Porto Torres

At the centre of the Gulf of Asinara, on a promontory that slopes down towards the Nurra plain, stands Porto Torres, a city of 22,000 inhabitants, which concentrates two millennia of history told by archaeological treasures and monuments and embellished by the wild nature of the park of the Asinara. In the III century AD it was second only to Karalis in inhabitants and magnificence. Since the mid-twentieth century, the petrochemical industries have joined agriculture and fishing and marked the recent events of the city. In the international port, the imposing Torre Aragonese (1325) stands out, a defensive building and lighthouse, now home to exhibitions. The Torre di Abbacurrente (1578) marks the beginning of the stretch of Platamona. Near the city, high cliffs plunge into the blue sea with sandy coves, such as the beach of Balai.







To discover the glorious past of Porto Torres, we recommend a visit to the archaeological park of Turris Lybisonis, its ancestor Roman colony, called Iulia because Caesar or Octavian founded it. Main Sardinian seaport, it transported silver and iron from the mines to the motherland. Let yourself be surprised by the grandeur of the domus of Orpheus (I-III AD), the sumptuous patrician domus of mosaics, the Pallottino and Maetzke baths.


Houses, ateliers, and paved streets are partly incorporated in the Antiquarium, a museum housing finds from decades of excavations. The mouth of the river Mannu, where the city arose, is still ‘ridden’ by the Roman bridge of the imperial age, an almost intact engineering work, seven arches 135 meters long, with traffic up to the mid-twentieth century.


Around Turris is Tanca Borgona, an imperial and early Christian necropolis with 32 burials, some of them with frescoes and mosaics, with 50 arcosolium tombs (sarcophagi and pits) ‘del Nautico’, and the funerary complex in via Libio, discovered in 2000, with arcosolium burials dug out of the limestone and others for inhumation: one shows a chariot in motion with charioteer and horses. Su Crucifissu Mannu is the most significant prehistoric necropolis: 22 tombs of a time span from 3200 to 1600 BC, three of which are distinguished by their complexity and symbolic decorations. The most archaic testimony is in the Asinara: the domus de Janas of Campu Perdu (IV millennium BC). There are numerous nuraghes, including the Nieddu, in red trachyte.


Among the most remarkable events, in September Voci d’Europa, an international festival of polyphonic music, takes place.