The town of Silanus is built on a hill, at an altitude of 432 meters above sea level. facing south east, on an area of about 48 square kilometers. Located in the central-western part of the Province of Nuoro, it includes the central part of the Marghine chain and borders with the municipalities of Bolotana, Lei, Noragugume, Dualchi and Bortigali. Its territory is rich in churches, nuraghi and numerous testimonies of millenary history, as well as a remarkable environmental and naturalistic heritage still to be discovered and explored. Populated since prehistoric times, as shown by the numerous findings, the part of the territory adjacent to the middle valley of the Tirso is literally sprinkled with nuraghi, the remains of nuragic temples and grandiose Tombs of giants.
Around Silanus there are still numerous nuraghi: Orolio or Madrone, a single-tower with a circular plan that preserves two overlapping tower chambers intact; the nuraghe Santa Sabina or Sarbana, with a simple plan adjacent to the church of the same name; not far the nuraghe Corbos, well preserved single tower. The territory of Silanus was reached by the Punics: their presence is documented by the discovery of various finds near the Orolio nuraghe. In the Roman period a village probably stood in the place of the present town; there is news of the presence of Christians deported during the Diocletian period and forced to forced labor in the lime quarries of Montarbu.
Silanus is a small country of farmers and farmers where the times and the rhythms of the countryside mark the life of a dynamic and industrious community, it enjoys a mild and pleasant climate for most of the year. Holm oak and oak woods, cultivated lands and pastures surround its territory; olive trees, vineyards and the whiteness of numerous flocks paint the hills and valleys around the town. His community, where numerous popular traditions survive, is animated by a profound religious sentiment, of which the seven churches in the village, the various novenaries and the particular devotion to St. Anthony Abbot, the patron saint of the town, bear witness. Nature and archeology, ancient customs and delicious local productions preserve intact the signs of a history that has forged its culture over time, where the guest, even if for a short period, can feel a full citizen of the village and live a experience full of authentic suggestions.
Piazza Carraghentu is the main meeting place of the community where young and old gather to spend a few hours together. It is the ideal point to start a tour of the village, alone or accompanied by the citizens themselves, always available and generous in giving directions. A few dozen meters from the square, on a small hill, stands the beautiful church of San Lorenzo Martire. The building, dated around the 12th century, represents an original example of Romanesque architecture in Sardinia and is entirely made of basalt. The severe and essential character of the church is attenuated, inside, by a valuable fresco by an unknown author, while outside, among the arches, you can see a singular and mysterious stone mask. In the green area around the sanctuary there are some nuragic bars found near the archaeological area of Nuraghe Corbos. Crossing the characteristic lanes of the district of Serra iscobas meet the parish church dedicated to Sant'Antonio Abate and the church of Santa Croce, where it is possible to admire a precious altar in painted wood of the seventeenth century. Entering the network of the historic center, you can visit two other pretty little churches: the first, dedicated to Sa Maddalena, dates back to the 16th century. and overlooks an enchanting little square framed by ancient buildings in dark stone and balconies decorated with fragrant flowers. Stopping on the pavement and closing my eyes for a few moments, the most sensitive visitor will be able to perceive the most intimate and profound dimension of the community where sacredness, silence and stone are the soul of a neighborhood once animated by peasants and artisans. Continuing by sas carrelas (the streets of the center), we reach Sa Ittiri, where a green and welcoming little square frames another testimony to the sacredness of the village: the church of Nostra Signora d'Itria. The building, a beautiful example of 17th century architecture, preserves inside some precious wooden statues, such as that of Sant'Isidoro, patron saint of peasants.
Silanus is known as the land of poets for having given birth to the unforgettable Mario Masala and Francesco Mura, undisputed protagonists of memorable Sardinian poetry competitions in all the squares of the island. Silanus is a paradise especially for those who love popular traditions. There are in fact several Sardinian and singing a tenor dance groups present in the country. A particularly curious visitor might decide to visit Silanus from an unusual point of view, but not at all out of place. He could store maps, compasses, guides and reviews of any kind to be drawn solely by his senses. Closing the eyes could lead to smell to follow traces of seductive scents. Arriving at the source, he would discover that he had lost himself in an enchanted world made of sighs, pirichittos, papassinos, fraones, cattas and casadinas. A triumph of sensations encouraged by delicious sweets made of almonds, honey, eggs, flour but also walnuts, raisins and ricotta. Local, fresh and genuine products that bring the flavors of the past to the palate.
There is no event, recurrence or festivity that is not celebrated in Silanus with a particular traditional dessert: such as s'aligu, a typical delicacy of the holy week made of honey, toasted almonds, fresa de aligu (a special roasted dough similar to puff pastry), orange peel and enclosed between two fragrant lemon or orange leaves. And how can you resist the aroma of sos tundos (spianate) and de su zichi russu (semolina bread) freshly baked by the expert hands of housewives and bakers of the village, to taste them perhaps with tasty local cheeses? In the village, then, you can lose yourself among the many varieties of cheese. Skillful hands of women are still able to compose extraordinary musical and artistic symphonies. Combs, knockers and spools, directed with expert skill, arrange threads, spread warps, cross wefts creating real works of art.