We are in Anglona, a historical region in the north of Sardinia characterized above all by a hilly morphology and a coast that alternates rocky walls with beaches. Discovering this part of Sardinia I could not help but focus on a small village of just over 500 inhabitants. Before making the itinerary I asked myself, what to see in Martis ? I found a thousand answers simply by going there, walking through the small streets, entering the wild nature in the surroundings and discovering, with great emotion, some of the most beautiful churches in the area.
What to see in Martis
This small village I suggest to visit it as the end point of a possible day of exploration of this area. A country that basically lives on agriculture and livestock, the industry is practically non-existent as is the tertiary sector. The small streets, neat and clean, create an invitation to a walk, completely relaxed and with the possibility of meeting some locals who promptly greets you, and who might ask you "E tui, fill'e chini sesi?" , “And whose son are you?”. It is Sardinia, it is the Sardinian hinterland, it is a wonderful place to discover.
PIETRIFIED FOREST OF CURRACANA
What to see in Martis? Here we go, let's start with nature. A few kilometers away from the town there is a petrified forest that left me speechless. Do you think that initially my thoughts took me back in time (it was the year 2016) when I visited the Moai factory on Easter Island, there was also a valley with large and small Moai, erect and stretched, positioned at random on a hilly expanse. Well, in this case we are not talking about Moai, but the idea of landscape was identical.
The Carrucana Forest is made up of fossil and xylo fossil finds that you think extend for about 100 square kilometers, it represents one of the most significant geological resources of Sardinia. The stumps of the trees are in the form of stone, in many cases the trunk has preserved the morphological characteristics intact. But how was this possible? The Sicilization process was fundamental for their petrification. In summary, the silicon atoms have replaced the hard parts of the trees, such as bark and trunk, and have kept their structure intact. This has given the Trees, or what remains of them, a truly petrified appearance. Crazy isn't it ?! 20 million years ago there was a volcanic eruption and the forests collapsed inside the neighboring lakes, they were filled completely with volcano ash which is rich in silicon and this did nothing but create a sort of substrate, excellent for the process. of safety. Not sure what to see in Martis and its surroundings? This is a pretty good starting point.
This is an area of great landscape value, I highly recommend you take a look even though, unfortunately, there are no information signs and it is not an advertised site. Too bad, it deserves much more.
Take a 2 minute break and imagine your holiday in Sardinia .....
.... we can make it a reality!
We always stay on the subject of nature and continue our post on What to see in Martis , we pass from the petrified forest to the small but beautiful Triulintas waterfalls. I state that it is an easily accessible waterfall after about 15 minutes of walking, flat and with some ups and downs. It is to be admired in the appropriate season that I suggest autumn (after the first and heavy rains), winter (but being careful of possible weather warnings) or especially in spring, where green is a wonderful side dish. In summer it is advisable after some summer rain, but you will not find much water. .
We are always a few kilometers from Martis and after walking along a beaten and easily understood path we found ourselves in front of a wonderful place, surrounded by nature where silence and the sweet sound of water are the masters. A magic, a fairy tale where the water that falls into the ground creates a small pond, a source of food for the flora and fauna of the area. Nature, this is the word that came to mind when I was there, watching the waterfall, walking among the stone pebbles (even slippery) and having a snack under the shade of the big trees.
CHURCH OF SAN PANTALEO DI MARTIS
Now let's get to the heart of Martis, I can say that after visiting numerous religious sites both in the south and in the north of Sardinia this was one of the places that generated pure emotion in me, I felt amazement and at the same time love (perhaps love at first sight??). Its beauty, both aesthetically and above all internally, has stimulated my “research into the past” with a series of questions that will probably never find an answer such as: What was this newly built church like? Where did the pilgrims come from? Was it just an isolated church or was there a housing complex? History and art: topics that beyond religious belief, which always has a connection, have always been the subject of my great personal interest.
- the church of San Pantaleo di Martis . The church of San Pantaleo di Martis is located on a small, geologically unstable rocky hill (studies have ascertained the presence of an underground aquifer), so much so that it is nicknamed the “moving church”. Imagine that some sectors are sinking but not only, areas of its part have expanded, even towards the OUTSIDE. All of this has done nothing but create myths, doubts and theories as to why there are these events. Is it a haunted church? Magic church? Church with spirits?
In any case, let's limit ourselves to admiring this splendid church. Currently we do not know its exact dates of construction (it is thought around 1100), it is not even known where the stone blocks used for its factory were taken from but one thing is certain: it is a building born on a basis of shape gothic. Its beauty, the atmosphere it spreads, the echo inside the church have made it, for me, one of the most exciting sites. I recommend a visit, before the church "moves too much". What to see in Martis? Even the surrounding areas, take a look at our article about it Chiaramonti and surroundings .
A collection of our experiences on the island!
📝 Esperti della Sardegna
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Here is who has chosen us to organize their holiday to discover the less touristy Sardinia !