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Places in Aritzo, Sardinia

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The village of Aritzo has always been associated with Barbagia.Hotels in AritzoHotels in Aritzo Located in the heart of the island, it is not a quick-to-reach location. The state road SS131 and SS131 dir. are the best routes to get there whether you are arriving from Oristano, Olbia or Sassari. The typical landscape presents steep hills and mountains and a little human presence. Barbagia has so proudly preserved its cultural and natural treasures that it won't be difficult to discover the fiery and rough beauty of Sardinian customs and to see the colours of the wild Sardinian nature. Barbagia is characterized by the Gennargentu, the most imposing mountain in Sardinia peaking at Punta La Marmora.Hotels in AritzoHotels in Aritzo It is a true paradise for bikers, trekkers and climbers and a long time shelter for many animal species. The bighorn sheep, the golden eagle and the marten are the emblems of the fragile richness that is preserved on these mountains.

Excursionists are recommended to always hire a professional guide during their activities as it might be very easy to get lost even with a detailed map. The road from Laconi to Mamoiada winds up through an enchanting natural wealth of unspoilt woodlands and breathtaking views and leads to some small, remote mountainous villages. Aritzo is one of them. It is famous for its chestnut and hazelnut production culminating in an annual festival on the last Sunday of October. Not too far from Aritzo, Tonara is a tiny place surmounted by mountains and forests of walnut, hazelnut and chestnut trees and renowned for the best nougat of the island whose main celebration is on Easter Monday. Literally tons of nougats are displayed for free tasting as well as for sale. Further north, near the lake of Gusana, is Fonni, the highest village of the island (1000 m.

above sea level). Strange as it might seem, there is a winter sports centre with a ski lift to Monte Spada and Bruncu Spina, definitely not the typical postcard of Sardinia. Finally, driving for a further 15 km will get you to Mamoiada. Medieval in its origins and rich in spring waters, this village is the true symbol of the Barbagia Carnival together with Orotelli and Ottana. Between January and February, grotesque figures reminiscent of the ancient agro-pastoral roots dance and parade across the streets and around bonfires. It is Mamoiada's mamuthones, with their black sheepskins and scowling masks, and Ottana's boes, with their tiny antelope-like masks, huge capes and furry boots.

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