Sardegna - Places to Visit - Sassari
The city lies 225 m. above sea level on a stretch of low ground sloping towards the Gulf of Asinara, in the Nurra, Anglona and Logudoro hills. Apart from the historical centre, with its typically medieval twisting layout, Sassari is built to a neat square plan.
Once an ancient settlement called Tathari, its importance increased in the 12th century to such an extent that it became capital of the Torres Giudicato, contended by Pisa and Genoa. It became a comune in 1236, though Pisa and later Genoa imposed limitations on its autonomy, and was taken over by Aragon together with the rest of the island in 1323, then passed directly under the rule of the Spanish Crown, when it gradually declined. It became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, under the House of Savoy.
Its monuments include: the Duomo (12th-13th century), of Romanesque origins with Baroque faade in Spanish colonial style and Aragonese-Gothic interior (end-15th century), the church of S. Maria di Betlem (13th century) with 18th century altars, the church of S. Agostino (16th century), the church of S. Pietro di Silki (12th century), the Fonte Rosello (late Renaissance, 17th century) and the Palazzo Comunale (18th century).
The economy of Sassari is based on commerce, favoured also by its situation at the centre of principal lines of communication, as well as on traditional agriculture (production of vegetables, fruit, olives, cereals) which has facilitated the installation of production units in the food processing sector.
Other industrial activities, carried out mainly by fairly small companies, include engineering, textiles, construction materials and printing. There is a consistent flow of tourists to the nearby beaches and the city has an important cultural function (university).
Events: Cavalcata Sarda (second last Sunday in May), Processione dei Candelieri (folklore, 14th August), Fiera dell'artigianato sardo (biennal, crafts fair, May).
Famous People: Gian Maria Angio (politician, 1751-1808), Domenico Alberto Azuni (jurist, 1749-1827), Antonio Segni (politician, 1891-1972), Enrico Berlinguer (politician, 1922-1984).
Cultural Institutions: State Archives, University, Conservatorio, University Library, Biblioteca Francescana, Museo Archeologico Etnografico `Sanna' (with art gallery: paintings also by Vivarini and Pietro di Cosimo).
In the Province: Alghero (seaside resort, interesting environment, Sardinian crafts), Olbia (port of call for mainland Italy), Porto Torres (industrial and commercial centre), Castelsardo (basketmaking), Santa Teresa di Gallura (beach resort), Porto Cervo (beach resort), Tempio Pausania (holiday village and spa), Nule (handmade rugs), Ozieri (interesting environment), Caprera (Garibaldi House-Museum).