It is situated on the slopes of the Mount Limbara massif, inside a lush basin filled with cork oaks, Mediterranean shrubs, vineyards and granite masses, half an hour from Gallura’s enchanting sea. Monti, a town in the Monte Acuto historical territory with a population of 2500, is known for its vineyards producing vermentino, the only Sardinian wine to have (since 1996) the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, the highest recognition earned by a local wine. In August, a festival is held to celebrate this prized white wine with a subtle but intense aroma that pairs to perfection with fish dishes. Speaking of cuisine, the sa suppa, a day-old spianata (flatbread) seasoned with cow-milk cheese and grated sheep milk cheese, and drowned in mutton broth, is a local pride and joy. Other characteristic dishes include maccarrones de manu nostra, hand-made gnocchetti, tattalliu, spit-roasted offal, ‘baci d’angelo’ and sa niuledda sweets. In addition to food and wine, the territory boasts architectural, natural and archaeological attractions. The town’s historical centre still contains buildings with granite ashlars. The bell tower of the 17th century Parish of San Gavino is of particular note. South of the town, extends the Forest of Monte Olia, a natural park of holly and common oaks, strawberry trees and heath sheltering an oasis for wildlife repopulation: roe and red deer, mouflon and rare birds of prey, such as falcons and buzzards. If you head from town towards Alà dei Sardi, you will reach the s’Ambiddalzu plateau, which offers a splendid, solitary landscape of shrubs and wind-eroded granite masses. Along the way, you will pass by the Church of San Paolo Eremita. Although consecrated in 1348 (as recorded in parish records), its current architectural structure of natural stone dates to the 17th century. The saint’s Feast Day is celebrated in mid-August with a popular pilgrimage along the road linking the town to the sanctuary. A stop at the Sa Turrida panoramic viewpoint with its view of the entire Olbia valley, from Tavolara island to Coghinas lake, is a must.
The first evidence of human presence at Monti dates to the Neolithic. The tafoni of Mount Fulcadu and Su Canale may have been burial sites, while the allèe couverte in Terra is one for certain. The Bronze Age is represented by two Giant’s Tombs and a dozen nuraghes, including Nuraghe Logu with a tower leaning against a large granite outcrop. During the Roman period, the Karalis-Olbia route passed through the area. The Byzantine church has also left its mark: rites with Greek roots are still practiced and the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, with the adjacent remains of stone sepulchres and huts still stands. In the 13th century, the Doria family built the De Castra Castle in Monti. Its ruins are still visible. The fortress was later taken by the Pisans and the territory by the Malaspina family.