Sardinian’s heritage is still visibile in several areas of the island. However, there are many interesting museums that need to be visited in order to get know the island. From the artifacts of ancient warriors to the history of the coal or cork’s production in the region. Sardinia boasts a glorious past that is now shown in several museums located in various cities of the region. Below you will find a list of 13 famous museums to visit in Sardinia.
1. Museo archeologico nazionale, Cagliari
The National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari is the most important archaeological museum in Sardinia. Located since 1993 inside the museum complex of Cagliari, in the spaces designed by architects Piero Gazzola and Libero Cecchini. This museum shows Sardinian history from 6000. B.C. until Byzantine time. (VIII A.C.) For more info check the official website.
2. Museo del Carbone
The Serbariu mining site, active from 1937 to 1964, characterized the economy of Sulcis and was one of the most important energy resources in Italy between the ‘;30s and ’50s. The complex has been recovered and renovated for museum and educational purposes.
The project for the recovery and enhancement of the site has made the buildings and mining structures that today make up the Coal Museum accessible. The Museum includes the lamp room, the underground gallery and the winch room. Further details can be found here.
3. Museo Civico Giovanni Marongiu
The Civic Archaeological Museum of Cabras was opened in 1997 and contains important traces of the territory from prehistory to the Middle Ages.
Here you can find the exposition of materials coming from the settlement of Cuccuru is Arrius.
Here you can find the different phases of occupation, from the fifth millennium BC to the third millennium BC, from the city of Tharros and the Roman wreck of Mal di Ventre. Wreck sunk in the first half of the first century BC and detected in the 1989. Further details here.
5. Parco Museo S’Abba Frisca
In the region of the Gulf of Orosei you can find S’Abba Frisca Park Museum that takes its name from the water source located in the area. Situated in the Dorgali area, not far from the Cala Gonone Aquarium and the Grotte of Ispinigoli, the Park Museum was created in a renovated old farm, and hosts the most comprehensive ethnographic collection in Sardinia.
The nature walk through this park, as background to the museum itinerary, is quite rich in local flora and fauna. Guided tours in Italian, English and French let tourists learn about nature, culture and traditions in Barbagia. More details here.
6. Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee
The Museum’s aim is to create a connection between the small town of Maiomada, known for its traditional masks, especially the Mamuthones and the Issohadores, and the Mediterranean regions. This is made possibile thanks to the Carnival that every year is celebrated throughout the island. Further details on the official website.
7. Villaggio Ipogeo
On the western side of the hill topped by the Savoy Fort of Sant’Antioco you can find the underground village. This term is used to indicate a site that was once the site of the Punic necropolis of Sulky. The Punic necropolis was excavated between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC by the Carthaginians.
They replaced the Phoenician burial which involved the incineration of the deceased with burial. They dug burial chambers where they buried members of family groups. During the Middle Ages the island of Sant’Antioco was attacked by the Arabs who plundered it several times. A part of the inhabitants of Sant’Antioco moved to quieter places like Iglesias, while the shepherds and farmers desecrated the Punic tombs that remained hidden from the eyes of the invaders and turned them into their homes.
The tombs were called with a Sardinian word “Is gruttas”;. The population of the caves, Is gruttaiusu, will mark the history of Sant’Antioco until the 60s of the twentieth century.
In the ’30s the poorest part of Sant’Antioco lived in the caves, about 700 people as evidenced by the reports of doctors and engineers preserved in the historical archive. In the mid-nineties there was the recovery of the “caves”, today one of the most visited sites of the area. More info here.
8. Museo Etnografico Sardo
The Museum of Costume is the largest ethnographic museum in Sardinia. The complex of buildings that houses it, were built between the ’50s and ’60s on the hill of S. Onofrio, in Nuoro. The collection includes about 8,000 finds, mainly clothing, jewellery, textile and wooden artifact, weapon, masks, breads, folk music instruments, utensils. To visit the museum, read here.
9. Museo Etnografico Galluras, Luras
A three-storey building of the late 1700s, a modest house, with the classic granite on view and nothing that makes it stand out from many buildings in this Gallura where even stone has its own history.
Beyond these granite walls, the materials and objects that furnish the amazing museum have a special feature. They’re animated. Form and substance, act and power of everything that has moved, that has been among the shepherds, farmers, artisans, families of this strip of land.
Attempts to catalogue, describe, label this little treasure are in vain. To understand you have to breathe, look, listen. The first ethnographic museum in Gallura, the region north-east of Sardinia, is based on the faithful reconstruction of the typical environments of the Gallura civilization. To visit the museum, visit the website.
10. MAN, Nuoro
The MAN collection is the result of a careful selection of works by Sardinian artists from the end of the 19th century to the present day. A collection of about 600 works, in continuous growth, which includes the most important authors in the history of Sardinian art, including Antonio Ballero, Giuseppe Biasi, Francesco Ciusa, Mario Delitala, Carmelo Floris, Maria Lai, Mauro Manca, Costantino Nivola and many others.To find out more, read here.
11. Museo Deleddiano – Grazia Deledda, Nuoro
The Deleddiano Museum is located in the birthplace of the writer Grazia Deledda (1871-1936). Here you can find a wide range of manuscripts, photographs, various documents and personal objects of the writer.
The museum, opened on 5th March 1983 hosts all materials which testifies the writer’s tormented relationship with Nuoro, her personal and literary events that followed her move to Rome. To visit the museum check the times here.
12. Museo del Compendio Garibaldino, Caprera – La Maddalena
The Garibaldi Museum is composed of all the buildings and memorabilia that belonged to the hero. Inside we can admire the weapons, the banners, the general’s wheelchair and the original furnishings.
Very interesting are some paintings and the room in which Garibaldi died. They are furnished with the bed facing Corsica and the clock of English manufacture stopped at the time of death, 6.20 pm. Giuseppe Garibaldi arrived in Caprera for the first time on 25th September 1849. After his arrest it was decided to send him into exile in Tunis. To find out more, click here.
13. Museo del Sughero
The Cork Museum in Calangianus is one of the most important museums in Gallura and North Sardinia. It hosts a collection of ancient machinery from the end of 1800 and modern, the representation of the various phases of collection, the extraction and processing of cork. Cork represents an important feature of Sardinia, especially of this small town, Calangianus, located in an area also called Alta Gallura, in the north-west of the island.
Inside the museum you can find a video- installations, perfumes and ancient labors of the city of cork, that is Calangianus. To find out more about this ancient tradition, check here.