A journey back in time among ex-votos, rings, bracelets, daggers, pins, figures depicting crowds of devotees and warriors who, between the Middle Bronze and Iron Age, frequented the sanctuary village of Abini and the village of s’Urbale. Teti, a pleasant town in the Nuoro region, sits at 900 metres on the slopes of the Gennargentu mountain range. It is steeped in ancient civilisation, details of which have been carefully reconstructed at the regional archaeological museum, housed since 1990 in a building constructed in the oldest part of town. As you visit the rooms, you will catch a glimpse of life as it was in s’Urbale, walking through a detailed full scale reconstruction of a typical dwelling, and you will uncover the secrets of Abini via the relics found at the vast settlement that surrounded the meeting field and sacred well, a place of sacred rites, most likely linked to water worship.

A large number of Nuragic bronze items were found at the sanctuary: anthropomorphic statuettes, reproductions of animals and sailing vessels, as well as raw pieces waiting to be shaped. One especially interesting piece depicts a demon or warrior with four eyes, four arms and a double shield. The museum also houses relics from the Atzadalai plain, including a female idol dating to the late Neolithic Age and several relics from the countryside around the nearby towns of Mandrolisai, Tonara, Sorgono and Meana Sardo. Other material recovered from the two main Teti sites is at the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari. You will be led by museum guides to visit the digs at the two villages, and in one of them you’ll be able to see a hearth made with a layer of clay that would be periodically replaced, and that may have been the cause of a violent fire that forced the entire population to abandon the village.

The museum exhibition is located in the historic centre of town near the church of Santa Maria della Neve, the patron saint celebrated in early August. At Teti you will find archaeology, ancient places of worship and even some cultural treasures, like the ethnographic exhibits of casa Satta and casa Mereu. During Autumn in Barbagia festivities, you will enjoy the heady aromas and flavours of the local cuisine when private homes open their doors to visitors to enjoy rural traditions together. The views are also enchanting, great for nature walks through green woods of ancient oak and cork trees, of chestnut, cherry and Mediterranean brush. It is here that deer, mountain goats and foxes live, it is the reign of rare birds of prey like the Royal Eagle, who nests on the summits here.