The village of Sindia may be considered the cradle of Cistercian monasticism in Sardinia. This famous religious order established, in fact, a close relationship with the area and its presence is evidenced today by the remains of the Abbey of S. Maria di Corte or of Cabu Abbas and the Church of San Pietro, both precisely, of Cistercian origin, a tangible sign of the contribution from Sindia to the history of the Sardinian Middle Ages. According to Libellus Judicum Turritanorum, Judge Gonario di Torres, returning from the Holy Land stopped in the Abbey of Montecassino to request from Bernard of Clairvaux, the sending of monks to Sardinia, who arrived on the Island around 1149. The town experienced a very positive period thanks to the monks, known for their innovative capacity in agriculture, although the Cistercian settlement in Sardinia ended around the fifteenth century. Sindia is mentioned for the first time in the Condaghe of San Nicola of Trullas (twelfth – thirteenth centuries), and it belonged to the curatorial of the Planaria, of the Judicial-Kingdom of Torres. Soon, it was targeted by the Malaspina that became its Lords. In 1308, it was transferred for consideration to the Judge of Arborea and eighty years later, it was a participant in the ephemeral peace treaty between Eleonora d’Arborea and Giovanni d’Aragona . In 1430, after the end of the Judicial- Kingdom of Arborea, Sindia was first given in fief to Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada , then, in 1453 confiscated by the King and newly given to the lordship of Giovanni Villamarì in 1469. From the mid-sixteenth century to 1629, it remained subject to the royal treasury.
Acquired by the Brondo of Cagliari it was confiscated once again in 1670 due to the crisis of this noble family, and in 1698 was handed to Giuseppe Olives. Lastly, in 1756 it was sold to Antonio Ignazio Palliaccio that, along with his descendants, was eager to take credit of the title of Count of Sindia and Marquis of the Planargia, until redemption of the feud in 1839. In 1796 the inhabitants of the town welcomed "with a great feast", as stated in the Manno, the arrival of the “Alternos”, Giovanni Maria Angioy, supporting his anti-feudal stance. In the early decades of the nineteenth century the road between Bosa and Macomer was built that by crossing Sindia, facilitated transport: notable among other things of that time, was the export of thoroughbreds to Marseille.
Sindia is a town of approximately 1700 inhabitants in the province of Nuoro, located in the area between the historical regions of Marghine and Planargia, between the plateau and the Campèda Marghine Mountain Range, 510 meters above sea level. The landscape offers harmoniously alternating pastures and cork forests, and it is easy to be charmed by the natural reserve of Sant'Antonio, with its verdant holm oaks, holly, cork and downy oaks, in addition to the area of Rio Furrighesu, a fertile land rich with natural springs.
The town probably grew around the nuraghe Giambasile, then extending to the village Church of San Pietro and in the seventeenth century, to the church of San Giorgio.
In the area of Sindia, there are about 50 archaeological sites between Domus de Janas, Nuraghi and tombs of giants. Not far from the town, at an altitude of 530 meters, the Nuraghe Santa Barbara is located, one of the most impressive and best preserved within the municipality. It is a single tower with two floors, of perfectly hewn basalt blocks, arranged in regular rows. A short distance from the country church of San Demetrio, within the inhabited area, there is Sa Mandra ‘e sa giua, a single tower nuraghe . The main feature of this nuraghe consists of a mighty, wide rampart, discovered in the early twentieth century by the archaeologist Antonio Taramelli that reported a fence of colossal walls. Near the Rio Furrighesu , there is a monumental complex consisting of a single tower nuraghe, a tomb of giants and a dolmen. Other settlements in the area are the nuraghi Nela, Giambasile, Monte Codes, Serras, Fiorosu and Losa, the tomb of the giants of S’ena ‘e Solomo, and the site Su Crastu and Nostra Signora.
In Roman times, Sindia played an important role, since its territory was crossed by secondary roads called "diverticulae". At this time, a bridge was built on Rio Mannu , called Ponte Oinu , 29 meters long and 5 meters high, with three lights and with arcades supported by stone pillars and the upper floor consisting of rectangular plates, accurately positioned and well preserved. The archaeologist Antonio Taramelli (1845-1922), called Sindia "The Sardinian Lucca" , due to its high concentration of monuments. In the middle of the inhabited area, is the Abbey Parish Nostra Signora di Corte, which until 1989 was in honor of the Madonna del Rosario .
According to scholars, the complex of Cabuabbas or Caput acquae, home of an Abbey inhabited by Cistercian monks in the Middle Ages, was built around 1147. Today, a part of the transept, the choir and the sacristy remains of the ancient structure, which has been incorporated into the current church. Between 1150 and 1160, the church of San Pietro was built of dark volcanic stone, with a single hall with apse oriented Northeast and a broken barrel vault. Other important churches are those dedicated to San Demetrio, from the seventeenth century and that of San Giorgio, whose original structure is from the twelfth century.
Narrow paved streets are lined with old eighteenth-century houses, such as the Frades Sales house and Antoni Maria Zillanu house. On doors, carved by local stonemasons, there are some dates that mark the history of the area, such as the Sorres Sales house from 1882, or the elegant building of Luigi Tedde.
Throughout the year, the village of Sindia organizes many cultural events dedicated to the enhancement of tradition. The festival of Sant'Antonio Abate which is celebrated on January 16 and 17 is the first festival to be celebrated with a large bonfire, called su Fogulone . The fire burns all night illuminating the animated dance and music festival, and the whole town enjoys a dinner based on sheep’s meat. The third Sunday after Easter, on the other hand, the Saints Giorgio, Raffaele and Isidoro are celebrated, with great participation of the faithful: the celebrations last for four days, culminating in the ardia, The ancient horse race that takes place along the town and whose protagonists are the most experienced riders of the area. In September, the feast of Nostra Signora di Corte is celebrated, with a main ritual of the procession with the statue of the Virgin, placed on an ox-drawn cart decorated with ribbons and flowers, from the abbey to the village, accompanied by young men on horseback, groups in traditional folk dress and a large crowd of faithful followers. On October 17, the feast of San Demetrio is celebrated, characterized by a large bonfire and a great festive atmosphere of conviviality, such as the dinner prepared on the eve before the feast called “s’izzhadolzu”.
During the spring and summer, Sindia comes alive through numerous feasts and festivals, such as su Fogulone de Santu Juanne, on June 24, when in each district a bonfire is lit and meals are prepared for everyone, as well as the "the festival of the sheep". During winter, on the other hand, the "festival of Suppavalza" takes place, with bread boiled with sausage, onions and pork lard. These occasions, together with historical, archaeological and gastronomic itineraries allow visitors to become acquainted with the history and traditions of the Sindia area, very rich also from the perspective of its landscape and natural beauty.
The strong commitment to farming and agriculture has always characterized the town’s economy, and the commitment of the shepherds in the artistry of their dairy products has remained unchanged over time and handed down from father to son through the creation of quality products such as Su casizzolu de Sindia, rich in milk enzymes, Sa fresa, a sweet cheese, or aged pecorino cheese. Honey production is also noteworthy, and it is said that the Cistercian monks disseminated their ancient knowledge of the bee culture to the inhabitants of Sindia, so that every family in the courtyard of their home, in addition to their pets, had their cork hives, called su c asiddu , for the production of honey.
Lastly, the production of sweets that accompany the festivals is particularly rich and varied: the donuts for Carnival, the pardule and papassini for Easter and sweet almond desserts throughout the entire year. Among the typical dishes are the meat roasts, the cordula, but also many types of bread, from everyday breads like su zichi and su zichi ladu, to that made with pork lard, sas covazzas cun berdas , to the ritual breads such as su coccoi ‘e moltu , made for All Saints day.