The vast lagoon of S.Gilla lies along the western curve of the gulf, just outside
Cagliari. Notwithstanding the effects of pollution from nearby industry, the lovely
lagoon is a peaceful setting for a rich variety of bird life. It is home to a colony
of pink flamingos which can also be admired in great numbers in the wildlife preserve
Continuing west, the remains of the ancient city of Nora are located at the end of
a long, tree-lined avenue which leads to the sea from the nearby village of Pula.
It is possible to visit the ruins of the Roman baths and a small amphitheater, a
Phoenician temple, paved forum, sewers, and houses. On a small promontory are traces of the
sanctuary of Punic divinities of health. The beach at Nora is a pleasant place to
stop for a swim, and the strip of land ends with the Torre di Coltellazzo, erected
by Filippo II.
Further along the state road is a splendid destination: the vast beaches of Chia,
protected by sand dunes. Continue west along the coastal road toward Cape Spartivento,
Malfatano, or Teulada, discovering a succession of secluded beaches and rocky coves
below the road at the bases of steep cliffs.
The zone of Iglesias offers unusual itineraries of industrial archaeology among abandoned
mines, and opportunities for spelunkers of all levels of ability. The Grotto of S.Giovanni
is about 3 km from Domusnovas. It is a tortuous natural gallery opening in the wall of Monte Acqua, and can even be entered by car. Mineral formations create
a spectacular effect in the Grottoes of Is Zuddas, about 6 km from Santadi.
Sea and archaeology guarantee satisfaction on a trip to the Sulcis archipelago. The
larger of two islands, S.Antioco, is joined to the Sardinian mainland by a bridge.
At the site of the ancient Phoenician colony of Sulci (8th century B.C.) it is possible
to visit the ruins of necropolises and tophet
(funerary urns). A selection of ceramics, jewelry, and other Roman and Phoenician
artifacts, and Hebrew inscriptions is on display at the Antiquanum
in Via Castello (next to the fortress). Highly recommended, especially for expert
scuba divers, is a boat excursion to the nearby islands of Vitello, Vacca, and Toro
(respectively, Calf, Cow, and Bull).
It is worth taking the ferry or hydrofoil ride from Calasetta or Portovesme to visit
the island of Carloforte. A stay here will be memorable for enjoyment of the sea,
the splendid coastline, and the charming atmosphere of the island's small town and