An ancient land of encounters, it is a natural stop for anyone travelling towards Italy. Sardinia has a history that makes it not an island but a continent.
The first traces of human presence (Homo erectus) date back to a period between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago, those of Homo sapiens to 20,000 years ago.
The prehistoric Sardinians lived in villages and caves, they were farmers, hunters, fishermen, weavers, potters, sculptors. They carved statuettes depicting the Mother Goddess. In that period the Sardinians built circle tombs, funerary monuments still present in Gallura and in particular in Arzachena. An extraordinary example of this period is the Li Muri Necropolis; other visible remains are the tombs of the giants of Li Lolghi and Coddu Ecchju. In the rest of Sardinia the sepulchral forms were instead the domus de janas, tombs carved into the rock, which inspired Jacques Couëlle to design some details of the Hotel Cala di Volpe.
Universally known for its nuraghi, the Sardinians of that historical period worked bronze, began to build swords and were navigators. They had relations with Mycenaeans, Cretans, Cypriots, Etruscans and Iberians. The Nuragic Sardinians were also artists. They created the statues of the Giants of Mont'e Prama, even more than 2 meters high, which depict archers, warriors, boxers. They built the tombs of the giants, up to 30 meters long. They built the protonuraghi (500 examples remain today) and the nuraghi. First single tower and then with numerous towers, the nuraghi had around the villages of circular huts. Today there are 7 thousand nuraghi. The architecture of the hotel Pitrizza is inspired by them.
Among the most beautiful examples of nuarghi: Su Nuraxi di Barumini and Arrubbiu. In Arzachena, it is possible discover the nuraghi Albucciu, La Prisgiona and Malchittu.
Between the 10th and 8th centuries BC, the flourishing period of the Nuragic civilization, the Phoenicians arrived in Sardinia, skilled navigators and excellent traders. They founded the coastal settlements of Nora, Sulki, Bithia, Tharros, Karalis, Bosa. They built the Tuvixeddu necropolis in Cagliari and in Sant’Antioco, the largest tophet in Sardinian history. Olbia was also founded by the Phoenicians, with the first settlement between the mid-eighth century. and about 630 BC But its center was also built by the Greeks, in a period between 630-620 and the first years of the sixth century .The same name of Olbia, the happy, the fortunate, is Greek.
After the Phoenicians, the Punic people arrived and after the Punic the Romans, fought by the Sardinian hero Hampsicora, partly ordinary from Africa, like Sant’Antioco, patron saint of Sardinia. To the Romans Sardinia owes the Sardinian language and the first map of its history, in 174 BC. Olbia played a great role during the Roman presence. The brother of the great Cicero, Quinto, had possessions in Olbia and had built a villa there, designed by the architect Numisio. Claudia Atte, lover of Emperor Nero, lived and owned extensive properties in Olbia. Alongside the coasts of Gallura, Julius Caesar spent a month on a ship.
Sardinia then became Byzantine, and then vandalized. Finally it obtained its autonomy.
Starting from the 9th century, Sardinia was divided into four Giudicati: Torres Logudoro, Calari, Gallura and Arborea. The judge had the same power as a king. The judges administered the territory, called logu, which was divided into curatoria formed by several villages. It is in this period that the name of Porto Cervo appears on the Carta Pisana, the first nautical chart in history. In 1395 the judge-regent Eleonora d’Arborea issued the Carta de Logu, the Sardinian constitution, one of the best known acts in Europe.
Then it was the turn of the dominion of Pisa and Genoa, of the Aragonese and the Spaniards. Sardinia owes the establishment of the Universities of Sassari and Cagliari to the Spanish era. After the Spaniards, it was the turn of the Piedmontese. This is the period in which Gallura is repopulated: numerous stazzi dot the landscape, including that of the Monti di Mola area, the current Costa Smeralda. The Hotel Pitrizza and the Hotel Romazzino are partly inspired by the stazzi.
The Kingdom of Sardinia, born in 1324, becomes the Kingdom of Italy. The rest is recent history. The birth of the Costa Smeralda is one of the biggest events of the last 100 years.