OLBIA, a pretty seaport town with one of the finest Romanesque churches on the island, San Simplicio (11 th century), elegant and intact in its simple lines, in an isolated position. But our attention is mainly drawn by the astonishing richness of the natural beauty afforded by the views of the jagged coastline which consists of three bays as we go north from Olbia, the Bays of Armed, Marinella and Arzachena.
The central stretch of this wonderful landscape of rocks, caves and beaches is the "Emerald Coast", whose recent tourist development is Sardinia's strongest holiday attraction today . The road from Arzachena to Palau is a succession of of breath-taking view. among rocky hill and valleys strewn with great boulders of granite which give an unmistakeable impression of the prehistory of mankind.
At Palau, take the ferry to the Island of the Maddalena, whence one can reach by motor-road, through a pinewood, the adjoining Island of Caprera, famous as the last home of Garibaldi who died here and was buried near his home, which is now a museum open to the public. Setting off again from Palau we take the road to Santa Teresa Gallura (25 km. - 16 3/4 mi.) on the northernmost point of Sardinia, within sight of Corsica.
At nearby Capo Testa, landing place for ships in the Middle Ages, round columns on the beach remind us that the Romans passed this way. One can spend the night either at Santa Teresa or go inland to Tempio Pausania, the chief town of the Gallura district, in a fine hilly landscape. The granite of its buildings gives it a certain sober elegance, even through the forms are rustic and tugged. There is a fine Romanesque Oratory with Baroque additions, a Cathedral founded in the 15° century and some of the houses have fine facades.
From Tempio, go down to the River Coghinas (66 m.-206 ft) to climb again to Perfugas, with the fine Aragonese-Gothic church of San Giorgio; in the interior, a fine altar-piece by an early 16° century Sardinian painter; continue west to the turning for Castel Sardo; shortly after haying taken this turning we come to the impressive Pisan Romanesque church of San Pietro delle Immagini (13° cent.) of black and white stone, lust before entering Bulzi. In a splendid landscape, now climb up to Sedini (8.5 km. (5 1/4 mi.) from the turning) with the fine church of Sant'Andrea (1517) in Aragonese style and the picturesque Domus de janas, an ancient tomb complex later transformed into dwellings. Near the town the picturesque ruins of San Nicola de Silanis, Lombard-Benedictine of the 1211, century. Past Campo di Sedini, a wonderful marine landscape opens up. High up to the right we sec the ruins of the Roman Baths of Castel Doria and those of an ancient castle. On the way down we pass the trachylic mass known as The Elephant because of its shape and arrive at Cartel Sardo, a town of Genoese origin, on a promontory with picturesque streets, and a late Gothic Cathedral in which there are some important paintings by local artists.
From Castel Sardo, go west towards the coast road, passing Porto di Frigiano, with a Spanish Tower, to arrive at the nearby Nostra Signora de Tergu, now in ruins but once the finest Benedictine monastery in Sardinia (11° cent.).
Twenty-one km. (13 mi.) from Castel Sardis is Sorso near which there are sevcral nuraghi. Another 14 km. (8 3/4 mi.) brings us to PORTO TORRES.