Like a sentinel, perched on the edge of a promontory, 785 metres high, at the foot of Mount Cuguruttu, it dominates and oversees the Tirso valley and the entire Marghine. The imposing Nuraghe Orolo, a symbol of the picturesque village of Bortigali - famous for its delicious cheeses and a still active watermill - offers a spectacle of unusual beauty: from its summit, your gaze will sweep over a vast portion of central Sardinia, from the Macomer plain to the Abbasanta plateau, all the way to Gennargentu. You can easily get there by car from State Road 131, exiting at kilometre 149.5 at the junction for the hamlet of Mulargia and continuing for a few kilometres along Provincial Road 62. Or you can visit it on foot as part of the 'Nature Trail', which starts in the village (four kilometres from the nuraghe) and climbs Mount Santu Padre.
The monument was restored in 1998 and is in excellent condition! An ancestral scenery surrounds an architecturally elegant structure made of large, square trachyte blocks arranged in regular rows. The nuraghe is large and trilobate, i.e. composed of a central tower (keep) with two floors and a slender profile, to which, at a later date, a bastioned body was added on the front, comprising two smaller towers connected by a curtain wall. The trapezoidal entrance in the centre of the bastion is closed by an architrave with a drainage window above and leads into a walkway covered with a jack arch which in turn 'flows' three ways: to the front into the main tower, to the right and left into the entrances to the side towers. The corridor is cut into the masonry, a perfect work that does not compromise the stability of the building.
The keep, which is circular with a diameter of 15 metres and currently 14 metres tall (once taller), is built with stones of decreasing size: the large, freshly hewn boulders of the base rows gradually become smaller and more refined towards the top. Inside the main tower you can visit two overlapping chambers, on the ground and first floors, both covered with an almost intact tholos (false dome). The lower chamber is circular, six and a half meters tall. Its floor plan is enhanced by three large cross-shaped niches and four compartments in the wall mass. On the right, in the hallway leading to the chamber, you will see the most characteristic architectural element: the staircase built into the thick masonry and lit by six slits at the treads to illuminate the 56 steps (!), almost regular, which spiral up to the upper floors and lead you relatively safely to the top of the keep. The room on the first floor is lit by a large window crowned by a massive architrave and has an irregular floor plan with three niches and two storage pits three metres deep. In a niche there is a slit similar to one in the nuraghe Santu Antine (Torralba), which reproduces a bovine head. The tholos, in excellent condition, is almost six meters high. The staircase continues to the top floor where you will find the remains of a third chamber: originally the tower had at least three levels. On either side of the main tower are two smaller towers. The one on the right, consisting of a circular room (five metres in diameter), is preserved to a height of between one and five metres. The one on the left has an elliptical room with an intact tholos roof. Around the monument, in an area of more than two thousand square metres, there are traces of a dozen circular and rectangular huts and a bastion that defended the settlement. The few pottery fragments that have been found provide evidence that the area was frequented between the Middle and Late Bronze Ages (16th-9th centuries BC), with sporadic Roman evidence (until the 5th century AD).
The Orolo is a must for archaeology enthusiasts visiting the Marghine, a territory that is a treasure trove of evidence from the past.