Municipality of Atzara

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Atzara

The village

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  • Bird’s-eye view over the village of Atzara © KCA Atzara
  • Bird’s-eye view © Lino Cianciotto
  • The characteristic domed well sited at the heart of the village © Lino Cianciotto
  • Mandrolisai grapes © Lino Cianciotto
  • Night view of the village © Murru Gianluca
  • Mount Sa Costa © Murru Gianluca

Atzara and its hills, softened by the work of its people, naturally and simply represent an extraordinary example of how people can preserve their traditions intact, even through the centuries, restoring the lights and colours of days gone by to the modernity of the present day.
Lights and colours that are reflected in the pure, charming and varied landscapes, and in the tastes and aromas of a simple, peaceful way of life.
In Atzara, everythings is reflected in the traditions and originality of the area: from the wine and local cuisine, to the precious handcrafted items and traditional folklore containing all of the unique and specific qualities of the past.
All this is Atzara and the atzaresi: men and women who are able to look to the future while preserving their historical memories intact, using the strength of tradition as a basis for sustainable development that will respect man and nature.

  • Altitude: 553 m a.s.l.
  • Surface area: 35.81 sq Km
  • Population: 1300 inhabitants (as per 2002)
  • Density: 36.6 per sq Km

Farming centre of the region of Barbagia Mandrolisai, Atzara is located on the western side of Gennargentu, laying on a wide hollow in the upper valley of river Araxisi. It borders the municipalities of Belvì, Meana Sardo, Samugheo and Sorgono.
Atzara is a borough of medieval origins dating back to the early 1000 A.D.; it is assumed to have been founded by inhabitants of three neighbouring villages, whose territories are adjacent to the modern settlement: Leonissa, Baddareddu and Pauli Cungiau.
The centre of the village has preserved an intact urban layout, characterized by Catalan architectural features. The narrow, evocative side streets, emerging onto a square dedicated to the Martyr Sant’Antioco, are marked by a number of granite low houses, still showing their original floors in oak planks. Other buildings have preserved intact trachyte cornices, elegant works of sculpture, embellishing doors and windows, often enriched by architectural and decorative features of artistic and historical value. In particular, the Palace of the Counts of San Martino (‘Casa de Su Conte’), the court adjacent to the house, with a domed well, and the ancient parish house are all worth visiting.
At the heart of the centre is the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, dedicated to Antonio Ortiz Echagüe, who stayed in Atzara during the first half of last century, along with other Spanish ‘Costumbrist’ painters.

Economy

Local economy is essentially characterized by a thriving agriculture and sheep/goat farming. But there are also an intensive cork extraction activity and a remarkable artisan manufacturing, the most valuable products being represented by settles in carved wood and by loom-woven handicrafts, such as carpets, tapestries and blankets worked ‘a pibiones’. Yet, what distinguishes the territory of Atzara, either economically and from the standpoint of cultural identity, is wine culture. Wine-making has been carried on by local inhabitants since centuries. A land of genuine, strong wines, the region of Mandrolisai has represented one of the most important wine centres of the whole Island, at least until the middle 1900; indeed, it can boast a considerable presence of quality vineyards producing red DOC wines.
Reception facilities are mainly represented by farm stays and bed & breakfasts.
The great autumn shows ('Cortes apertas') and late spring festivals (wine fair) are very interesting from a tourist point of view, with a number of visitors converging from the whole Island.

 
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