Villanova Monteleone stands on ancient volcanic-origin hills between the towns of Alghero and Bosa.
Its hinterland is dotted with traces of prehistoric settlers: the most interesting are the Domus de Janas cut into limestone rock walls at Puttu Codinu, and the ruins of Nuraghe Appiu, at the foot of Monte Cuccu.
To explore the area’s pristine wilderness visit the Monte Minerva reserve, managed by the Sardinian Forestry Corps, a large volcanic hill with sulphur-rich thermal springs with healing properties. The park has stunning plant life, and if you’re lucky you might spot some majestic rare birds, the griffon vulture and the golden eagle.
In town, visit the craft workshops to admire the colourful motifs of the handmade Sardinian wool carpets, tapestries and curtains, the beautiful hand carved furniture and fine basketry.
Then step into the main church, San Leonardo da Limoges, built in the 16th century: inside you will be struck by two beautiful wooden altars.
Every June and July Villanova becomes the centre of horse-lovers' attention with a fair devoted to a local breed, the Sardinian Anglo-Arab, and featuring a national horsemanship competition.
Visit Su Palatu 'e sas Iscolas, the former elementary school, a late 19th century building which is now home to the Museo Etnografico Bastià Pirisi, a fascinating collection of traditional rural and farm life objects.