There is everything you could look for in this corner of Sardinia: a breath-taking panorama, history, traditions, mountains, the sea, a river, even a lake. Villanova is an area of the province of Sassari which covers 300 square kilometres and includes five municipalities, for a total of five thousand inhabitants. The most important centre is Villanova Monteleone. The most important towns are Padria, Mara, Romana and Monteleone Roccadoria. The route starts from Padria, the Gurulis Vetus dating back to Roman times. An important past that lives again in the small museum, a few steps from the beautiful Gothic-Aragonese church dedicated to Santa Giulia.
Three hills overlook the town: San Paolo (St. Paul), San Pietro (St. Peter), and San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) are waiting for you. They have names of saints because somehow they announce paradise. No! It is not a route for a quick getaway. What we suggest is an ideal route for those who want to travel in a different way. Away from the crowded beaches, away from the chaos. It is possible to discover a new place and maybe to find yourself. Leave for places full of magic. Meanwhile discover Nature, the undisputed queen of Villanova, dominated by Its Majesty the Gryphon, symbol of a great environmental victory. Then add history and, step by step, your journey will life your spirits at every curve, every trail, every town.
Everywhere you can perceive human history.
The remains of castles such as the one in Bonughinu in Mara, perched on an inaccessible hill, or its splendid rococo church, tell the glory of an industrious people who, even at the moment of their downfall, were able to keep their intellect.
Monteleone Roccadoria is a jewel to be climbed. The medieval village echoes, with a little fantasy, ancient battles and duels in the shadow of Su Monte, the white mountain overlooking the town which keeps the traces of a past full of victories and glorious years. At the slopes there is the lake, in all its charm. The canoe is waiting to take you from one bank to another in order to imagine the characteristics of the territory before it was submerged in water. Quiet roads and sufficient guidance will help you discover the simplicity of these fascinating places.
The air is thin.
We are moving towards Romana. Numerous murals colour the houses of the town. A few kilometres away is the beautiful church, almost entirely carved out of limestone rock, dedicated to San Lussorio. If during the journey you feel thirsty, you will discover that this land is rich in water and springs flowing among the vegetation of a luxuriant nature. In this area, looking for water can also be a route characterised by religiosity and veneration of the Creation. In Romana they celebrate the health benefits of the springs of Abbarghente while the water of Mudeju is slightly sparkling.
In Villanova Monteleone proceed towards the springs of Su Cantaru. And since you’ve come to Villanova take a dip in the sea: it can be of relief after the climb, but you’ll have to descend a bit before reaching the coast. Between Poglina and La Speranza, the predominant colour is blue which competes in brightness with the clearest sky during spring. But, if you truly love nature, do not forget to stop at Monte Minerva, a magnificent plateau which is now a natural oasis of great value, with its 2,500 acres of scents, colours and emotions.
Again, Sardinia is a land for all seasons. There are hills, the railway, rock-climbing, and the canoe is ready to face the calmness of the lake.
Gryphons keep flying over the territory. They will be your guide during your excursions. But there is time. The road is still long, and it has never been so beautiful.