Standing atop a hill, its dominant position overlooks the surrounding valley. The Church of San Giovanni Battista is the oldest church in Orotelli, in the heart of the island. It is named after the patron of the Barbagia village, celebrated at the end of August. The construction dates back to the first 25 years of the 12th century. Between 1116, the year of the Othana diocese’s institution, and 1139 it was a temporary episcopal see, pending the completion of the construction of the Church of San Nicola in Ottana.

Throughout the centuries, San Giovanni Battista has undergone alterations that have changed its original appearance, divided into a layout with a cross commissus (being a T-shape). Built in red trachyte, it is 30 metres long and quite narrow (eight metres). The roof is constructed with exposed wooden beams. Originally, the space within was a single nave with exposed trachyte blocks and had a wooden cover, with the partitions of the transept turned crosswise. In the 1960s, the 17th-century wooden altar was removed and two side aisles were added, which saw it take on a basilica form.