used for concerts in the evenings during summer.

Nuraghe Arrubiu, Orroli

Taking its name from the reddish lichen that covers the rocks that make up the ruins, Nuraghe Arrubiu is thought to be the largest surviving nuraghe in Sardinia. The central tower is estimated to have been between 25 and 30 m in height. In all there were 21 towers, and the complex covered an area of about 3,000 square metres. It was built towards the end of the 14th century BC, when the island had considerable contacts with eastern Mediterranean lands, particularly Cyprus and Mycenae. The settlement was abandoned and collapsed around the 9th century BC.

Nuraghe Corvos

To the visitor’s eye, this structure has a peculiar two-tone appearance, given by the presence at the base of large blocks of freshly hewn limestone, while at the top there are well-crafted blocks of dark trachyte, added at a later date probably to repair a collapse of the upper structures or to add an additional floor. The nuraghe was of the complex type, with two secondary towers around the central one, although these are no longer clearly visible. Given the good condition in which it has been preserved, it is still possible to explore its interior. It is easily found along the provincial road 97 that connects Florinas to Banari.