Sassari is the main city in northern Sardinia, proudly playing its double role of historic city and lively modern-day economic and cultural hub of the northern part of the island.
The area was already inhabited in prehistoric times, as witnessed by many remains, including the Nuraghic complex of Monte d'Accoddi.
This structure is one of a kind in Sardinia: a majestic megalithic altar, reminiscent of the ancient Mesopotamian temples.
Its surrounds are dotted with the rock-cut tombs known as Domus de Janas, several menhirs or standing stones, and too many nuraghes to count.
The historic heart of the city is packed with beautiful monuments: the most imposing is certainly the Cathedral of San Nicola,
closely followed by the charming churches of Santa Maria di Betlem and Sant'Apollinare, the latter being the oldest in town.
On the city’s outskirts stretches a beautiful park, Parco di Monserrato, a well-tended historical green oasis with a rich and varied plant life.
One of the best times to visit Sassari is 14 and 15 August when it lays on its great festival, the Candelieri.
This traditional religious celebration consists of a procession (Faradda) of nine huge wooden candles.
These are shoulder-carried along the city’s streets in a long colourful parade to fulfil the vow made to the Vergine Assunta who, according to folk lore, saved the city from the plague.
Another deeply felt appointment are the Easter rituals, lasting the whole week leading up to Easter Sunday.
A further key event is the Cavalcata Sarda, held on the penultimate Sunday in May: a long procession of traditional costumes from all over Sardinia meanders along the city’s streets forming one long ribbon of colour, followed in the afternoon by dazzling displays of horsemanship.