Since my hubby's thesis was about 'nuraghi- miniatures', Barumini was a place we could not skip during our visit of Southern- Sardegna. (Nuraghi are big, megalithe tower-like buildings ,18-15th century BC, the miniatures are small replica's from 9/8th century BC)
First of all: by all means, get a car! Visiting Barumini by public transportation is nothing short of a military operation doomed to fail....(especially offseason)
Of course there was the settlement of Su Nuraxi, a grand Nuraghe- complex which makes you feel small, considering they built this 3500 years ago (but how?) Part of the tour was in English, but it helps understanding the structure if you read up on it before visiting (when you're interested: don't hesitate to ask me what to read. Also: visit the website of Su Nuraxi excavations. It's also available in English and helps you understand the structure).
At the site you can buy a combination- ticket: please do!
With this ticket you can visit the Lilliu Centre (about 200 mtr. from Su Nuraxi, opposite, Lilliu was one of the most famous archaeologists of Sardinia). They have an exposition on Maritime Archaeology, excavations in the surrounding area and... the Nuraghi- miniatures!
Drive even further into town and again with the same ticket you can visit Casa Zapata, a museum about the history of Barumini. This 16th century palace was, as excavations during restauration have discovered, built on another Nuraghe (Nurax e' Cresia),which now can be see onderneath the floors of the palace. The museum also shows the history of the Zapata family and part of the museum shows etnographical objects and typical Sardinian musical instruments.
Bordering Barumini there's the small town of Villanovafranca, where there's another great Nuraghe: Su Mulinu with this great roman Altar which partly looks like... a miniature nuraghe! Villanovafranca also has an archaeological museum.
If you still haven't seen enough: visit Villanovaforru, with the Nuraghe Genna Maria and archaeological museum.
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