Among the extraordinary towns of Southern Sardinia, Iglesias is definitely worth a visit. The city was once known in ancient Pisan as “Villa di Chiesa” before becoming “Iglesias” during the Spanish domination.
Iglesias has just over 27,000 inhabitants and is famous for its wild coast and glorious mining past that has characterized it.
The city is rich in cultural attractions, breathtaking landscapes, and ancient traditions.
Here is a small 3-day itinerary with all the unique places of this magnificent territory!
To start getting to know Iglesias, there is nothing better than walking through its historic center. One of the most peculiar features of the city is undoubtedly the ancient medieval walls, whose good state of preservation can still be seen today. During the walk, you will surely be surprised to come across Piazza Lamarmora, a pretty square that turns into a triumph of colors during the summer thanks to the installation of small umbrellas. Iglesias is known for its numerous churches: the most important is undoubtedly the Cathedral of Santa Chiara , the first cathedral in the world dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi. Given its mining past, to fully understand the city’s history, it is essential to visit the Museo dell’Arte Mineraria (Mining Art Museum) hosted in the Istituto Minerario Asproni (Asproni Mining Institute).
The city is so rich in cultural and natural attractions that on the second day of the visit, there will be many choices. In the historic center, on the top of the hill, stands the Salvaterra Castle, built in the medieval period, which now houses the permanent exhibition “Medieval History and Torture.” Another important place to visit is for sure the abandoned Monteponi Mine, one of the most fascinating testimonies of Sardinia’s mining history. In the past, the site was one of the main extraction plants in Italy, with modern buildings and state-of-the-art structures. To end the day, Piazza Sella plays a central role from a social point of view as a meeting place for citizens. The benches and large flower beds surrounding the centuries-old trees will provide a framework for a moment of relax.
The third day is dedicated to the exploration of the monument of industrial archaeology that revolutionized the mining industry in the area. Porto Flavia is a true engineering masterpiece that reduced the times and costs of mineral transport. In addition to the beautiful history of this place, the view from the mining site of Pan di Zucchero, one of the highest natural sea stack in Europe, is equally magnificent. The day continues at Laveria Lamarmora, one of the most suggestive monuments of the mining landscape. This place, so rich in history, is also one of the favorite photo spots in the Iglesias area. At sunset, the abandoned facility turns into an incredible landscape.