Olbia

The city of Olbia is located in the north-eastern coast of Sardinia, in the innermost part of the homonymous gulf, in front of the little island of Tavolara . It is one of the most important port and airport of call in Sardinia. Olbia’s economy is mostly based on its harbour and airport, but also on the food and fishing industry, with mussel farming. The surroundings are full of ruins of the Neolithic age, with important nuragic complexes, such as Cabu Abbas , the Giant's Tomb of Su Monte e s'Ape and the Sacred Well of Sa Testa .

About 10 kilometers from Olbia, along the state road 125 in the direction of Siniscola, we find the beaches of Lido del Sole, Le Saline, Murta Maria, Li Cuncheddi and Porto Istana , formed by three very fine white sandy coves. Towards Golfo Aranci there is the picturesque coast of Pittulongu  with extraordinary beaches like La Playa, Pelicano and Bados .
In the last years Olbia have had a big development with the rising of new quarters. Starting from the harbour, you can walk through Viale Principe Umberto and easily reach the centre of the town, where you can see the typical buildings in liberty style, like the Town Hall. Nearby you can also admire some ruins of Roman cisterns and the beautiful San Simplicio church, in Romanic style, built in the second half of the XI century. In Via Acquedotto and Via Torino there are some ruins of the ancient Carthaginian walls.

The surroundings of Olbia are full of interesting archaeological sites and of evidences of ancient cultures. You can start from Pedres Castle (200 b. C.), along the road to Loiri; not far from here there is the so-called Tomb of Giants “Su Monte de s'Ape” . Going back to Olbia you can reach the small church of Cabu Abbas and, a bit further, the homonymous nuragic complex. On the top Rio Mulinu , a nuragic castle with a well in the middle overlooks the hill. Five kilometres from the city, along the panoramic road that leads to Golfo Aranci, you will find the Sacred Well of Sa Testa (VIII-VI century b. C.).


Attractions not to be missed


san simplicio                   
Basilica of San Simplicio    How to get there
The Romanesque church of San Simplicio is probably the most important monument of Gallura. Built entirely of granite, it is now incorporated in the city center, surrounded by a square where you can see different Roman milestones. The building was erected in three distinct periods: the perimeter walls, the apse and the pilasters can be ascribed to the second half of the eleventh century, while in the first decades of the twelfth the roof and elevation of the side arches were completed. In the following decade the roof and the realization of the façade were completed. Originally it stood outside the ancient medieval city, surrounded by a large Punic cemetery. The interior has three naves, divided by seven pillars and five columns. In the presbytery there is the ancient statue of San Simplicio, a fine sculpture of gilded wood dating back to the 1600s. There are also three ancient frescoes representing the Saints Bishops.


San Simplicio Necropolis  How to get there
The archaeological area preserves part of the archaeological excavation carried out during the redevelopment of the space in front of the Basilica of San Simplicio.
The excavation returned approx. 450 tombs of Roman age and represents a stratification of phases of worship and necropolis that spans the first 2000 years of the history of the city of Olbia, from its birth with the Phoenicians until the Middle Ages.
necropoli

San Paolo
Church of San Paolo    How to get there
Dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, it is characterized by a rectangular body and three chapels that make the building assume the shape of a cross. The square-shaped bell tower entirely in granite and the Dome, built around 1939 and covered with polychrome majolica, have become icons of the city. Inside the building there are two wooden statues of the eighteenth century dedicated to the Sacred Heart and St. Francis, the main altar, entirely built of marble, and the Venetian-style wooden pulpit. The walls are frescoed with paintings representing the Via Crucis. Also interesting are the silver art objects kept in the sacristy: an aureole and the sandals of Assunta dating back to the seventeenth century.
Museum    How to get there
The Museum shows the entire history of the ancient city and the territory of Olbia, from prehistory to the nineteenth century, with particular reference to the Phoenician, Greek, Punic and Roman phases of the urban and port area, the richest in historical and archaeological documentation . Particularly interesting are the Roman and medieval wrecks found in the excavation of the ancient port, corresponding to the promenade of the current historical center. Olbia is the only town in Sardinia to have been inhabited by Greeks, approximately between 630 and 520 BC., and the name given by them, Olbía, that means "happy" in relation to the extraordinary opportunities that the site offers to human settlement, has been adopted as the name and logo, in Greek capital letters, of the Museum.
The Museum stands on the small Isola Peddone, in front of today's port and already in the old constituent element of the urban port system. From the terraces the view embraces the modern port in the foreground and, at a distance of only 100 meters, the place of origin of the wrecks, in the broader context of the portion of modern urban area that hides the ancient city. In the background, all the internal gulf, the back plain and the theater of hills that surround and complete this landscape-environmental system so optimal in every age for the anthropization are well appreciated at 360 °. The Archaeological Museum of Olbia also preserves the wrecks of two Roman ships, with rudders and other well-preserved materials in a special room at controlled temperature and humidity.
Museo

parco fausto noce
Fausto Noce Park    How to get there
Public park with cycle paths, four fountains and many tree species of Mediterranean flora, benches, life trails, sports facilities (tennis courts, soccer field and small stadium, small amphitheater). The abundant water and greenery have made Fausto Noce the favorite destination for families and sportsmen: the latter use the life path and the various internal itineraries, while the family strolls more calmly or take a picnic outdoors.
Roman Aqueduct    How to get there
The aqueduct of Olbia was built by the Romans between the first and second centuries. d.C., to collect the water coming from the sources of Mount Cabu Abas. In the locality called Sa Rughittula the aqueduct acquires larger dimensions, with a large decantation tank dug completely into the stone and a barrel vault with six holes for ventilation. On the sides of the cistern there are two other smaller tanks and a water well. On the arches you can still see the water transport channels.

acquedotto romano
pozzo sacro
Sacred Well    How to get there
It was probably built at the end of the Bronze Age. The building consists of a large courtyard that gives access to a vestibule, which in turn is connected by a staircase with "a tholos room" that overlooks the source. The courtyard, accessible by a staircase of four steps, is irregularly circular and is enclosed by a massive wall along which there is a seat, presumably suitable for hosting the people during the sacred ceremonies. From the completely paved courtyard, you have access to the well via a staircase of seventeen steps. At the time of excavation, the well has returned many artifacts related to the Nuragic, Punic and Roman age, a sign of a certain continuity of use almost always connected to pagan rites.

Tomb of Giants “Su Monte de s'Ape”    How to get there
The giants' tomb of Su Monte de s'Ape dating back to the Nuraghic age is located a little less than a kilometer from the nuraghe Casteddu and a few meters from the Castle of Pedres. It is composed of a cell limited by two curtains of three regular rows of boulders. The dolmatic cover of the cell is entirely made of huge slabs. On the front there are thirteen slabs fixed to the ground that make up the Esedra, a sacred area reserved for sacrifices and offers. Probably the tomb was the common tomb of the Nuraghe Casteddu. It assumes considerable importance for the length of the cell, more than eighteen meters, superior to that of all the tombs currently found. How to get there: from Olbia you have to take the provincial road to Loiri, at km 3.3 you turn right. After two kilometers you reach the parking lot below the Castle of Pedres, from this point you have to follow the short pedestrian path that leads to the tomb. The site is freely accessible at any time of the day.

tomba giganti
Pittulongu
Pittulongu Beach     How to get there
Also known as "La Playa", it is the favorite beach of the citizens. It is formed by a very fine and white sand with small shells. It looks like a large halfmoon and is equipped with some bathing facilities that offer all the services. The restaurants on the beach and the hotels and resorts in the area are very characteristic. Well connected to the city by public services, it can be reached by following the provincial road 82 for about 5 km. Nearby there are hotels, restaurants and pizzerias, small markets.

Porto Istana Beach, Bunte and Costa Corallina  How to get there
Porto Istana  is a group of four beaches separated from each other by small rocky areas. It is located close to Porto San Paolo, in the Murta Maria area, south of Olbia. The beach is made up of very fine white sand that slopes gently towards the emerald colors of its waters, which is why it is particularly suitable for bathing especially for children. Located in front of the Marine Protected Area of Tavolara, it is a destination for numerous scuba divers and surfers. Services available: easy access for the disabled, beach umbrellas, deck chairs, pedal boats and boats, bar service and catering. There are many hotels and resorts nearby. Porto Istana is very well connected by public services and it is equipped with an ample paid parking. To get from Olbia, take the SS 125 road in the direction Siniscola/Nuoro. Once you reach the village of Murta Maria turn left and continue on the road for another 2 km.
Not far from here the characteristic bays of Bunte beach.
Still in the direction south of Olbia, you will find Costa Corallina beach, made up of a very fine light sand bed. Equipped with an enchanting harbor it is divided into two parts by a strip of rocks, due to its shape it is close to all the sea winds, so its calm and shallow waters make it an ideal destination for bathing. There are all the services including hotels, restaurants, pizzerias and resorts.

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