Alta Marmilla encompasses an area spanning 347.95 square kilometers and is home to approximately 10,000 residents. The only village within this region boasting a population exceeding 1,000 inhabitants is Ales.
This area, characterized by its administrative, socio-economic, and geographical coherence, extends between three remarkable natural landmarks: the basaltic Giara plateau, known for its unique volcanic features; the extensive obsidian deposits of Monte Arci; Mount Grighini.
Alta Marmilla’s cultural assets, particularly those of archaeological and historical-artistic significance, bear witness to a rich and diverse history spanning millennia. This unique historical narrative traces its roots back to the arrival of prehistoric communities in the territory.
Throughout history, the area has played a pivotal role as a transit route due to its distinctive landscape, abundant raw materials, and natural resources. Notably, the extraction and utilization of obsidian, found in various regions of the volcanic complex, have left a significant imprint on the settlement patterns, especially in the hilly areas near river courses. This contributed to the unique character of Alta Marmilla.


Come and milk sheep and see how cheese is made!

There are not many places where it is possible to taste a cheese made entirely by hand, without an electric milking machine. In Alta Marmilla this is possible, thanks to a traditional pastoral network that is still extremely vast.

The cheeses, among which the ‘fiore sardo’ and ‘pecorino’ stand out, are still made using the traditional slow process, and often the outcome is not a dairy product sold on a large scale, but a small delicacy to be enjoyed by the family.

Taste our famouse fil’e ferru!

Fil’e ferru is a Sardinian distillate, found in various parts of the island including Alta Marmilla.

Fil’e ferru is made from distilled grape marc, and reaches 40 degrees. Although it is therefore very strong, its consumption is widespread, especially at the end of a meal.

Come and touch our typical tapestry!

In Alta Marmilla, and particularly in Mogoro, it is possible to trace the legacy of a millenary activity: weaving. Famous are the tapestries, carpets, and bissaces, made at the loom by Mogoresi women who historically produced the fabrics that made up the trousseau.

Joyful floral explosions are traditional in the weavings of this area, completely innovative and exceptionally colourful for Sardinian standards.

Particularly in tapestries, women expressed all their creativity by mixing bright designs and colours that brightened up the poor and austere environment of the Sardinian home.

Today, this tradition is still standing and is strongly supported by the local communities.

The blades of our knives: look how they sparkle!

This time we move to Villanovaforru, where, thanks to the Is Lunas cutlery and its many craftsmen, one of the most important Sardinian traditions is kept alive: that of knives.

The knives are all handmade. Taking one in your hand and examining it carefully in all its elements (the blade, the point, the handle, the thickness) you can recognise a skill that has been lost over the centuries. Each knife has a life of its own, given to it by the hard and expert hands of the workers; and each knife requires long and careful workmanship, so that each one has its own history, its own forging time. it is a little magic that has been repeated for centuries, perhaps millennia, in this peripheral land but one that is extremely tied to its own traditions and cultural economy.


The Monte Arci Geo-museum

Obsidian Park, located in the southern part of Monte Arci, is a significant historical site with thousands of years of history. It houses the largest obsidian deposit in the Mediterranean region and has historical roots dating back to the pre-Nuragic era, invoking ancient customs and legends.
Six thousand years after Neolithic communities first used it, the site was repurposed for perlite extraction in the 1950s, with quarries and open-pit excavations established.
Today, this ancient mining site offers a captivating display of light and color. The path leading to the main quarry is the first attraction, covered in numerous small black stone fragments, remnants of obsidian. These fragments are washed down from Monte Arci to the valley by heavy winter rains, making the site inaccessible for several months each year, typically from November to March.
Recognized for its vital role in Neolithic societies as a versatile tool, hunting weapon, and valuable trade item, obsidian is aptly nicknamed “Sardinia’s black gold.”

Birthplace house of Antonio Gramsci 

Following the Region’s acquisition of Antonio Gramsci’s birth house in Ales, the idea of establishing an association to preserve and enhance this historical site began to take shape within the village. After a dedicated effort spanning five months, a core group of no fewer than 113 members came together to form the Antonio Gramsci Birthplace Association on November 18, 1989. The association’s statute was duly approved at this time.
In March of that same year, the association was granted permission by the Region to use Antonio Gramsci’s birthplace. Within this space, they set up an archive, a library, a meeting room for gatherings and cultural events, as well as a small office.
Since 1990, the association has consistently organized commemorations on January 22, which marks the anniversary of Gramsci’s birth in 1891. Prior to this, such celebrations had been infrequent and irregularly observed.

The food and wine Academy of Baradili

The COI Accademia Enogastronomica was founded with the purpose of representing Sardinia’s rich food and wine traditions and its warm hospitality. Established in 2010, the academy orchestrates a variety of activities such as initiatives, meetings, studies, conferences, debates, events, and seminars. These endeavors are designed to raise awareness among consumers, institutions, and businesses about the exceptional quality of Sardinian cuisine. The academy’s primary focus is to showcase the region’s outstanding products on an international stage, boosting the visibility of the cultural and environmental heritage that is closely intertwined with Sardinian cuisine. Additionally, it plays a pivotal role in training and nurturing young talents, empowering them to take a leading role in revitalizing the local food culture and native production. Furthermore, the academy lends support to initiatives aimed at establishing new ventures in the food and hospitality sector. It achieves this through training, retraining, and vocational guidance programs both within Sardinia and worldwide. The academy is also actively engaged in creating local networks within the food and wine industry, fostering the development and growth of this sector at the regional level.

Su corongiu de Fanari

About 2 kilometers away from Masullas, along the road to Gonnostramatza, there is a remarkable geological formation known as the Mega Pillow. This formation was created during intense marine volcanic activity in Sardinia during the Miocene era. It gets its name from the pillow-like structures that developed when lava rapidly cooled during underwater eruptions. Typically, these lava pillows are 1 to 1.5 meters in size, but in this case, we’re talking about a massive pillow that measures 12 meters in length and 8 meters in height, hence the name ‘mega.’
The front view of this geological wonder resembles a large rosette with a central core radiating outward, while above it, it’s possible to see the distinctive globular structure resulting from the rapid cooling and solidification of magma in contact with the Miocene seabed’s water. Due to its exceptional preservation and size, it has been designated as a Regional Natural Monument.

Il Paese dei Balocchi

The municipal administration of Ales, in collaboration with the Cultour Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus, prepares Il Paese dei Balocchi (Toyland) every summer, a festival in which the museum is transformed into a magical place, a refuge dedicated to the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of traditional Sardinian games. Imagine a glittering afternoon, full of joy and participation, where every detail is designed to engage you deeply. This event is steeped in the values of the past, that golden age that the Museo del Giocattolo ardently wishes to preserve and pass on to future generations. But there’s more! Children are invited to participate in a special workshop, and here comes the magic touch. Each little participant is encouraged to bring along a neglected toy, abandoned in some corner of their bedroom. And what will happen to these toys? They will be exchanged and shared with other children, creating a special bond between friends of different ages. This symbolic gesture of sharing and giving makes the event even more special and touches the hearts of everyone present.

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