A very ancient nuraghe, ‘from the very beginning’, with unique shapes, and a prehistoric village with a station where obsidian was processed along with a ‘garden’ of great environmental value around it. These are the elements that characterise the park of sa Fogaia, inviting you to visit it. It is a green oasis that covers the eastern slope of the Giara di Siddi, just over a kilometre away from the beautiful village of Marmilla. The ‘upper’part of the park is the scenic area, where you will have a view of the Marmilla hills and the Giare of Gesturi and Serri, as far as the view of the Gennargentu massif. In a strategic position, on the edge of a precipice, you will find the corridor-type nuraghe of sa Fogaia. It was built over 300 metres above sea level on the rocky outcrop, using dry and overlapping interlocking blocks of basalt.
The building shows traces of various construction phases: the nucleus is represented by the ‘protonuraghe’, i.e. the archaic version of the famous construction, with an unusual ‘Y-shape’ layout. It is thought that its origin dates back to the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age and, later on, two other megalithic bodies were added alongside it, as well and a series of secondary spaces. To enter, you can go up a stepped ramp carved into the thickness of the wall: the entrance is in fact raised five metres above the walking surface. In the inner corridor, you will notice more steps, which once led to a terrace that is no longer there. Parts of the roof of the two adjoining buildings have survived and were made in different styles: jack arch, tholos (false dome) and ogival. In several rectangular rooms in the internal courtyard, there have been finds dating back to the Late Punic and Roman periods. Around the nuraghe, you will notice traces of a village where obsidian was found, proof that there was a stone workshop in sa Fogaia dedicated to working on the ‘black gold’ from Monte Arci.
The archaeological theme is not the park’s only element of charm: living in the holm oak woods and Mediterranean scrub, there are more than 150 different plant species as well as a wealth of wildlife. You can stroll surrounded by the colours and scents of wild orchids and numerous aromatic and medicinal plants. One path in particular, known as su mori ‘e is erbas (the path of herbs), which was once an old mule track used over the centuries by the community of Siddi, will accompany you as you observe the most typical floral species of Marmilla, described on special wooden signposts. Among the park’s ‘residents’, there are about 60 types of bird, such as the barn owl, the owl, the raven, the kestrel and the lapwing; you might also spot weasels, hares, foxes and various species of reptile.
Continuing in the northwesterly direction, you can enter the Giara di Siddi, in which there is one of the largest and best-preserved Tombs of Giants in Sardinia: sa Dom’e s’Orku that, just like the nuraghe Sa Fogaia, was built using large blocks of basalt between the Early and Middle Bronze Ages.