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Located just off the south-western coast of Sardinia, the island of Sant’Antioco is part of the Sulcis Archipelago and overlooks the beautiful Golfo di Palmas. It is connected to the mainland of the island by an artificial isthmus (a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water) that stops just before the town of Sant’Antioco, allowing the passage of boats so that they can circumnavigate the whole island. It is divided into two municipalities: in the north lies Calasetta which was founded in the second half of the 18th century by Ligurian families from Tabarka and in the south lies Sant’Antioco which rose from the ruins of the city of Sulky, one of the oldest in the western Mediterranean.

The island of Sant’Antioco is famous above all for its enchanting beaches and a crystalline sea that is in no way inferior to its Caribbean counterparts, in which one never tires of swimming!

Along the coast, an array of beaches with natural cliffs, headlands and wonderful coves can be found. Their depths, rich in underwater life, are considered a true paradise for underwater fishing enthusiasts and lovers of diving and snorkelling alike. The beach of Maladroxia is certainly not to be missed as it has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag several times over the last few years. In addition, the beach of Coaquaddus is placed amid the splendid surroundings of nature; the cliff of Is Praneddas features the natural monument named “Arco dei Baci” (the arch of kisses); and the whitewashed rocks of Cala Sapone, Cala Grotta and the Cala della Signora are unmissable when staying on this beautiful island.

But in Sant’Antioco there is not only sea, but also historical and cultural attractions that are just waiting to be discovered.

Inhabited since prehistoric times, the island is very rich in archaeological remains including the monumental menhirs (megaliths) of Su Para and Sa Mongia near the pond of Santa Caterina, the domus de janas (burial structures carved into the rock) of Is Pruinis; the nuragic basin of Grutti ‘e Acqua; the ruins of about 40 nuraghi, including the majestic S’Ega Marteddu, Antiogu Diana and Corongiu Murvonis, the tomb of the giants of Su Niu ‘and Su Crobu and the catacombs of Sant’Antioco, which developed from the third century onwards and still preserve very important elements today.

In addition to these testaments of time, a large number of artifacts, found both on the island and in other locations in the Sulcis, are preserved and displayed in the Ferruccio Barreca Archaeological Museum. The heart of the collection is made up of the findings related to the settlement of Sulky. Of the artifacts on display, the ceramics and jewels are particularly interesting. Among the other museums of Sant’Antioco we recommend that you visit the Ethnographic Museum “Su magasinu ‘e su binu”, which contains objects that bear witness to the traditions and customs of the island; the MuMa – Museum of the Sea and the Masters of the Axe, dedicated to the sea and to boat builders; and the MACC – Museum of Contemporary Art of Calasetta, which focuses on trends in abstract art.

In terms of local religious architecture, the Basilica of Saint Antiochus the Martyr, one of the oldest monuments in the entire region, is worth a visit. The building, which houses the evocative catacombs of the Saint in the basement, was built between the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth century AD, in the middle of the Byzantine era. Over the centuries it has undergone numerous modifications and important renovations. A great feast with a religious procession and a parade in traditional costumes is dedicated to Saint Antiochus the Martyr, patron saint of the city and of the whole of Sardinia.

The food and wine that the island has to offer is also very varied with a cuisine that offers delicious and unique recipes, specialising in locally sourced seafood and meat. As far as recommendations are concerned, it would be impossible not to mention those that feature local fresh tuna, snails and fregola, which is a type of pasta typical to the island (similar to couscous) that provides a perfect accompaniment to both meat and fish dishes. Sant’Antioco is also the home of Carignano del Sulcis, a wine of very ancient origins, the vines of which are spread widely across the island. And to finish, we could not forget dessert! The standout dishes include seadas a typically Sardinian dessert of deep-fried ricotta ravioli and the delicious pardulas cakes filled with cream made from sheep’s ricotta, saffron and lemon zest.

Nea Villa — Sardinia | IUN: F1225
Località Maladroxia, 09017
Sant’Antioco (Carbonia-Iglesias)
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An elegant villa with swimming pool in Sant’Antioco
recommended for families or groups of friends

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