Oristano is the most important city in west-central Sardinia. It stands in an area inhabited since ancient times, when the Phoenician and, later, Greek city of Tharros stood on the Sinis Peninsula. An important trading port for the Mediterranean routes, the morphology of the gulf makes it particularly protected from the impetuous Mistral.

Tradition has it that Oristano was built in the 11th century, using the stones of the now decaying Byzantine Tharros, which was definitively abandoned. In the late Middle Ages, Aristanis was one of the most important political centers of the island, capital of the Giudicato of Arborea, which among the four Giudicati resisted the most the influences of Aragonese, Pisan and Genoese dominations, maintaining a long, albeit complicated, independence.

The rich history of the town is recounted everywhere along the streets of the historic center: the Tower of San Cristoforo, built at the behest of Judge Mariano II in 1290 to extend the town's fortifications, testifies to the military importance the town achieved in the Middle Ages.

Similarly, the monument to Eleonora d'Arborea, which depicts her promulgating the very important Carta de Logu, captures the cultural apex that the Giudicato (kingdom) had reached under the queen's rule. A legacy that is passed on in the Antiquarium Arborense Museum and in traditional festivities such as the Sartiglia, an equestrian joust in which 120 knights participate during carnival time.

Among the most important religious monuments, it is worth mentioning the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the Romanesque period over a temple of Byzantine origin, and the subsequent Convent of San Francesco, which houses the precious 15th-century Polychrome Crucifix of Nicodemus.

The beaches at Marina di Torregrande, along the gulf to the west of the historic town, are the benchmark for beach tourism and nightlife. Awarded Green Flag and Blue Flag status, they are a symbol of environmental quality combined with modern facilities and a popular destination for those who want to spend a relaxing or sporting holiday.

Penisola del Sinis - Isola Mal di Ventre Marine Protected Area

Area marina protetta Penisola del Sinis - Isola Mal di Ventre

Including Mal di Ventre island and Catalano’s Cliff, the Protected Marine Area of Sinis Peninsula is located in the open sea of Cabra’s district. It is known for hosting underwater meadows of posidonia oceanica and a unique variety of seaweeds on the underwater rocks.

Often hit by wind gustings, it is not unusual to admire groups of dolphins.

San Cristoforo or di Mariano II Tower

San Cristoforo Tower, wanted by Marian II, is located in the center of Roma square and it was used both as the northern entrance to the city, and as defensive bastion, given the presence of embrasures. Inside, the wooden structures of the ancient drawbridge are still all mostly intact. It’s one of the most suggestive medieval heritage sites of the city of Aristanis.

Archaeological and Historical Artistic Museum "Antiquarium Arborense"

Museo Archeologico e Storico Artistico Antiquarium Arborense

The Archaeological and Historical Artistic Museum "Antiquarium Arborense" in Oristano is a museum that showcases a vast collection of artifacts that testify to the history and culture of Sardinia from the pre-Nuragic period to the Roman era.

Among the most interesting works are Roman ceramics and statues. The museum is an unmissable stop for those who want to learn about the island's history.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is located in the historic center of Oristano, on the remains of an earlier Byzantine building. On the outside, the octagonal bell tower is striking, with a round majolica dome on top reminiscent of Orthodox churches. A flight of steps supported by 2 statues of lions leads up to the chancel, the part where the clergy are: the two animals have a wise but weary look, as if God's strength has bent their impetuosity.

Like many churches on the island, it has undergone many style influences, from Romanesque to neoclassical,passing in between from Gothic: of this remains the perfectly preserved statue of the Annunziata by Nino Pisano. Visiting it, you will immerse yourself in a thousand years of art and history.

Eleonora d'Arborea Square

Piazza Eleonora d'Arborea houses the city's town hall. In front of it, lies the statue of the giudicessa, who gives her name to the square, in the act of promulgating the carta de logu, a very important collection of laws, until then only handed down orally.

It was among the first legal codes to be promulgated and demonstrates the advancement of the Giudicato di Arborea. It was written in Italian to be understood by all, even though Latin was used for such things.

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