The province of Carbonia-Iglesias, one of the four neoprovincie and the smallest province of Sardinia by extension, is located in south-west coast of Sardinia, facing south and west on the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered to the north by Province of Medio Campidano and east with the Province of Cagliari. Its boundaries include the islands of San Pietro and S.. The municipalities are the most important Iglesias, one of the most important medieval centers of Sardinia, and Carbonia.
The territory of the Province of Carbonia-Iglesias is characterized by rocky shores on the west end and an inland area of great landscape, a pristine and wild environment in which it was created several protected areas, as Sulcis Park, which occupies a large area of rugged landscape and almost completely uninhabited.
The coast offers an extremely varied landscape and unspoiled, with its coast that run for tens of miles in a succession of white beaches, coves, bays and imposing cliffs. Along the coast you find the beach Portixeddu, Fontanamare, the cliffs of Porto Paglia, the islands of San Pietro and S. Antioco, the Gulf of Palmas, Porto Botte and finally the bay of Porto Pino.
There are also areas of great natural beauty and therefore of great interest and hiking, such as Monte Linas, a huge mountain at the north-east of the province that lends itself well to excursions and stops in farm, and Mount Is Caravius, bordering with the Province of Cagliari. From its hills, rich in forests, you can see the wide plains and hilly landscapes and the sea in the distance to the neighboring islands of San Pietro and S. Antioco.
The area of Sulcis-Iglesiente is one of the major mining districts of 'Western Europe, thanks to the variety and importance of mining to be were conducted in the area: mining of lead, zinc, copper, silver, tin and iron and coal deposits. In addition to the many artificial cavity made by man for mining in the territory there are also several natural caves that give the landscape a very special among them, the caves of Is Zuddas in Santadi and Su Mannau a Fluminimaggiore .
Stands out among all, for uniqueness and beauty, the Grotta di Santa Barbara within the mine of San Giovanni, on the outskirts of Iglesias. The cave is formed of a salon ovoid shape, whose lower part is occupied by a lake, which houses the imposing columns of blue aragonite and limestone stalactites and enormous, but what makes it special are the pink crystals that are the walls and vaults. Not possess direct communications with the outside and accessible only through the mine, the Grotto of Santa Barbara was kept in almost perfect.
Carbonia, the most important center sulcitano, born in 1938 in the wake of sfruttemnto of the rich coal deposits in the area. In the city, which is characterized by the urban and architectural typical Fascist, you can visit the Church of St. Pontian, built entirely of volcanic rock in sight, the Civic Tower, 27 meters high, and the Teatro Municipal. Starting from the central Piazza Roma, take Via Napoli, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Villa Sulcis, which houses many artefacts dating back to different historical periods found in the area. Finally, in the long and central Via Gramsci, you can stroll, shop or eat in the local present.
At about one kilometer from Carbonia, on the summit of Mount Sirai, there are the remains of a Phoenician-Punic fortress dating from the seventh century BC The settlement originally had a military function, in order to protect the territory from attack sulcitano coming from 'interior of the South-West Africa, but over the centuries was used as a place of worship. The main entrance opens in the north-eastern boundary wall surrounding the fortress, and leads to a square in which is the keep, the heart of the acropolis, built on the ruins of a nuraghe. Outside the city walls is the necropolis, which includes a dozen graves and sacred area with tophet, where he held the sacrificial rites.
Of great natural lagoon of the nearby St. Antioco, where you can observe pink flamingos, egrets, herons, coots and avocets.
The city of Iglesias, located at the foot of Mount Marganai, Carbonia shares with the role of the provincial capital. Always linked to the mining industry, which since prehistoric times has exploited the riches of the subsoil of these areas, Iglesias was born in the thirteenth century as a fortification of the Maritime Republic of Pisa, with the first name of "Villa Ecclesiae" and "House of the Church"; fall in the hands of the Aragonese in 1324, the town was surrounded by a strong system of fortifications, whose high crenellated walls are still visible.
In the historic center is the Cathedral of Santa Chiara, built at the end of the thirteenth century and remodeled in the sixteenth century, and the nearby Church of Our Lady of Thanks, built in the thirteenth century. Gothic-Catalan is the Church of San Francesco, with the adjoining convent of the XVI century, while dates from the seventeenth to the Church of the Pure. Outside the city walls is the Church of Santa Maria di Valverde, built in the late thirteenth century, perhaps by the same craftsmen pisan calls to build the Cathedral, and restructured at the end of the sixteenth century.
Not far from Churches are the centers and coastal Masua Nebida that in addition to the beauty of the cliffs, beaches and coves, are clearly visible traces of mining equipment dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century, as the facilities of Porto Flavia, built in 1924 and abandoned around the years'60, point of embarkation to the sea of the mineral extracted in the nearby mines. From the beach you can enjoy Masua also extraordinary view of the Pan di Zucchero, a tall rock of white limestone, which emerges from the sea to a height of 132 m in front of the tip of Is Cicalas.
In the province there are many examples of the different historical periods and different civilizations that have populated: the period nuraghic nuragico belong and the tombs of the giants, the domus de Janas, large nuraghi Seruci a Gonnesa di, 'S'Omu and S'Orcu' on Domusnovas and Sirai a Carbonia, of Phoenician-Punic period, you can visit the Acropolis and the necropolis of Monte Sirai near Carbonia , and the imposing temple of Antas in Fluminimaggiore; a Siliqua Iglesias and you can visit the ruins of medieval castles, including the majestic Castle Siliqua.
The province of Carbonia-Iglesias also offers several sites of industrial archeology: its mining facilities represent a unique history, environment and architecture, consisting of the old buildings, machinery dating from the nineteenth century, sometimes still in operation, all enclosed in a suggestive and wild landscape. Some mines are open to the public, as the gallery Porto Flavia in mine Masua to Iglesias, the Henry Gallery in Buggerru mine, the mines of San Giovanni and the homonymous Monteponi surroundings of the town of Iglesias. Other mining structures, such as mining complex in the town of Rosas Narcao and mine in the town of Buggerru are currently undergoing restructuring and conversion tourism.
Among the typical products of the province of Carbonia-Iglesias cifraxu stands out on a special bread from the crust crunchy and soft. You can taste the helmet, sarda variant of Tunisian cous cous with vegetables, along with seafood such as cassola, a fish soup served on slices of bread, and spaghetti with carlofortina, made of fresh tuna, food much used in local cuisine. Among the wines you can taste the red and Carignan Cannonau, typical of the whole territory of Sardinia's southern coast.