Amigu fidau, teniddu preziosu. Translated from Sardinian, “Trusted friend, keep it precious.”
Alghero is a great hub for exploring the surrounding area, from the coast to the hinterland, from the sea to the mountains, from maritime culinary traditions to land-based ones, so we wanted to create several articles about the surroundings of Alghero, such as the Villanova Monteleone area.
This small village, with a population of less than 2,500, has a wonderful history and certainly a better future than, unfortunately, its cousins in Monteleone Roccadoria (a few dozen kilometers from Villanova). Let’s cut to the chase, because DRAN Experience has specially prepared an article for you
VILLANOVA MONTELEONE: WHAT TO KNOW
Villanova Monteleone was a battlefield of many struggles, beginning in 1200 CE, and because of this there was inevitable displacement especially during the wars between the Doria and Aragonese. Those who saved Villanova Monteleone were the inhabitants of the then wealthy Monteleone Roccadoria who moved to the village with the goal of repopulating it, and they succeeded unfortunately at the expense of Monteleone Roccadoria, which currently has just under 150 inhabitants and is a village destined for extinction. Villanova Monteleone is absolutely one of the must-see villages around Alghero, including climbs, descents, steps and narrow streets.
Drop by both the beautiful parish of St. Leonard and the historic church of Our Lady of Interrios, located 3 km from the village. Wander through the small alleys and stop at one of the bars and trattorias in the village; it will be wonderful to hear the old, spry and healthy people discussing in Sardinian about local chronicles, politics and sports. Don’t forget to take a nice picture of the stunning staircase positioned in the center of Villanova, and if you are passing through the area in a hot spell rest assured, there will be a few drinking water fountains coming from the nearby mountains nearby. What can we see near the village? Here are some suggestions.
Actually located in the municipality of Padria but a few kilometers from Villanova Monteleone, you can admire, making sure beforehand that there is water, a beautiful natural gem made of flora, fauna, canyons and waterfalls: it is Sa Entale. The Rio Sentale is one of the tributaries of the Temo River and before flowing into the greater river it passes through a beautiful and striking canyon formed millions of years ago, just imagine the beauty of this location. Among all the scenery, beyond the waterfall, what catches the eye is the beautiful canyon that creates an evocative landscape of vegetation, water, and endemic wildlife to be respected.
The path to get there is traced only through the little stone men, it is not difficult to get there, just hear the sound of the waterfalls and you will understand that you are immersed in nature. Do you feel like taking an evocative trek with a local guide?
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OASIS OF MOUNT MINERVA
Villanova (the historical region in which the village of Villanova Monteleone is located) is also the area adjacent to the Meilogu, another subsonic region and the greatest evidence of Sardinia’s geological history. Near Villanova Monteleone, also in the vicinity of Alghero, it is easy to find evidence concerning the history of the geology of Sardinia in the form mainly of extinct volcanoes, solidified lava areas, and actual volcanic cones.
This is the case of Mount Minerva, a spectacular bastion with a flat top wrapped in forest and characterized by a beautiful naturalistic landscape with a network of trails. The ‘oasis of Mt. Minerva is of extraordinary importance for many aspects, both naturalistic and historical between necropolis and prehistoric tombs. From the top you can have a magnificent view of Lake Temo, of Monteleone Roccadoria, of the landscape below all the way to Bosa and the sea. Here the spectacle is assured.
NECROPOLIS OF PUTTU CODINU
Do you know anything about the domus tombs of Sardinia? There you have it, the necropolis of Puttu Codinu is an example among limestone rocks and lots of history to tell. They are hypogeic domus de janas tombs and distinguishable into 2 separate areas: one with 2 tombs and the other with 8 tombs. A wonderful area definitely worth visiting with a local guide to describe the area, history and legends, there is so much to say and explore especially about tomb number 8 which externally has 2 mehir and internally features an antechamber, the main cell, and side compartments where the dead were placed.
Of the tombs in which there are fascinating symbols such as the “false door” typical of necropolis representing the afterlife. The site is excellently preserved and cared for in every respect, and I forgot: it is believed that people began using the site from the Recent Neolithic (3500 B.C.).
Also easily accessible from Alghero toward Bosa, but certainly closer in the vicinity of Villanova Monteleone. This site was for most of the time hidden and immersed in the countryside, now the nuraghe Appiu revealed its uniqueness: the courtyard, or the space between the central tower (or keep) and the rampart, is covered. The only, small opening is at the top, intended to allow light to filter in and, probably, to allow smoke to escape when hearths were lit.
The building is a quadrilobate, with a main entrance leading to the covered courtyard, from which several openings lead to the keep and side towers. The central tower is 15 meters high, and you will be able to observe the tholos roofs of two overlapping chambers. In addition to the Nuraghe, the complex includes a village of 200 huts, another nuraghe but a single tower, a Giants’ tomb, two small dolmens and, not far away, a megalithic enclosure with a megaron temple.
Strategically located and facing the magnificent natural site of Capo Marrargiu, home of our Hike – Il Cammino Di Bernardu. Who knows, and who knows if such a fortress does not hide further surprises, as many environments remain to be discovered. One thing is for sure: it is worth a visit.
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CHURCH SANTA MARIA DI CUROS
Tucked away in the midst of nature and absolute silence, over the decades the ruin of this church sees only sheep, shepherds, and the occasional explorer, like us at DRAN Experience. We have inquired about it, despite the difficulties in finding information, and currently know very little about the church of St. Mary of Curos.
This church is thought to have been built around 1200, and through a text from 1440 a certain “Village of Curos” is mentioned. , which may have a connection with the church. If you feel like exploring the area, with just a little sense of direction, you can see a historical monument and go back, for a few minutes, to the past. Between nature and nuraghi, in and around Alghero there is also the Roman history of Villanova Monteleone. If you are curious, you can get more news and information about the hinterland of Sardinia by visiting the Travel Planner Family.