Oristano is the home to La Sartiglia, one of the oldest ‘Carnivals’ held in the Mediterranean area and one of the most spectacular and choreographic forms in Sardinia. La Sartiglia is on horseback, probably originating in an agricultural regeneration ceremony, and is held on two different days, one being the peasants’ gremio (mediaeval art and crafts association) and the other being the carpenters’ gremio.
Cabras, the main town of Sinis, is a few kilometres from Oristano and is surrounded by lakes. History lovers can find one of the greatest evidences of the Sardinian Nuragic civilisation, the Mont’e Prama giants, here. They are partly displayed at the Cabras Archaeological Museum and partly at that of Cagliari. The enormous size of the sculptures, 2-2.5 metres tall, large heads and concentric circles instead of eyes, makes these statues from more than 3,000 years ago mysterious yet extremely fascinating.
The enchanting beach of San Giovanni Sinis is just 10 kilometres from Cabras, at the entrance to the isthmus leading to Capo San Marco. This is the ideal destination for visitors intending to go on to the splendid archaeological area of Tharros, the Phoenician city founded on the remains of a preceding Nuragic village and recognised as one of the most important Mediterranean sites. The buildings to be seen include the tophet, the traditional sanctuary of Punic-Phoenician cities, the baths, the foundations of the temple, houses and craftsman workshops.
Fordongianus, where many historic and prehistoric finds can be found, is about 25 kilometres from Cabras, is well worth a visit. The finds include those dating to the Romans (remains of baths, the aqueduct, amphitheatre, a bridge and urban buildings).