The Athens of Sardinia The capital of the Barbagia region, Nuoro rises up on a plateau dominated by Mount Ortobene and surrounded by valleys and mountain ranges. It came into being in the Roman period, when the populations living scattered around the nuraghi took refuge in less accessible areas, thereby giving rise to the myth of the inviolability and the isolation of the Barbagia area. Nuoro gradually gained territorial pre-eminence over the surrounding villages and finally became provincial capital in 1926.   

The centre of the town is the square laid out by Costantino Nivola and dedicated to Sebastiano Satta, the poet from Nuoro who, together with the politician Attilio Deffenu and the writer Grazia Deledda, animated the town’s culture. Grazia Deledda was born here and her birthplace houses the “Deledda Museum”, where you can see not just the building but also the documents and objects belonging to the Nobel Prize winner. Another must is the Ethnographical Museum where traditional costumes and the carnival masks of the Barbagia area are on display, together with jewellery, carpets, tapestries, breads and cakes. For art lovers, the “MAN”,( the Province of Nuoro’s Museum of Art) is highly recommended with its permanent collection of the top Sardinian artists of the XIX and XX centuries and a number of temporary exhibitions. 

Mount Ortobene rises to the east of the city, and is a real natural monument, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer on its top. In the last week of August the Feast of the Redentore (Redeemer) is held here, with its parade of traditional costumes from the Island and a procession of pilgrims, who wend their way from the city to the top of the hill where mass is celebrated at the foot of the statue. 

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