Tempio Pausania is located in the heart of Gallura at the foot of Mount Limbara; the city has about 15,000 inhabitants and is characterized by ancient and majestic buildings and peculiar granite paving, that have given the name of “Stone City”. The picturesque old town is the ideal place for walks, that combine the ancient and the modern in a perfect union, with the opportunity to choose between religious, archaeological or naturalistic itineraries.
Piazza Gallura e Municipio
The most part of the city centre wide area, has been obtained from the cloister and church of the Capuchin nuns convent, founded in the seventeenth century and demolished in the mid-nineteenth century to the construction of the Town Hall and Piazza Gallura, on whose surface has recently been reproduced, in satin, the plan of ancient church.
Piazza Gallura overlooks the former Episcopal Seminary, previously palace of the Marquis Pes di Villamarina, the most notable of which, Don Giacomo, was viceroy of Sardinia 1816-1818.
It is the town busiest street, not only for businesses, but also for the traditional evening stroll.
It was called by the elders “la currieddha”, or rather the way of the trial court that was once housed in the building that overlooks a beautiful tree-lined square (Piazza Don Minzoni). Opposite is noted the century palace Massidda, where got married the niece and heir of the famous poet Don Gavino Pes.
Corso Matteotti opens on Piazza XXV Aprile bordered by beautiful Villa Corda. At that site there was the old entrance from Cagliari.
Rione San Pietro
Following recent excavations of Piazza Gallura, next to the cemetery of the old convent, were unearthed the circular remains of a prehistoric village. This evidence, along with the one of the historian Angius that, in the nineteenth century, remembered the presence of a Nuraghe, in the adjacent Monti Pinna, by that time demolished, allows to assume an original acropolis nuragica, disappeared after the Roman invasion, which would be the town historic core (Rione Lu Nuracu).
In Christian times on this area they were built three churches: the Cattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo and the two oratory of the Rosario and Santa Croce.
Viale Fonte Nuova
The aqueduct was built in Tempio in 1907. Previously, the water supply was assured by wells and fountains devices. At the foot of the hill of San Lorenzo, then open countryside, the water carriers collected water from a rustic fountain that had the spring under a rock, still called “Monti di lu passiziu” (rock of the balcony) for its resemblance to a balcony.
Diverted into the underlying avenue, next to the Monumento dei Caduti, was called “Funtana noa” after the adjustment of the site built by a mayor of the nineteenth century that also took advantage from the work of inmates of the “Rotonda”. The avenue has been extended and incorporated in the park known as the Bosco di San Lorenzo, named after the small church situated therein and dedicated to the saint.
At the bottom of the wood they were found Roman mass and a tombstone dedicated to a soldier who served “for nine years” in the legion stationed around “Gemellae”.
Parco delle Rimembranze
Downstream of the church of Sant’Antonio, is located the impressive size of the “Vecchio Caseggiato”, the primary school built in 1917.
Overlooking the splendid landscape of the Limbara massif, there is the Parco delle Rimembranze, where every holm oak symbolizes each citizen fallen in the 1915-18 war.
Piazza XXV Aprile is furnished with a work by the Sardinian sculptor Pinuccio Sciola.
Rione Monti Masa
From the Piazza of San Francesco, after visiting the church dedicated to Nostra Madonna del Pilar, we can get on to a characteristic ward, in an elevated position, which is home to a large building known as the old district court.
Not far away, a strange cylindrical building (la”Turritta”) was certainly one of the two windmills that in the ‘700 worked in Tempio, as evidenced by a print of the time.
Nearby is the Building grandiso, with hexagonal church, the order of the Daughters of Jesus Crucified, founded by Padre Vico, whose missionary nuns operate in various parts of the world.
Fonti di Rinagghiu
Through the Wood of San Lorenzo or following the namesake avenue, you get to the grand space of Pischinaccia (so called because it was once a flat marshy).
On the hill overlooking the entrance, a large building, in a panoramic position and surrounded by a beautiful garden, once antitubercolare regional preventorium, currently home to the school of art.
An avenue of recent construction leads to the diuretic Fonti di Rinagghju, known not only for the therapeutic properties but also for the freshness and greenness of the setting.
The source was known in Roman times, as evidenced by some archaeological remains far upstream, in the hills of Santa Chiara.
Upstream of the sources, at the location of the Centro Direzionale, begins a panoramic avenue told Curragghja (from the hill-shaped horns). The hill was burnt on July 28, 1983 by a massive fire that caused nine casualties among the volunteers and foresters, a stone commemorates the tragedy. To the dead was dedicated a monumental tomb in the city cemetery.
In Piazza Mercato, before Via Mannu, the town’s most ancient street, there is the Ex Me building, built in 1663 by the viceroy Condè of Altamira. At the beginning it housed the town’s old prison, but in the first years of the 20th century it was used as a market. Nowadays it houses the local Tourist Office and Spazio Faber (named after Fabrizio De André, Faber was his nickname), and it is the perfect place for exhibits, conferences and other cultural events.
Piazza Faber is surrounded by eighteenth century buildings, and it stands out from the old town because of the installation designed by the architect Renzo Piano, a close friend of Fabrizio De André. Together with the Alvisi Kirimoto studio it has been realised a coloured web that catches the sunlight and gives brilliance to the granite. A mesh made of steel cables shapes 12 fabric triangles of different dimensions and colours. These triangles roll up around motorised rolls with a mechanism similar to the one of nautical sails. Renzo Piano’s idea of realising a web that stops the colours of light, translates into a light and variable game, made of cables, cloths and colours that don’t touch the square, but they shade and colour it.
Renzo Piano’s inscription reveals the personality and the creativity of the singer-songwriter: the coloured sails of Genoa’s boats (Genoa was the birth place of the artist) that also represent Fabrizio’s love for the sea, stand out lightly in the sky, while at night they close to turn into 12 Faber-Castell coloured pencils, De André’s favourite.
The motorisation allows various possibilities, from the complete opening of the sails to the total disappearance. If need be, a projector can turn the sails into big screens.
Situated in a strategic city location, it has been modernized recently with flowerbeds and fountain.
In the popular tradition retains the name of Piazza di l’Ara, with reference to the fact that within its area was represented the unit of measurement of ara. The reference dates back to the adoption by the state Sardo-Piedmontese of the metric system.
Piazza Giovanni Manurrita
Adjacent to the primary school building is Piazza Giovanni Manurrita, named after the famous actor and tenor, who was encouraged to become a professional singer by his friend and admirer Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Student of Master Martini, made his debut at the Teatro Quirino in Rome in “Don Pasquale” by Donizetti. His name was soon united to that of the most prestigious singers of his time: Beniamino Gigli, Giacomo Lauri Volpi, Tito Schipa.
Fontana di Pastini
Downstream the station, the nineteenth-century Fontana di Pastini, characterized by granite masks, is what remains of a larger complex that also included several washrooms.
It is the district that extends into space downstream of the cathedral, is made up of buildings that belonged to the most ancient and extinct family of Misorro, wealthy businessmen and landowners.
Some buildings have been successfully recovered, others are in a state of neglect, but maintaining the exterior features of buildings aristocrats.