A treasure is held on the south-eastern side of the Montiferru, 500 metres above sea level and nestled in an amphitheatre of volcanic origin protected by lush forests - a myriad of springs. Santu Lussurgiu is a medieval town with 2,400 inhabitants, halfway between Oristano and Bosa. Its name derives from the saint-soldier Lussorio, who preached here before his martyrdom in 303 AD. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, Santu Lussurgiu was a renowned cultural centre, a summer residence of nobles and scholars, as well as an anti-feudal stronghold. Today, its accommodation facilities and restaurants are a destination for tourists attracted by the historic town, culture and excursions. The itinerary sets out from where seven sources of mineral water once derived in San Leonardo di Siete Fuentes, established in the 12th century and lasting through to the 16th century, now a ‘ghost’ village. Immersed in the forest of San Leonardo are the remains of its Romanesque church. The Villa enjoyed prestige and prosperity until the Aragonese conquest, before its decline. Santu Lussurgiu, rather, arose around the Church of Santa Croce, originally consecrated to San Lussorio (1185). Whilst the beautiful Santa Maria degli Angeli in late-Gothic style was built in 1473 by the Order of Friars Minor together with a monastery, the cultural ‘engine’ of the time. The church safeguards a wooden Madonna with child (16th century).
The ‘route of the springs’ continues in Silbanis then leading to within the built-up area, in Su Sauccu, an old wash house, and the Funtana Longa park. A nice place to stop for rest and refreshments is Sa Preda Lada, before then climbing up to the peak, to s’Ena ‘e s’Alinu, Sos Crabalzos and the scenic Elighes Uttiosos, home to the ‘trickling holm oaks’, as the water seems to flow from the trees. The originating from the springs are streams and waterfalls, including s’Istrampu de sos Molinos, whose name recalls the many mills used in pre-industrial times, together with fulling, for weaving and packaging textiles. Woods of holm oaks, oaks and chestnut trees, populated by deer and mouflons with hawks and griffins overhead, encircle the winding and steep cobbled streets and the basaltic or tuff stone houses of the village. Each district offers striking views - the terrace of sa Rocca stands out, where statue of Christ by Edgardo Mugnoz is positioned. The ancient artisan shops are renowned for their carpets, knives and horse equipment, to which the Cavallinfiera event is dedicated at the beginning of June, the oldest Sardinian trade fair in the sector, dating back to 1906. Tradition is also found in the festivals. There is the sa Carrela ‘e Nanti carnival, which includes horseback riding on a dirt road in the town. This is preceded by a few days of the Cantigos in Carrela, singing performances along the streets. The heritage of Canto a Cuncordu was handed down by the confraternities, which sing religious songs during the beloved customs of Sa Chida Santa. Another unbridled equestrian joust is the Ardia di San Lussorio taking place around the parish church of San Pietro at the end of August. Between June and July, rather, there is the Cavalieri De Su Sotziu, with the knights donning traditional Lussurgiu outfits to take part in Coru ‘e Zeus. The historical memory of the village is preserved by the Museo della Tecnologia Contadina, set up in an 18th-century manor house, where two thousand objects from traditional activities have been collected. The agricultural-pastoral soul is expressed by the breeding of the red ox, from which derive high-quality meat and the milk used in the casizolu cheese. Also of note are the liqueurs.
The territory has been inhabited since the Neolithic times, as can be confirmed by the Domus de Janas of Matziscula and Mandra ‘e Caddos. The village of Monte Agudu dates back to the Nuragic period, with a number of Tombs of Giants and many Nuragic structures, some well preserved. The remnants of the Villae di Santa Ittoria, Camputzola and Banzos show the passage of the Romans.