SU NURAXI AND THE GIARA OF GESTURI
This excursion will lead you to the most famous Sardinian Archaeological site, the Nuraghe of Barumini, UNESCO world heritage site.
Nuraghe are the symbol of Sardinia, and were built during the II Millennium bC.
The Nuraghe of Barumini is composed by a Central tower, the keep, originally nearly 20 metres high. This tower is surrounded by a fortified court, and by four side towers.
The passage inside the monument is emotional and adventourous, since you pass through the walls and the ancient corridors! After the third circe of Towers, the fortifica- tion is surrounded by the village, composed by circular houses built during at least 10 centuries!
After the emotional visit to the Nuraghe of Barumini we follow with the visit to Casa
Zapata: this noble house dating from the Spanish Period is been made into a museum,
and during the works a big surprise occurred: another nuraghe was found underneath
the foundations of the palace!
Immediately footbridges were built on top of it, and so this is a unique opportunity for
you to admire a Nuraghe from the Top!
The term “giare” refers to a few basaltic highlands in Sardinia, formed during the Oligocene period by volcanic phenomena, characterized by very steep escarpments within the Marmilla and Sarcidano territories. There are three altogether, Gesturi, Serri and Siddi but the municipal areas into whose territory they fall are more numerous. The largest and most famous of the Giare is that of Gesturi, 12 km long and 4 km wide, with an overall area of 45 km².
This highland has a very even surface, distinguished by some light depressions, in which some stagnations of water are formed during the wet season, sometimes fed by small springs, called paulis. When the rains are very heavy they sometimes break their banks and give rise to curious little waterfalls along the edges of the Giara .The vegetation that covers the highland is most luxuriant (this area is completely void of any urban development), made up of dense woods of cork oak and also Mediterranean brush including myrtle, rockrose, strawberry trees, lentisk, heather and spurge, but also endemic varieties like s’erba ‘e oru (Morisia Monantha), a paleo-endemic species of the Tertiary existing only in Sardinia and Corsica, a real living fossil like the Lepidurus apus, a small shellfish that lives in the wetlands on the top of the Giara. But it is the small horse of the Giara that is the most famous protagonist of the fauna of this highland. It is a particular equine race, between 110 and 120 cm at the neck, introduced into Sardinia in times past, with very particular characteristics like its almond shaped eyes. These are the last wild horses in Europe, of which remain some hundred specimens. Naturally, the Giara is also home to numerous bird species, a good 64 with further 22 just in the summer period.
However, it is the archaeological aspect that constitutes one of the most important reasons for interest in the giare. Along the perimeter of the plateau of Gesturi are dotted 24 Nuraghi, while at its feet the number rises to at least double that, a fact which has lead many researchers to believe that this territory was a sort of natural fort for the Nuragic populations.