Wandering Sardinia

Another Sardinian off-ramp attraction like Santa Cristina, Nuraghe Losa was constructed in the Middle Bronze Age (15th-14th century BC) and is notable for its fine architecture.

Nuraghe Losa: Abbasanta

Updated May 07, 2019

nuarghe Losa
Nuaghe Losa, Abbasanta, Sardinia

One thing I love about the major Nuragic complexes in Sardinia is that most of them have a little bar along with the ticket booth and shop. Like Santa Cristina, Nuraghe Losa is just off an SS131 off-ramp. Both make fascinating sites. Both have bars. Have a coffee or an Ichnusa beer.

What sets Losa apart from other nuraghe is that it has a large central tower surrounded by three smaller towers, then all of it wrapped in a magnificent megalithic wall, the outline of which some say is like a ship. Some people have good imaginations.

The whole complex was stacked from giant, roughly-worked stones in the middle Bronze Age—15th-14th century BC. Later, a village of small, circular huts was added.

You can go in and have a look around at the large rooms inside. Without courtyards, the stone mass is quite solid and this massive solidity has kept the complex preserved over the years. After all, who’d want to knock this monster down?

And the really amazing thing is that inside there are fewer cobwebs than in my house.

Here’s a good description of the experience from Sardinia Tourismo:

After the raised threshold, you will find three passages that lead to as many rooms covered with tholos (false domes). The keep – today 13 metres high, but originally more – has a ‘classic’ structure: a large base room with three niches arranged in a cross. A spiral ramp rises clockwise to the small upper chamber, and once reached all the way to the top. The three smaller towers are arranged around the central one and have high ceilinged, narrow rooms joined by the masonry that wraps the entire structure. Inside there are also three wells, used as storage for food or other materials. The main tower and the three-lobed bastion are surrounded by a long and impressive oval-shaped wall, with doors and two protruding turrets, while the walls are pierced by slit-shaped windows. The antemural extends to the back, to the north and west, covering a narrow courtyard. At the base of the western tower there is a cistern. In front of the entrance, however, stands an imposing round building, presumably with important functions – perhaps a meeting hut – as suggested by two opposing entrances, two large niches, four cabinets and five slit-shaped windows. Of the vast settlement around, extending for three and a half hectares, only a small part has been excavated. At various points you will observe the remains of nuragic dwellings and, above all, houses from the late Punic, Roman Republican and Imperial, Late Roman and Byzantine periods.


All of the nuragic towers you see on the island of Sardinia are truncated. You don’t see the tops of them. When you visit nuraghe Losa, you’ll see bits of what you’re missing, as shown below:

nuraghe losa corbel stones
Corbel Stones found on the site of Nuraghe Losa

These are the corbels, made of stone. When you see a tower in a castle, it will usually be turreted. That is, the top bit will have a circumference greater than the tower itself, allowing shooters to defend the walls below. So these stones held up the turreted part of the tower. These bronze age towers would look not so different than the towers of medieval castles.

nuraghe losa arrow slit
Nuraghe Losa: Arrow slit on ground level

Abbasanta

The town of Abbasanta is located across the highway SS131, 5 km from Nuraghe Losa. Abbasanta is home to 2700 people and is a slow food presidium for casizolu, a cow’s milk cheese in an area loaded with sheep. You might think it’s provolone, or the Pugliese Caciocavallo, a cheese made into a similar form. But this cheese is pure Sardinian, and a slab of it goes extremely well drizzled with the bitter honey of Sardinia, Corbezzolo (See: The Miracle of the Strawberry Tree). How the ends are tied off or braided can be an indication of who produced it.

casizolu
Casizolu, a cow cheese specialty of Abbasanta

There are places to stay in Abbasanta, and several restaurants, including the highly-rated Ristorante Su Carduleu. For a fine fish feast, head a little further east to Sedilo to visit the country restaurant Ristorante da Armando.

If you like to stay in the countryside near Nuraghe Losa, consider Su Baione.

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