Nature, Archeology and folklore

Baita Maore is located in Laconi, a part of Sardinia that is precious for its breathtaking rural scenery and nature and which has been home to many civilizations. Therefore, there are countless stops perfect for those who are eager to learn more about the Sardinian territory and its people’s culture. Laconi is situated on a ridge of the Sarcidano plateau, around 500 meters above sea level, covered by large forests and natural springs. From Laconi it is very easy to reach the surrounding villages that are hosting many archaeological, historical and naturalistic attractions. While in Laconi you can visit the Aymerich Park, a hotspot for nature lovers; the birthplace of Sant’Ignazio, now converted into a museum dedicated to the Saint; the Menhir museum in Palace Aymerich. The Funtanamela forest stretches for 497 hectares towards the east side of the town, beyond the park. In a few minutes drive to the south, you can reach the Is Arinus fountain park with its beautiful waterfalls and lakes. Also towards the south are the villages of Barumini and Gesturi.  In Barumini, it’s possible to visit Sardinia’s most important Nuragic complex, called Su Nuraxi, the relative museum hosting the artifacts found on the site, as well as some permanent exhibitions about Sardinian archeology, named after the archaeologist who directed the excavations, Giovanni Lilliu. In Barumini, you can admire another nuraghe which is not visible at first sight, as this was found on the foundations of Villa Zapata (home of the homonymous barons in the 14th century). Villa Zapata also houses the museum of  “Launeddas” (a typical Sardinian musical instrument) and the historical and ethnographic archives.

On the south from Barumini is Gesturi, a town known for the Giara natural park. The park lies on the Giara plateau, 600 meters above sea level, covered by the suggestive Mediterranean landscape. This amazing plateau is the habitat of the unique Giara horse, a species of wild bay horse characterized by its tiny dimensions, reaching just 120 centimetres at its wither. In addition, there are also several Nuragic towers located on the edges of the plateau; their remains are kept in the Giara’s museum where is possible to see collections related to archeology, history, geology and biology related to this territory. Driving north from Laconi, it is possible to reach rapidly the town of Samugheo to visit the Nuraghe of Nolza. This structure is comparable, for its majesty and complexity, to the Barumini’s one. The Nuragic fortress is located on the highest point of the Su Pranu plateau at an altitude of 740 meters, and it dominates an ancient Nuragic village that stretches for over two hectares. Not far from Samugheo, it is possible to visit the mysterious castle of Medusa. Very few written testimonies have been found about this castle’s history. Instead, several are the legends told about its origins. Dating back to the 5th century, the structure was born as a Byzantine castrum but was later modified twice in the following three centuries. Later in 1389, it was named castrum Asonis as it was transferred to Genoa by the Judge of Arborea. Its current name arrived at the end of the 15th century and several mythological legends were told about it.

Near to Baita Maore is possible to experience a suggestive trip on the green train, which will travel towards Mandas, stopping for Nurallao, the Sarcidano station, the Is Paras and Isili Nuraghe. Characterized by its vintage locomotives and carriages, the green train follows a scenic route and its stops are organized to allow the passengers to enjoy the various locations.

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