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Nughedu San Nicolò

At an altitude of almost 600 metres, in a long, narrow valley where the Riu Molinu flows, lies the small town of Nughedu San Nicolò. The origin of the name derives from the Latin 'Nucetum' and refers to the walnut woods, once present in quantity in the territory.

The specificity due to the second part of the name arose from the need to distinguish the village from the town of Nughedu Santa Vittoria, in the province of Oristano.

Its origins date back to an unspecified period of the Middle Ages; it was owned by the homonymous curatoria of the Giudicato of Torres and passed under the rule of the Giudicato of Arborea in 1200, eventually becoming part of the Catalan-Aragonese Kingdom. At the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to the passage of the road linking Bono with Ozieri, thus connecting Sassari with Nuoro, it enjoyed a certain importance that vanished with the urbanisation of nearby Ozieri, which had the upper hand over the town due to its more efficient connections with other municipalities.

Its vicissitudes were connected until 1843 to the Seignory of Oliva.


THINGS TO SEE

Its territory presents pre-Nuragic and Nuragic remains of considerable importance.

Over 20 well-preserved Domus de Janas can be visited. The sites 'Domu 'e pudda', 'Su Canale', 'Pianu Edras' and 'S'istria' are important. Numerous artefacts attributed to the Ozieri Culture were found outside them.

Dolmens and Menhirs are located in higher areas and distinct from the Domus. Interesting are those found at 'Su Pedrighinosu', 'Su Crabu Fighu' and 'S'Istria'. From the Nuragic period we find wells, tombs of the giants and no less than 11 nuraghi. On private property stands the Nuraghe Mannu with its practically intact tholos, about 6 metres high.

In the locality called Monte Sa Mela, you will find the cave 'Sa Conca 'e S'Abba'. Although small, it is of great naturalistic interest due to the fact that it is home to an important colony of bats, when they are in hibernation. It can be reached by leaving Nughedu San Nicolò, following the road in the direction of Bultei-Bono.

The village has an amphitheatre-like structure and can be visited in a couple of hours, with a relaxing walk to discover its small features.

The social centre is the central square, known as Piazza del Popolo or Piazza Marconi, overlooked by the most significant buildings in a variety of architectural styles. Here you will find the Town Hall building with its late Art Nouveau façade. Just ahead is the sculptural tribute to the fallen, created by the sculptor Mario Cau with different types of Sardinian stone, consisting of three monoliths: two stelae typical of the tombs of the giants and a menhir with carvings with a granite sacrificial altar in the centre. On the left, slumped and dying, we find the soldier, while on the right a mother clutching her child for the father's failure to return. Continuing on the square you will come across the fountain from 1880, the town's homage to the sacredness of water.

Behind the war memorial is the main church of San Nicola, inside which there is a mural by the painter Aligi Sassu where you can recognise Nikita Khrushchev and Silvana Mangano (a famous Italian film actress) among the characters depicted.

 

Surrounded by vegetation, and from which breathtaking views can be seen, on a hill, there is the stone church of San Pietro, built around 1400-1500. On another hill stands the church of Sant'Antonio, dating from around 1600, while on a wonderful landscape, at the tip of a precipice, stands Nostra Signora de Su Canale. The church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, dating from the late Romanesque period, can be reached by bicycle or car.

The permanent exhibition 'Man, Nature, Civilisation, Images of a Community of Monte Acuto' is housed in the premises of Via Cagliari. It displays artefacts found in the various archaeological sites and paper documents concerning historical facts of the village.

The feast of Nughedu is in honour of the Abbot Saint Anthony and takes place on the Sunday following the August bank holiday until Monday with dancing, singing and games. To be precise, the Monday festivities are dedicated to the Virgin Saint Lucy.

Purely religious in character is the festival in honour of Saints Cosmas and Damian, held at the end of September. The sagra de sas panafittas and su fogaroni di San Giovanni are two events that take place in June, included in the festivities of St Peter and St Paul. Sas panafittas is a poor man's dish, prepared with stale bread that, after being left to dry, is soaked in sheep or beef broth and seasoned with meat sauce and cheese.

Also important for the village's economy are the craftsmanship of leather, wood, iron and the entire dairy sector.

Finally, Nughedu San Nicolò is the birthplace of Francesco Masala, one of the greats of 20th-century literature and poetry and a scholar of Sardinian language and culture.

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