Tharros represents with no doubt one of the most important archaeological sites in Sardinia. It has always been sustained that the city of Tharros was founded by the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC. However this long lasting theory has recently been revised especially after the archaeological excavation which brought to light some portions of the ancient settlement of Tharros just by the very next lagoon of Mistras: a submerged wall of approximately 100 metres of length which seems to have been part of a harbour structure which would appear to be far more ancient than the Phoenician era. In fact, only in 1200 BC the sea level rose, swallowing the existing buildings. This is why it is now assumed that there already was the presence of a Nuragic settlement there during the Bronze Age.

San Giovanni di Sinis

San Giovanni di Sinis is a seaside suburb of Cabras. It is located on the southern part of the Sinis Peninsula, along the road that leads to the ancient city of Tharros and further south to Cape San Marco. San Giovanni has been for a long time a small fishing village, but it now represents one of the most beautiful seaside villages in the area. The beach is about 2 km long and made of fine sand and crystal clear waters. As San Giovanni stretches along the strip of land of the Peninsula it is extremely evocative to walk up the hill from which the city of Tharros slowly goes down into the water and enjoy the breathtaking view of these two portions of the sea: one facing the open sea and the Mistral when that blows and on the other side the so called Mare Morto, “dead sea”, as it does not face the winds and its waters are always clear blue and still. It is also a must to pay a visit to one most ancient and evocative early –Christian Churches, San Giovanni Church.

The Church of San Giovanni di Sinis

The Church of San Giovanni di Sinis was built in an area used as a Punic and later Christian necropolis during the Byzantine period in the mid-sixth century. It is one of the oldest churches in Sardinia. Between the IX and X century it was enlarged. It is dedicated to St John the Baptist. The interior is divided into three naves separated by three arches in succession and covered with barrel vaults; the light comes through an octagonal window and three lancet windows in the apse which recall the models in the Lombardy and the Ravenna areas

San Salvatore di Sinis

San Salvatore is a small village of medieval origin and it is named after the church located at the centre of the village. In the basement of the church there is an ancient pagan shrine of Nuragic origins, used to worship the water and which was rebuilt in the VI century. The celebrations for the Patron Saint, San Salvatore, begin on the first Saturday morning of September. A very famous and evocative running takes place, called Corsa degli Scalzi, Running of the Barefeet, where nearly 1000 local men, every year, running for 7 km in a procession, carry the barefoot Statue of the Saint (hence the name “the barefeet running”) from Cabras to the village of San Salvatore di Sinis. There is a long and interesting story which entwines folklore and religion about the celebrations for San Salvatore. Every year hundreds of visitor pay a visit on that first Saturday and Sunday of September to see this amazing and breathtaking event.

The museum

The museum is dedicated to the exhibition of archaeological finds from the territory of the municipality of Cabras in the Sinis Peninsula. The pre-nuragic and Neolithic age are documented by the finds that came to light during the excavations at the village of Cuccuru Is Arrius. The finds of the city of Tharros can also be found here and it is only recent that the museum is exhibiting the amazing Mont’e Prama Giants statues.


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