The Punic and Roman Sardinia

The Roman-Punic city better preserved and Nora are Tharros. Perfectly Punic ruins of Sulka, the Sant'Antioco today. Remains of Roman l 'Anfiteatro di Cagliari, near the villa Tigellio, spas and buildings, including that of Fordongianus.


According to the literary tradition, Nora is the oldest town in Sardinia. Founded by the Phoenicians in the ninth century BC el'VIII, Nora becomes a major commercial airport in the middle of the routes connecting the major ports of the Mediterranean. For the Phoenicians and Carthaginians succeeded them the Romans, the city prospered for about 1500 years, further increasing the importance of becoming one of the most important cities of the south coast of Sardinia, so that in 238 BC was chosen as the capital of the Roman province of Sardinia. The last inhabitants were probably forced to leave Nora around the seventh century AD by the continued incursions of pirates from North Africa.

Period of the Punic remains neighborhoods, houses and shrines, as the temple dedicated to the goddess Tanit, and a partially preserved necropolis. Of the Roman city you can admire the hole, the spa, paved streets, a small well-preserved theater of the second century AD, and dwellings, among which "the house the atrium tetrastilo" for its beautiful polychrome mosaic pavements, which are characterized by the almost exclusive preserve of white, black and ocher. Very interesting systems for water supply and waste water, with magnificent underground conduits. The sea of Nora keeps a part of town, docks and other buildings, collapse over time. On the hill of the tower has been identified the acropolis, which still remains of Punic and Roman fortifications.


Tharros is an archaeological site located in the province of Oristano, in the town of Cabras. The city of Tharros was founded by the Phoenicians around the end of the eighth century BC on the promontory of Capo San Marco, just south of the peninsula of Sinis. Of non-Phoenician virtually nothing remains except the ruins of two necropolis, dating back to about half of the seventh century BC, and a shrine, said tophet.

After the Carthaginian conquest, in the second half of the sixth sec.aC, Tharros became a thriving port, and reached a remarkable urban development. The most visible monument dating to this period is the half of the Doric temple, partly carved in the rock and decorated with semi - carved in relief. They are also visible at the foot of the hill of muru Mannu the remains of the urban boundary walls, built in the late sixth century, which underwent several restorations in Roman.

In Roman times the city continued to thrive, reaching its peak in the third century AD, a period which dates back to the most monumental public buildings. Among them are to remember the two buildings, spas, both located close to the sea: the so-called thermal n.1, which was then implanted the early Christian baptistery, which even today you can see the baptismal font, and the baths of the old convent, the most monumental of the above. Among the Roman temples, in addition to that built on the previous half of the Doric temple, there is also a temple tetrastilo the sea, of which two pillars still remain in feet.

Walking along the main roads of the Roman city, the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus Maximus, you can see the old shops and houses that populated the city in its full development. Features are the tanks "on Bagnarola" of which were equipped almost all homes. Most of the artefacts found are visible in the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, in 'Antiquarium Arborense Oristano, and the Museo Archeologico Comunale Giovanni Marongiu Cabras.


The city of Sulka, today's Sant 'Antioco, founded by the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC, extended along the south-west, behind the port, protected by fortifications on the hills behind. The most significant monuments that can be admired are the necropolis Punic and Phoenician-Punic tophet.

The necropolis consists of hypogeous dug into the tufa rock, used until Roman times. A corridor, said dromos, provides access to two rooms of the tomb chamber, separated by a pillar. To the western slopes of Mount Cres can be found in the tombs single room, then rearranged as the catacombs.

To the north of the necropolis is the tophet, an open sanctuary located on a rock trachytic, which urns and stone stele placed directly into the natural cracks of the soil. The urns containing the remains of fuel children and animals, would be the object of worship and the stone stele of the witness to vote. To preserve the integrity, most of the polls punic have been replaced by copies, the originals are preserved in the Museum Archaeological S. Antioco, along with different types of stele. Other material is in the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari.

You can admire also a possible preexisting sacrificial altar to tophet and a vertical split of the rock, perhaps used to burn their own children. On the highest part of the rock are visible on the bottom of a tank and large blocks of a tower defense Punic.

Anfiteatro Romano di Cagliari

L 'amphitheater, built between the first and second century AD, represents a most impressive witness of the Roman presence in Cagliari. Most of the steps of the building, together all'arena and other areas, were obtained by digging directly into the rock of the valley.

The shows that were held were mostly fighting to the death between gladiators and clashes between gladiators and ferocious animals, but there were also dramatic works. Furthermore, there is performed the death sentences, such as those against the Christian martyrs. One can observe, almost intact, the mass graves in which wild animals were kept for shows, and three levels of stairs.

For several years, the theater hosts the lyrical and musical events of the summer season Cagliari.

Villa Tigellio in Cagliari

The Tigellio Villa takes its name from a Latin poet who has been assigned by tradition, although in reality is a complex of three homes and an elegant spa building. These houses are made up of an atrium with four columns, from tablinium, that is the room to receive guests, and cubicula, the room reserved for the landlord and the rooms by night.

We distinguish the House of Tablino in which the space is preserved along with the fresco decoration on the walls, and the Casa degli Stucchi, which was decorated with this material, however, and that only keeps track of two operation rooms. Other significant elements are still visible part of a mosaic floor, a floor made fit pieces of white marble in cocciopesto.

Terme di Oristano Fordongianus

Fordongianus, in the province of Oristano, stands on the ruins of the fortified headquarters of Forum Traiani, one of the most important Roman cities in the hinterland. A disadvantage of the name, the city was not founded by Trajan, but the "Forum" suggests rather that the city should be a point of encounter and exchange of trade between populations Romanised and those not yet subject to Rome.

Since its foundation was a center renowned for its spa, which exploited a natural source of hot water and healing. Near the source was built a large spa building, with a large swimming pool, which was originally covered, still collects water from hot springs. The spa with the remains of three rooms: the calidarium, the tiepidarium, the frigidarium. The edges of the tanks are incised designs that are the nymphs, gods of the water. There remain some traces of the floor mosaic.

Recently been given a new impetus to the exploitation of spas with the construction of a factory and a facility.