Wandering Sardinia

How to visit the amazing necropolis of Sant'Andrea Priu in Bonorva.

Necropolis of Sant'Andrea Priu

Updated Jan 24, 2019

Etruscan tombs like those at Tarquinia may thrill you with their frescoes or mastery of architectural details, but the 20 “fairy houses” of the Necropolis of Sant’Andrea Priu just might astound you.

Come in spring and the plain of Saint Lucia will likely be verdant and colorful with wildflowers. Even the rock faces are alive with color in May.

Tomb Opening, Sant'Andrea Priu

In the middle of this fertile valley is a rock outcrop 180 meters long, pocked with carved terraces and tomb openings.

domus di janus
Domus di Janus, Sant'Andrea Priu

There is a reason they are called fairy houses. They are carved to be just like the houses of the times, perhaps the houses the dead lived in. They have beams and wainscotting; some are tent-like as we see below. They are dated to the final neolithic (3500-2900 BC) period.

Domus de Janas Interior

The Necropolis of Sant’Andrea Priu is located in the municipality of Bonorva in what they call “La valle dei nuraghi,” the valley of Nuraghi, a new designation. It should be combined with a trip to the Nuragic complex of Santu Antine di Torralba. The city of Torralba also includes the Museo della Valle dei Nuraghi del Logudoro Meilogu. There is a longer itinerary starting from Bosa, a great city to stay in, as outlined on Tharros.info.

Unfortunately the largest and most elaborate cave, called the Chief’s Tomb, may not be visitable. This complex of chambers was transformed in an early Christian church in the Byzantine period with frescoes which are being conserved by the Centro di Conservatione Archeologica.

Restaurant Recommendations in Bonorva and Rebeccu, valle dei nuraghi

Just outside Bonorva on the other side of the superstrada is the “Ristorante Valle dei Nuraghi”: which serves excellent food. Try Bonorva’s specialty pasta made from bread dough, Zichi di Bonorva.

Between Bonorva and Sant’Andrea Priu is the medieval village of Rebeccu. Despite the fact that the town is largely deserted, Ristorante Pizzeria Su Lumarzu serves excellent local food and pizza.

sant'andrea priu
Sant'Andrea Priu and the plain of Saint Lucia

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