Discover why you absolutely must visit Fluminese.

Here are 11 good reasons to do so!

I spent much of my childhood and adolescence in Fluminimaggiore. Birthplace of my mother, hometown of my relatives, and my maternal grandmother.

By reading my article, you will journey through the most important landmarks of Fluminese, and you will be surprised to discover how many treasures this territory holds.


1. For its geographical location

Where is Fluminimaggiore located?

Surrounded by spectacular green mountains, just a few kilometers from wonderful beaches, Fluminese is full of unique natural and historical points of interest.

Fluminimaggiore (Flùmini Majori) is a municipality of about three thousand inhabitants, geographically located in southwestern Sardinia, more precisely in the valley of the Rio Mannu. Bordering the municipalities of Arbus, Buggerru, and Iglesias, it is a highly coveted tourist destination for lovers of the sea, mountains, culture, and the history of mines.

Considering the numerous switchbacks required to reach it, Fluminimaggiore may seem somewhat isolated, but this inhabited center has always been strategically positioned.

Murales Fluminimaggiore

2. To learn about its history, culture, and the local people

The history of Fluminimaggiore

The territory has been inhabited since the pre-Nuragic era, as evidenced by the numerous artifacts found dating back to this period, as well as to the Nuragic, Phoenician-Punic, and Roman eras.

During the Middle Ages, the village belonged to the Giudicato of Cagliari. With the fall of the giudicato in 1258, the village came under Pisan rule, and in 1324 it was conquered by the Aragonese. From this moment on, the village was assigned to various families. The King of Aragon assigned the village to the Gessa family, and from the Gessa family, it passed to the Asquer family. Due to a Barbary pirate raid in 1650, the village was unfortunately destroyed but was then rebuilt in 1704, this time a bit further inland. It was thanks to the Viscount Asquer and his wife Eleonora Gessa that the decision was made to rebuild the ancient village of Flùmini Major.

A real demographic growth of the village occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century with the development of mining activities in the surrounding areas. As in the rest of Sulcis-Iglesiente, the economic, mining, and industrial crisis also hit Fluminimaggiore hard, leading to increased unemployment and emigration. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the village has a lot to offer to visitors, starting from the town center.

Adding color to the streets of the village are the picturesque Murales of Fluminimaggiore. Recently adorned with old photographs as well, strolling through the streets of the historic center, you might be enchanted by how the village tells its story through the paintings on the wall. In the murals, people who played an important role in the small Fluminese society are also represented, including, in her property, my dear grandmother (see photo above). A woman who, with little education but a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, managed to run a small grocery store, and from what I’ve been told, she did it impeccably. Appreciated by the community during the time she was in operation, she is remembered by many even after many years since her passing.

Chiesa Sant'Antonio di Padova Fluminimaggiore

Church of Saint Anthony of Padua

The only church in the village

The Church of Saint Anthony of Padua was built starting from 1750. Indeed, the first mentions date back to the 18th century, coinciding with the reconstruction of the village. Subsequently, it was radically modified and expanded first in 1810 and then in 1878. Two more restoration interventions date back to 1904 and the late 1950s. As seen in the photo (taken in 2021), recently the Church has also undergone a redevelopment.

Where to have a coffee in Fluminimaggiore

At Bar Satta

Eleonora e Tommaso al bar Satta

Here I am, in my favorite Bar in the heart of Fluminimaggiore. Where I like to have a good breakfast at the bar or take Tommaso for an ice cream when we’re walking around the streets of the village. Bar Satta is a welcoming place, where the staff is truly hospitable and makes you feel at home, even if it’s your first time there. If you happen to be around here and need a break, stop by Bar Satta, located at 298 Vittorio Emanuele Street.

Fluminimaggiore strada statale 126

3. To travel along roads immersed in nature

How to get to Fluminimaggiore

To reach Fluminimaggiore, you can take different roads, depending on your starting point. All the roads are well connected but, I won’t hide it, quite challenging. Exceptional to ride on a motorcycle, very scenic even by car or camper, but there are many curves, so it’s essential to be very cautious while driving and include some stops in your travel itinerary.

Fluminimaggiore can be reached from Cagliari by first taking the SS130 and then taking the SS126 from Iglesias. If you’re coming from a more northern area of Sardinia, you can take the Carlo Felice State Road towards Guspini, then Arbus, until you reach your destination. Another road to take is the SP83: starting from Nebida (a hamlet of Iglesias) towards Buggerru and then Fluminimaggiore. This last one might be the most challenging to navigate with larger vehicles, but it’s the most fascinating. I think it’s my favorite road, one of those you can see a thousand times but every time feels like the first. Really, it’s a spectacle!

Sant'Angelo Fluminimaggiore

4. Seeing abandoned villages

The village of Sant’Angelo and Villa Alice

The mountain village of Sant’Angelo was founded around 1700, contemporaneously with the town of Fluminimaggiore. Located at an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level, it is surrounded by forests mostly populated by cork oak trees and centuries-old oaks. In this place, there are still some houses, local businesses (such as a bar, a mechanical workshop, an old farmstay, and a farm), and a small church dedicated to the Guardian Angels. The small church is adorned with a particular bell tower on which is engraved a phrase:

The angel spread its wings in the light of the evening. It would soon be night. In the square, there was no one left. (Giuseppe Dessì – il Disertore)

Amidst all this, one can admire very beautiful villas, now in a state of complete abandonment.

In the early 1900s, prominent Piedmontese families (Casana, Scarfiotti, and Modigliani) had large houses built where they could spend their summer holidays.

Among the various estates, there is a very important manor house that is fading from memory: Villa Alice.

In the villa’s garden, there are two ancient cannons from the tower of Cala Domestica, used in times of Barbary pirate attacks.

Strolling through the now abandoned garden, you can see statues including that of King Vittorio Emanuele. While facing a truly spectacular view, there is a stone table still in perfect condition.

It is said that very important historical figures have passed through here, including King Vittorio Emanuele. Legend has it that his wife Elena loved to sip tea on this round table.

Tempio di Antas

5. To visit the mysterious Valley of Antas.

The Roman Road, the Temple of Antas, a Nuragic Village, and ancient Necropolises.

The Valley of Antas became a place of worship as early as the Nuragic period. Carthaginians and Romans also passed through here. The different civilizations were attracted by the various deposits of lead, silver, and iron.

Inside the valley, there is a Punic-Roman Temple, a Necropolis, a Nuragic Village, and an Ancient Roman Road.

The Temple of Antas was discovered in 1836 by General and archaeologist La Marmora, but it was reconstructed in 1976 by the archaeologist Barreca. Dating back to the 1st century, the temple was later renovated by the Romans around the 3rd century AD, at the behest of Emperor Caracalla. The Temple of Antas was dedicated to the God Sardus Pater Babai. To testify to this, there is an inscription placed at the top of the entablature. Underneath the staircase leading to the Roman Temple, you can see the remains of the Carthaginian place of worship dedicated to Sid Addir Babai.

The Necropolis, on the other hand, is located not far from the Temple and includes five shaft tombs. This funerary area dates back to the early Iron Age (9th-8th century BC), where the deceased and their belongings were buried inside.

Discovered during the archaeological excavations of 1966-67, the Nuragic Village of Antas dates back to the Bronze Age (1200 BC). During the excavation campaign, ruins of circular-shaped rooms and various artifacts (tools, pottery, iron points and blades, etc.) were found.

The Nuragic village was connected to the Su Mannau Cave by an Ancient Roman Road. A pathway used both during the Punic and Roman periods. Within this pathway, there are still clear traces of forced-section cuts made for the passage of carts pulled by animals.

Grotta di Su Mannau

6. To visit spectacular natural caves

The vast Mannau Cave

The Su Mannau Cave became a true underground votive site dedicated to the worship of water, which was associated with the Mother Goddess, a symbol of fertility and life.

Inside the Su Mannau Cave, remains of some votive oil lamps of Nuragic origin, as well as artifacts from the Phoenician and Roman periods, have been found. The same oil lamps have been found in the archaeological site of Antas as well. The presence of the ancient Roman road connecting these locations suggests that the Su Mannau Caves and the Temple of Antas were used simultaneously. Scholars believe that in ancient times the caves served as a hypogeum temple where about 3000 years ago, Nuragic priests practiced ancient rituals linked to sacred water, rituals also celebrated in the Temple of Antas. Indeed, inside the Temple there is the adyton (sacred area), which has two rooms with square cisterns, one meter deep, which contained water for purification rituals.

During my last visit to the Su Mannau Cave, the guide recounted the narrative passed down by the elders of the village. Women and men from the village, witnesses of an unwritten history passed down orally from generation to generation.

“Su Mannu” in the Sardinian language means “The Great,” hence the name Su Mannau. The legend tells that the cave was inhabited by an ugly ogre who, despite his appearance, was not evil. The local people, frightened, decided to lock him inside the cave near the water, and that’s how the ogre began to cry out of sadness. He cried so much that the beautiful stalactites were formed.

The Su Mannau Cave site remains closed during the winter period for microclimatic rest. If you decide to visit the cave, I recommend booking in advance as the excursions take place at specific times.

Su Zurfuru Fluminimaggiore

7. To learn about the history of the Mines

The Su Zurfuru Mining Museum and Site

The Su Zurfuru Mine is located on the outskirts of Fluminimaggiore, precisely on the State Road 126.

The Su Zurfuru Mine was first granted a concession in 1889 to the Victoria Mining Limited company. Although not always active, the mine was definitively closed and abandoned in 1993.

Today, it is an important site of interest. Hosted by the Su Zurfuru Mine association, I had the opportunity to visit the mine personally. I was impressed by the dedication of the people who, day after day, have transformed an old abandoned mining complex into a welcoming cultural and tourist site.

I highly recommend a visit to Su Zurfuru. Before heading there, though, remember to make a reservation! 😉

To this mine, which I had seen passing by for years but knew very little about, I dedicated an article: The Su Zurfuru Mine: Its History from 1870 to Today.

Museo Licheri Fluminimaggiore

8. To visit an old water mill

The Zurru-Licheri Mill of Fluminimaggiore

The Zurru-Licheri Museum takes its name from the family that owned it, it is located in the center of the village and was part of a group of other mills that have unfortunately disappeared today. Built in 1750 and remaining active until the 1970s/1980s, its driving force was the water from the Rio Mannu that flows through the area and passes under the mill. A beautiful and evocative museum, but above all, very interesting. Despite having traveled a lot, I have rarely found museums where the process of grain milling in the past was shown. In addition to work tools, antique kitchen utensils, or toys, upstairs there are agricultural and pastoral furnishings dating back to the period when the mill was in operation. As you’ll hear during the guided tour, the mill was a cornerstone of the local economy and today has become a highly appreciated point of interest for travelers.

Borgo Portixeddu

9. To spend carefree days in a small seaside village

The Village of Portixeddu

The location of Portixeddu, although somewhat isolated, is the ideal place for a quiet and relaxing holiday, as it offers various services. In the evening, you can stroll through the small village to breathe in some fresh air, dine in the various restaurants and pizzerias in the village, or have fun with the kiosks on the beach or in the square.

As I’ve already mentioned in my article about Buggerru, from the square of the small tourist village of Portixeddu, you can admire a beautiful stretch of beach with small dunes, marvelous sea, and the greenery of the pine forest. All of this still makes this place a wild environment today.

Foto ricordo al chiosco Zelig

A recommended place for a quick refreshment in Portixeddu

The Zelig Portixeddu Kiosk

The Zelig Kiosk is located in the square of the small tourist village of Portixeddu. During the hot hours, you can enjoy a refreshing artisanal gelato in the comfortable lounge of Zelig.

Many motorcyclists, like me and Fabrizio, stop during their tours to refresh themselves with a drink or an ice cream at the kiosk and, at the same time, enjoy a breathtaking view!

Zelig Kiosk has been run for many years by the renowned Restaurant L’Ancora in Portixeddu.. Now famous for its parties and aperitifs, especially in the summer months, the Kiosk Zelig has become the favorite destination for both locals and regular visitors. Thanks to the perfect location, from here you can enjoy a beautiful landscape, breathe the sea air and enjoy a few hours in absolute tranquility in the company of old friends or new, maybe met in the square of Portixeddu.

In summer the square and the village of Portixeddu come alive thanks to live music, DJs, theme nights and parties organized by the Kiosk Zelig.

Do not miss the aperitifs at sunset, where you can relax in company and in front of a summer cocktail or a refreshing drink. The joy of the Kiosk, owners and its employees will accompany you during your stay in Portixeddu, not surprisingly also nicknamed “Portixeddu bella vita!”. Who knows why… 😉

During high season, the Zelig Kiosk is open every day from breakfast late at night. To stay up to date on events and live music organized by Zelig of Portixeddu. Learn more about their Instagram and Facebook pages.

Sa Ramadura Fluminimaggiore

10. To participate in village festivals

Saint Anthony of Padua and Santa Maria Assunta

Among the various local festivals and events I want to mention those that, perhaps, are the most important festivals in the country.

The happiest memories bring me back to June 13. For all my childhood and part of my adolescence was a day of meeting with my whole maternal family. A day preceded by rich preparations, during which together with my grandmother, my mother, my aunts and my cousins spent the days preparing ravioli, meat and desserts to celebrate the Patron of Fluminimaggiore: Saint Anthony of Padua. The part I preferred, however, was a practice known in Sardinia as Sa Ramadura, where together with my grandmother I collected the most beautiful flowers and then cut the petals and group them in large baskets. The flowers were intended to adorn the streets to honor the passage of the Saint and the procession in traditional costume. The whole country smelled like roses and mint. Every house, every family, thought to embellish their exteriors, with hand-embroidered sheets that were flaunted in their balconies, and many flowers and colorful flags.

Another very heartfelt feast is celebrated on August 15 with Santa Maria Assunta. A mix of tradition, folklore and tradition come together during the festivities.

If you happen to be here in June or August do not miss this festival where you will find the tradition combined with celebrations characterized by typical food, music, dancing and fireworks. For a different period of the year you can click here to know all the other events with the festivals of the country.

Portixeddu al tramonto e Tommaso

11. To regenerate with a beach holiday

The nearby beaches in Fluminimaggiore

The town of Fluminimaggiore borders many beaches and in a few minutes drive you can reach all the beaches of Buggerru or Capo Pecora or Sa Pedrixedda Manna (and Pitticca).

The beach of Capo Pecora is part of the municipality of Arbus and consists of stones and pink granite rocks. A long expanse surrounded by vegetation, this resort boasts an extraordinary panorama. Dotted with coves, the sea water is crystal clear. The seabed teems with murmur, mullet, bream, octopus, amberjack, bream, sea bass. For this reason it is mostly practiced by local fishermen but also by tourists who appreciate the scent of vegetation, tranquility and places still little known. If you decide to make a stop at Capo Pecora do not forget mask, fins and an underwater camera!

Sa Pedrixedda Manna and Pittica are characterized by stones but in this case they are pebbles. The smallest beach (Sa Pedrixedda Pitticca) can be reached from the resort of Portixeddu, in the highest part of the village. From here you have a descent in stone steps but immediately you will realize that going down to the small beach is worth it. Before going down the stairs, you will realize that on your right there is another path and that is what will take you to Sa Pedrixedda Manna.

Well, these are 11 reasons for me to visit Fluminimaggiore. Thank you for reading so far, follow me on my Instagram profile to receive information about the places I visit and travel tips. If you want to start a collaboration with me you can contact me. Find out more about me!