Hugging the island’s west coast, Oristano is the smallest province in Sardinia and roughly corresponds to the Kingdom of Arborea, which ruled the area in the Middle Ages. It’s home to the town of Arborea, which was founded by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s as an experimental agricultural community after the draining of the area’s marshes.
Things to do in Oristano
Ancient archaeological sites, lively towns and an atmospheric film set - the Province of Oristano has it all!
Sightsee in Oristano. Centred around Piazza Eleonora, Oristano has been the provincial capital since 1974 and is famed for its costumed horse riding event known as Sa Sartiglia. Ancient relics and relief maps are on display at the Antiquarium Arborense, while the Pinacoteca houses an outstanding collection of Sardinian paintings. Don’t miss the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, which was built on the remains of a Byzantine church in the 18th century.
Tour the ancient Phoenician-Roman port of Tharros. Located on the Sinis Peninsula to the west of Oristano is this fascinating archaeological site, which encompasses well-preserved ruins and relics dating back to the Nuragic age. Wander through its two necropolises and explore the Quartiere Artigianale Su Murru Mannu where weapons and pottery were made. A highlight of the site is the Tempio Tetrastilo, which dates back to the 1st century BC.
Explore San Salvatore di Sinis. This abandoned medieval village on the Sinis Peninsula has been used as a film set for several “spaghetti westerns” and comes to life each September during a barefoot religious running event known as the Corsa degli Scalzi. Throughout the year, you can visit the 17th-century Church of San Salvatore di Sinis and its ancient hypogeum where water has long been worshipped.
Getting around Oristano
Cagliari Elmas Airport is around 1.5 hours’ drive from the Province of Oristano and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect to major towns and cities throughout the province while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around the Province of Oristano.