Nuoro is the Athens of Sardinia, bustling with cultural life since the 1800s, home to artists like Salvatore and Sebastiano Satta, Francesco Ciusa and the author Grazia Deledda, who made the city famous the world over. A stroll through the historical centre is a relaxing pastime, a step back in time as you walk over ages-old cobblestones along streets lined with old stone houses, courtyards, porticos and little squares that seem to appear out of nowhere. Among the old quarters is Séuna, once home to farmers and craftsmen, and santu Pedru, where shepherds and landowners lived. It is here that you will find the Deledda Museum, the birthplace of the Nobel prize winner. The house is an homage to the memory of this author who opened Sardinia up to the world. She lies at rest in the little church della Solitudine at the feet of the Ortobene, city’s mountain or, as she defined it, “our soul,” a natural park well worth a visit. Corso Garibaldi used to be called Via Majore and has always been the social hub of the city, with shops and timeless cafés. Have a coffee at one of the outdoor tables there, then stroll about the narrow streets and enjoy a meal in one of the many characteristic restaurants or trattorias. Not far away is the old delle Grazie church, and the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve. Next to it is a belvedere that leads to the Tribu cultural centre and the Ciusa Museum, home to many fascinating sculptures made by Francesco Ciusa, the first prize winner of the 1907 Venice Bienniale. The Museo d’Arte di Nuoro (MAN) is a short walk away and hosts temporary international exhibitions and permanent shows of XX century Sardinian artists. Also not to be missed is the Museum of Sardinian Life and Popular Traditions, which will give you a taste of material and immaterial culture through displays of garments, jewellery, masks, textiles, tools and references to traditional singing, religious practices and festivities. Don’t miss seeing costumes like these in actual use during the sagra del Redentore on the last Sunday of August, featuring folk groups from all over Sardinia. The celebrations include a procession of the faithful walking from the city to Ortobene, at the top of which, at altitude of about 1,000m, is the statue of Christ the Redeemer (the Redentore). The 1,600 hectares of the mountain boasts traces of settlements dating back to prehistoric times, like the domus de Janas, as well as an infinity of gorgeous scenery, like Sedda Ortai park. Granite rock formations of unusual shapes hover interspersed between valleys, the home of a variety of mammals and rare birds of prey.