YiS Team: Serena Mariani

Thursday, May 25th, 2023


Clear blue water and boulders sculpted by weather and time. Palau is nestled in an inlet well repaired from the northern winds, adjacent to the exclusive Costa Smeralda and looking out over the beauty of the enchanting Maddalena Archipelago National Park. This tourist resort and harbour town came about in the late XIX century and counts some four thousand residents. Summer evenings bustle with night life and events. The main religious festivity here revolves around Santa Maria delle Grazie in early September, and winter is enlivened by a spectacular Carnival celebration that is reason enough to come for a visit. On a granite promontory chiseled by time just outside of town is a natural sculpture that seems crafted by an artist. It is Orso rock, the symbol of Palau, and looks out to distant horizons over the sea. The II century CE geographer Tolomeo claims that it had already been known since the days of Antiquity, and that even then sailors used it to guide them along their way. The seascape around Capo d’Orso is as beautiful as it is interesting, thanks to the tafone tombs and remains from the Neolithic Era. The sea bed here is resting place of shipwrecks from a variety of periods. Other sites well worth a visit are the Luchìa nuraghe, set as a guardian to the Bonifacio straits, and the Giant Tombs of Li Mizzani and Sajacciu, near the church of San Giorgio. As you head towards Don Diego, stop at the Batteria militare fortress at Talmone. There is another fort on Mt. Altura, a belvedere that looks out over the sea.

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