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Ogliastra

Ogliastra is Sardinia's least know province but surely not less beautiful and interesting than the others. Ogliastra's origins date back to the Neolithic Age and the most populated area of that time was the coast. Further to the raids of the pirates on the coast, people of Ogliastra had to move in the inland. From this point on they created their first villages that have now become towns.

These towns, represented high Ogliastra and its means of support were bovine, goat-breeding and agriculture. Megalithic findings like "Menhir"and "Domus de Janas", confirm that the ancestors who lived in this area were Pagans.

The Menhirs are big blocks of stone, about 15 meters high, built during the Stone Age. Normally, these works are smooth and in rare cases, you can notice engravings representing "Mother Goddess". The "Domus de Janas", are sepulchral buildings, excavated in the rock with different shapes. These constructions can be found in all Sardinia as in Lotzorai where you can count more than 15. The sites chosen for these buildings were probably decided with an extreme care in order to find a peaceful and calm place. Ogliastra is also known for findings that date back to the Nuraghe Age.

The territory counts more than 200 hundred samples between "Tholos" nuraghi, "Tombe dei Giganti (giant's graves)" and "holly wells and springs". All these works were placed in specific areas depending on their function. Normally, they raised along obliged transit ways, volcanic reliefs, or plains near water springs. During the 7th century B.C. Ogliastra was under the Phoenician rule, later on, under the Punic.

During the 3rd century Romans were able to improve general conditions of people settled along the coast while the inland remained hostile to people from overseas. The situation appears less clear during low Middle Age. A possible reason for this can be found in the political problems of this period and even before 455, when the Island was occupied by vandals and separated by the Roman Empire.

After this period, the Byzantines established small independent regimes named "Giudicati of Sardinia". At the beginning, Ogliastra was part of the Giudicato of Cagliari and afterwards of the Gudicato of Gallura until the XIV century. In the same period, people from Pisa imposed their supremacy creating the Giudicato of Ogliastra. Between the XIV and XVIII century, Ogliastra is under the Spanish rules, and at the same time, Saracen raid the coast and the hinterland. In 1720 under the Duck of Savoy's rules, hectares of forest were cut down to produce coal and to create sleepers. Sardinia had this reign up to 1861. In order to understand better the origin of Oliastra's province, we must go back few years.

The royal edict of May 4th 1807 divided Sardinia into prefectures, one of which included Ogliastra, and was placed in Tortolž. In 1821, Carlo Alberto of Savoy called the "magnanimous" reduced the number of provinces to 10 and moved the capital of the province to Lanusei. In 2001, the Autonomus Region of Sardinia founds the new province of Ogliastra which separates from Nuoro and starts to work in May 2005. The province of Ogliastra counts several municipal districts each one with its own traditions, costumes, architectural and environmental attractions and a history.

All municipal districts should be mentioned but this section, will focus only on those that rise close to the cost and those in which we work: Baunei, Lotzorai and Santa Maria Navarrese. Arbatax and Tortoli should be mentioned as well for their importance. Moreover, Tortoli is a capital town of province just like Lanusei. They are all wonderful and have something in common: a clear and crystal sea! In this regard, there is a fabulous statement expressed by Fulco Pratesi and Franco Tassi, in the "Nature guide of Sardinia", regarding the gulf of Orosei:" There is probably no other place with such a wide and unknown coast. 40 kilometers of calcareous cliffs interrupted only by few coves. Probably Italy's best coast and without doubt the most rough and wild tract of land". This statement confirms that Ogliastra is one of the most uncontaminated, beautiful and wild areas of Italy and of Sardinia in particular. Besides the sea, there are caves and gorges, cliffs, breathtaking paths, churches and archeological sites, cultural and religious celebrations, festivals and concerts that make this province turn to what tourists like most.

The possibility to practice several sports and to be in direct contact with nature, makes this place loved by teenagers, adults and old people as well who come here year after year. Ogliastra gives hospitality to rare and dying species such as the "Queen's hawk", the "Buzzard" and the "Peregrine falcon", "Wild pig" and "the goshawk", "golden eagle" and the "sea crow", the "monk seal" and the "Gull from Corsica", whose presence is a sign of the environment's health. Also vegetation is in perfect conditions.

The most common trees are: Holm-oaks, some of which are enormous, "Junipers", with fascinating and admiring forms, "cork trees" that Sardinians use for handcraft as far as the bark is concerned. This material was used in the past to make toys for children. We prefer not to add anything to these provinces so that you'll be surprised if you decide to come in Sardinia for your holidays.

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