Isola di S. Antioco
The Island of S. Antioco, so named in honor of the saint who first brought the Christian religion in these places, is located in the far south west of Sardinia and it is linked by a bridge and an artificial isthmus. It is the fourth island of Italy by extension, immediately after Sicily, Sardinia and Elba Island. Its territory is divided between the municipalities of Sant'Antioco, the most important center of the island, and Calasetta.
Already inhabited in prehistoric times by the age nuragica native peoples around the ninth century BC was founded by the Phoenicians in the north-east of the island, a settlement called Sulka. Later it was conquered by the Carthaginians around the sixth century BC and then subjected to the Roman Empire after the Punic wars with the name of Sulcis, hence the current name of the surrounding region. After the fall of the Roman Empire was annexed to the Roman Empire of the East and enjoyed relative autonomy under the Judge of Cagliari. Suffered barbarian invasions, Pisan and Aragonese domination until it was annexed with all of Sardinia Kingdom of Sardinia at the Savoy.
The coast of the island Sant'Antioco tantalizing glimpses of rare beauty, with its numerous beaches, relatively little crowded even during high season, and many cliffs. For those who love the convenience we recommend the beaches of Maladroxia, Coe Quaddus or Calasetta, with kiosks and toilets, or even the beaches of Is Portixeddu (before Maladroxia) or Turri (after Coe Quaddus), which are accessed through runs a little 'steep. Apart from these beaches can find a wide selection of cliffs where reigns the silence and tranquility, as Cala Cala and Soap Lady, showing depths of extreme interest in diving.
Besides the sea, the island also offers Sant'Antioco environment and culture: the area of On Semaforu (Capo Sperone area) offers a spectacular landscape where you can admire the sea and the most extreme coast of Sardinia (Capo Teulada). Ponds surrounding wetlands are a very interesting fauna, in which you can see pink flamingos, cormorants, egrets, gulls and other species of waterfowl, in addition to Falco della Regina.
The sites of greatest interest are:
- Archaeological Museum: tells the story of the ancient city of Phoenician-Punic Sulky, and is the most important exhibition of Phoenician-Punic culture in the Mediterranean. There are well fifteen thousand pieces of invaluable archaeological ceramics, cups, jewelry and mosaics of valuable, often gold. The imposing statue of two lions, almost entirely intact, once placed on the sides of one of the gates of the city. Particular emphasis is given to the tomb of Punic via Belvedere, the oldest tomb punic found in Sant'Antioco.
- Ethnographic Museum: exposes the tools used for specific processes and activities that previously took place on the island, such as the dwarf palm processing, bakery, the cheese, the grape growing and wine-making, work in the fields, the activities of the carpenter, the master cooper and blacksmith, as well as the different types of carts sardi. Are documented Furthermore, the techniques and equipment necessary for working with byssus, a filament produced by nacchera, scientifically known as "Pinna nobilis", from which we get a precious yarn used for gloves, scarves and other clothing valuable.
- Basilica di S.: Built at the turn of the fifth and sixth century AD, is one of the first Christian churches in the Mediterranean and one of the three oldest churches of Sardinia. It houses the mortal remains of Blessed Martyr Antiochus, buried in the catacomb below the basilica in 127 AD
- Punic necropolis and tophet, which can be accessed directly from the museum
- Other sites can be admired around the country like the Roman bridge at the village or on the Fort Pisu near the old center town.
The island of Sant 'Antioco is characterized by its ancient culture still deeply rooted. Fifteen days after Easter is celebrated the Feast of S., and protector of the holy patron of Sardinia. The cars are festively decorated and the whole island came dozens of folk groups that parade through the streets of the country, with their colorful traditional costumes, after the statue of the saint. The Feast of S. is the oldest attested documented religious holiday in Sardinia. The first of August, for the tourists, we celebrate another edition of the festival in honor of the saint, also with religious procession and parade of costumed groups.
Finally, the interesting local food and wine with meals, land and sea, features such as wines (the grape variety "Carignano" was imported by the Phoenicians).