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UN'ISOLA UN CONTINENTE NUOVI STILI DI TURISMO

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Itineraries
ITINERARIES IN SARDINIA>FROM MONTEVECCHIO TO PISCINAS
 
  FROM MONTEVECCHIO TO PISCINAS


km>
16.5
length>1 day

industrial archaeology>*****
nature>*****
art>**
tradition>**
view>*****


How to reach Montevecchio from Cagliari
>Take the S.S. 131 towards Sassari.
>Take the S.S. 197 at Sanluri after about 40 km, towards Guspini.
>Exit Guspini towards S. Nicolò d'Arcidano
>Take the Provincial Road 418 towards Montevecchio.                
>Exit Montevecchio towards Piscinas Ingurtosu

THE ITINERARY BEGINS...
...towards Ingurtosu, through the Western mine

The road is unpaved, but it can be easily travelled on.
The "Western" valley opens in front of you. You go around a hill among holm-oaks, Mediterranean plants and cork-oaks.

  • We cross the western mine, always in the Montevecchio territory. The area clearly reveals signs of the mines, which were exploded in order to find the metalliferous vein.
  • The area is nowadays the destination for mineral searchers and collectors.
  • Below, on your right, you can distinguish the Minghetti plant: it is an artificial lung, which supplied galleries with clean air and sucked the foul air, due to smoke and dust.
  • You reach the imposing building of the hotel Sartori after some bends: it was built to lodge workers who came from far-off villages. Nowadays it is in a state of total neglect.
  • The big Sanna yards stand on the right, at the end of the valley: sulphured and semioxidised minerals were treated there.
    The brick-tower of Pozzo Sanna overlooks the yards. The Pozzo Sanna (Well Sanna) is 404 m deep.
  • You reach Zely, after an arched gallery and some abandoned houses: it stands just on the border between the communes of Guspini and Arbus.
    The street begins to slope down after the Arcu sa Tella pass.
  • You can catch sight of the water in the Zerbini dam, among the rockrose shrubs and the larger and contiguous one of Donegani.

The road is in bad conditions, from this point on.
Proceed slowly and you will reach Piscinas with no problems!!
You should go on:
you will not regret it, but go back if you are a fanatic for clean cars.

  • The valley of rio Mannu opens in front of you: the ruins of the washery of La Marmora are still visible: since 1875, the mineral was divided from sterile elements here. The Telle mine is not very far from here: it is overlooked by the houses of the workers.
  • In the open spaces inside the woods you can easily catch sight of deers, which live in great numbers on these hills
  • Take a road just before the Telle washery, on your right, and you will reach the Pozzo Amsicora (1938), which is about 300 metres deep.
  • Go back to the Provincial unpaved road to Ingurtosu and go on among the thick vegetation: you will come to the Casargiu mine, overlooked by the Castle of Pozzo Fais (1934). Here Rio Mannu flows into Rio Irvi, in a valley where strawberry trees and junipers grow luxuriously.

Lap 1>INGURTOSU
It is an ancient mining village; 250 m a.s.l., nearly deserted

After you pass the second well of Casargiu, you will reach Ingurtosu: the mine of Ingurtosu produced lead, zinc and silver.
Further on you come to the village of Ingurtosu, which is plunged in the vegetation and is almost completely deserted. It is the most significant example of Sardinian mining village: this eighteenth-century settlement is set out in scattered groups over a slope, which is covered with a thick pine forest. You can catch sight of villas dating back to that period  in the town along the way, which takes you back to the S.S.126 to Arbus: these villas were for the mining managers.
The small palace in Neo-Gothic French style, which lodged the Head Office, is noteworthy. Its line was inspired by the multinational company Pertusola, which was the first owner of the mine.

Sardinia Point suggests:
you can ask the keeper if you'd like to visit the Palace of the Head Office: he lives near the building.

The road passes under an arch, which was built in the small palace: on the right you can observe the wonderful and valuable wooden gallery, which has windows closed by ogival arches.

...towards the dunes of Piscinas
you must go back, if you want to go on towards Piscinas.
At the crossroads, turn left towards Piscinas (you will return to Montevecchio if you turn right) and continue on your itinerary.

The road is very steep but paved for about 400 m; the unpaved one starts soon after and is in very bad conditions in some parts.

  • Leaving the tower of the Well of Gal on the righttake a path leading to the mining plant of Pozzo Pireddu.
  • If you go on along the main road the landscape offers a lunar landscape, with piles of rubble coming from the accumulation of sterile material.
  • Soon after you will reach Naracauli: the wonderful washery of Lord Brassey (see the photo on the right) is surrounded by imposing hills, which slope towards the sea: the structure was built by order of Lord Brassey, an English noble, in the nineteenth-century.
  • The road goes on through the wooded valley of rio Naracauli, which meets the rio Bau, just close to the penal colony of Is Arenas, and rio Sciopadroxiu farther on.
  • Centuries-old prickly junipers and beach-grass slowly replace the Mediterranean plants. The famous dunes of Piscinas start here: charming and huge sandy parabolic formations. 

Lap Nr. 2>THE "DESERT" OF PISCINAS
The dunes
probably began to take shape after the last glaciations: they represent a unique landscape for Sardinia and an extraordinary one for entire Europe.
There are dunes "in motion" and other ones which are "motionless": the northwest wind has created them and moves them; the wind draws thousands of small waves day after day.
These mountains of sand have prevailed over the earth for about 5 km inland: they are more than 250 m high a.s.l. Only centuries-old junipers adapt themselves to dunes. 

The road then forks: on the left it leads to a large parking area in front of the beach.
Also on the left you can observe the structure of the hotel and restaurant "Le Dune", which is open all year. It has been built on a pre-existent structure and represents a good example of building integration with the surrounding environment.
If you walk on the beach, your mind will be surprised by the big open spaces and the silence, which surrounds you: everything looks like an irreal landscape.

The beach enjoys an exceptional isolation all the year round: connections are in fact difficult and the penal colony of Is Arenas has contributed to protect it and preserve its treasures.
The very wide beach is marked northwards by the mouth of rio Piscinas; southwards it stretches to Capo Pecora as far as the eye can see.
Marine turtles lay their eggs on the beach of very thin sand, beaten by impetuous waves during the night in June.

 
 

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