The name of this town dates to 1862, when King Vittorio Emanuele added ‘Sardo’ to what was then simply Barì to avoid confusing it with the capital of Apulia of the same name. Bari Sardo sits surrounded by hills covered by vineyards and orchards on the lovely basaltic high plain of Teccu ‘e su Crastu. It is renowned for its textile crafts: rugs, tapestries, blankets and linens. The town’s origins date to the High Middle Ages, when people moved here, four kilometres inland from the coast, to escape the incursions of Vandals and Saracens. The area of Barì was under the jurisdiction of Cagliari until 1258, when it was annexed first by Gallura and then by the Republic of Pisa. In 1324 it was encompassed into the Kingdom of Sardinia and then, in 1861, became a part of the Republic of Italy. Some four thousand people live here today.
The centre is graced with rustic houses, colonial villas, Spanish towers, old sheep folds and the grand parish church of Nostra Signora di Monserrato, one of the island’s most beautiful churches, rich with precious marble. There are a variety of other churches that are also well worth a visit: the church of Santa Cecilia, which was originally a country church but now encompassed by the town, the church of San Giovanni, in sa Marina where every year there is a religious procession from the town to this outskirt, and the country church of San Leonardo (XVI century). The region is dotted with archaeological remains: the domus de Janas at Pizzu ‘e Monti and Funtana su Rettore, 14 nuraghes, the most famous of which is Sellersu and the giant tombs of Canali, Uli and Pitzu Teccu. In Roman times there was a presidium called Custodia Rubriensis, named after the early Sardinians (Rubrensi) who had settled here.
The symbol of Bari Sardo is the torre di Barì, a tower constructed on a rocky outcrop over the sea by the Aragonese between 1572 and 1639. It is about 13 metres high with a base that measures 11 metres in diameter and controls the 15 kilometres of shoreline between Bella Vista and Sferracavallo. The fortress dominates and divides the shoreline into two parts: to the north the mari de is ominis, to the south the mari de is feminas, in keeping with a distinction made just after the war when the north was designated for use by men and the south for women. South of the beach of Torre di Barì is the quiet beach of sa Marina Tramalitza, with beige sand and crystalline water with a soft green hue. One of the gems of Ogliastra is located within the confines of Barì: Cea, a kilometre of soft white sandy beach, shallow water, smooth rocks and an emerald sea. Three hundred metres from shore, at the centre, are 2 twenty metre high rocky stacks know as the is Scoglius Arrubius, the symbol of Cea.