The territory of Siniscola has been inhabited since before the Prenuragic period, as attested to by the numerous artifacts found in the areas adjacent to the town. Notable among them are the geometric (crescent-shaped and trapezoidal) flint and obsidian microliths, which can be dated to the Middle to Late Neolithic Period (6000 BC). These artifacts were collected in the Capo Comino dunes. Also, you can find clear evidence of human presence dating back to Neolithic times, in places like outside the Elène Portiche grotto, on the western slope of Mount Lattu.
We also find a consistent presence of settlements from the Nuragic period. In fact, there are no less than 46 historical-cultural sites associated with the Bronze Age, including five caves with archaeological importance, 32 nuraghes, 4 giant’s tombs, and 4 Nuragic villages.
The area was also resettled in subsequent periods. Specifically, Roman rule over the area produced a settlement, during the late imperial period, that left various traces from the Bèrchida valley to Santa Lucia, as well as a strategically important port named "Portus Lugudonis".
The establishment of the village of Siniscola dates back to medieval times, when the territory was part of the Juridicate of Gallura, before coming under Aragonese rule. This period was also when the Saracens made their first incursions into the region. In 1514, they reached the coasts of Baronia. Without encountering any resistance, they landed on the coast and looted Siniscola, Torpè and Lodè, which prompted the construction of coastal watch towers and defense towers. Of these, Saint Lucia still stands today, majestic peering down the coast. However, successive Baronian rulers of the territory of Baronia never took good care of the fiefdom – so much so that in 1623, the council of Real Patrimony d'Aragona reassigned the fiefdom to its rightful owner Michele Portugues , who never created any organized system of defense against Saracen pirates. Ransoms forced him to make concessions that led to bankruptcy and the loss of his property and title.
From the year 1600 onward, the village of Siniscola underwent development, and by the year 1800, it had become a town characterized by strong demographic and economic growth. Siniscola had, in fact, assumed a role of dominance, thanks to its administrative, commercial, and tourist activities.
Siniscola (Thiniscole in Sardinian) is a village of 11,479 inhabitants, located on the eastern coast of Sardinia, in the province of Nuoro. It's in the historical region of Baronie, and it serves as Baronie's most important town.
Owing to its location at the foot of the Mont'Albo limestone massif, surrounded by plains, vineyards, hills and pristine beaches, the Siniscola region, where the sea and the mountains intertwine to invigorate a pastoral landscape of unsurpassed beauty, has become a major cultural and touristic focal point.
The region is extremely varied. It begins with Mont'Albo, which offers visitors breathtaking views of a landscape that weaves together forests, glades, rocks, caves, springs and steep dolomite ridges, populated with rich local fauna. Boars, foxes and martens make the mountain their home, and it is also a nesting spot for golden eagles, peregrine falcons, hawks and buzzards. The vegetation is varied as well, with a mix of junipers, mastic trees and olive trees, as well as oaks and maples at higher elevations. There are many caves inhabited by humans in prehistoric times – important sites from an archaeological and speleological standpoint. They can be visited today.
Further down the valley, we find the coastal villages and tourist destinations of La Caletta, Santa Lucia and Capo Comino. The area is marked by a 30-kilometer coastline (which has repeatedly received Legambiente's 4 Sails award), with vast beaches and interspersed high sand dunes dotted with ancient juniper trees, low cliffs, and coves blanketed in by pine forests. All of this is encompassed by a crystal-clear sea, into which it gently slopes. A masterpiece of unspoiled natural beauty, making Siniscola's beaches among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean, and the entire world.
The caves of Gana and Gortoe are particularly interesting. Located within the city, on via Olbia, the cave was used during World War II as an actual bomb shelter by the citizens of Siniscola. A stream within the cave flows to "Funtana", a spring that people would visit in the 1930s to bathe and draw water.The origin of this watercourse is unknown, since part of the cave hasn't been explored. Within the cave, we can find the remains of jugs used by the Etruscans.
Archaeological sites that are worth a visit include: the "Cururu 'e Janas" domus de jana, located along the road that leads to La Caletta, the "Sa Prejone and s'Orcu" cave on Mount Montalbo, the "sa Conca Ruja" cave on Montalbo, and the archaeological area of Bèrchida: a pre-Nuragic village, the "Su Picante" giant's tomb, located between Capo Comino and Irgoli, the "On 'Itichinzu" giant's tomb, located between Capo Comino and Irgoli, and the village of Rempellos, near Berchida beach.
The vibrant culture of Siniscola has produced many culture and volunteer associations, a wide range of training programs, higher education facilities and a university for senior citizens. It's the seat of the “National Children's Literature Award”, which takes place every two years. The the city has an excellent library network, with branches in coastal villages as well.
It has become the island's musical capital after having produced illustrious artists and bands, and it often hosts national-scale concerts.
Among the notable places to visit is the “Luthuthai” Nuragic village, the Coccuru e jana burial cave, the Elene Portiche, Sa prejone e S'orcu, the medieval village of Rempellos and the towers of Santa Lucia and San Giovanni.
The town's urban center developed around the eighteenth-century parish, which contains preserved frescos and wooden statues made by local artists. We strongly recommend visiting the town's historic center, where you can admire a wealth of nineteenth century palaces of great artistic importance.
Folk festivals and religious traditions are very popular. Most notable are the festival dedicated to Modonna delle Grazie, held on the second Sunday of October, the feast of Sant'Antonio, held between the 16th and 17th of January, the feast of Sant'Elena, which takes place in August in the homonymous country church, and the Holy Week ceremonies.
The carnivals are quite popular. Many are held in the historical center of the town, while others are held in the countryside, where people can appreciate the essence of local culture and the uniqueness of local products such as Cannonàtu red wine, pecorino cheese and a variety of desserts. Besides classic roast meats, the area's cuisine features first courses made of handmade pasta.
One culinary treasure to note is "Sa Suppa Siniscolesa" and "Sa pompia", a traditional sweet made from the fruit of the plant bearing the same name, which grows only in this area.
Among the traditional handicrafts, take note of the beautiful ceramics, which had already achieved fame during the 1800s, as well as the baskets, decorated chests and knives.
Siniscola operates has a library network consortium with S. Satta Nuoro, whose headquarters were established in the city center and in the maritime villages of La Caletta and Santa Lucia. The library owns many texts and is open for consultations and cultural initiatives meant to promote books.