'Like a jewel set in the most precious necklace, here you will find examples of the most beautiful features of this area: long stretches of flourishing, fragrant native pine forests and hills caressed by the wind sloping gently towards fine white beaches. This is a land which is both harsh and generous. Sant'Anna Arresi is a town which leaves a mark on the people who live there. They are a proud people as were their ancestors of the Nuraghe civilisation, but they are also open and hospitable to the visitors of their homeland.
Sant'Anna Arresi is located in the south-west of Sardinia, in the province of Carbonia-Iglesias, between the towns of Teulada and Masainas. It has only 2700 inhabitants but the numbers geatly increase during the tourist season. It owes the first part of its name to the Saint to which both the old and new church are dedicated; "Arresi" in the ancient Sardinian language means "fox" and is also the name of the Nuraghe “a tancato” with towers in the north and south surrounding a courtyard, that fearlessly resists time. This is flanked by two religious buildings in the picturesque Piazza del Nuraghe, the scene of cultural events and world renowned performances.
The presence of man has been documented here since ancient times, together with another more complex Nuraghe, called Coi Casu just a few miles beyond the town. There is also “la Fonte Nuragica”, the tombs of the giants, Nuraghe Sarri, and many other monoliths scattered throughout the municipal area. All bear witnesses to the presence of man since the Bronze Age, reinforced by the discovery of traces of Phoenician, Punic and Roman civilizations.
The current urban area, however, remained uninhabited for several centuries until the danger of barbarian invasions ended and the shepherds of the area were persuaded to repopulate the hill. The church of St. Anne was built in early 1800 and the shepherds built their homes around it.
The undeniable charm of San'Anna Arresi resides above all in the areas outside of the town itself. The mountains, although not particularly high, dominate the view on the eastern side of the Sulcis municipality. Nuraghe Giara, Acuzza Punta, Monte Su Larenzu and Monte S'Ira gaze down over the Rio Gutturu Saidu, Rio Perdaiola and Rio Fonnesu, small streams which flow into the waters beneath.
Foxi, Is Brebeis, Maestrale, are the three inland water sites. Due to their large surface area, San’ Anna is the third largest wetlands area in Sardinia, after the lake in Cabras and the one in Cagliari Molentargius. Since the Middle Ages the main activity here has been the extraction of salt, which over time changed into fish farming. Natural barriers made from rushes and canes can be seen here, moving gently in the salty breeze. Peeping out from the waters of this lagoon are unique species of birds such as pink flamingoes, avocets, egrets, herons, the great crested grebe, cormorants, several waders, the water rail, and the rare swamp owl. Everywhere is wrapped in an ethereal silence, broken only by the incessant roaring of the waves of the sea of Porto Pino, connected to the ponds by a channel where boats are moored. Porto Pino was the first port of call for the Phoenician and Punic civilizations, and it became a market town in Roman times. Today, however, the hamlet of Sant'Anna Arresi is inhabited throughout the year and is one of the most attractive tourist resorts in the south-west of Sardinia.
It has a lovely stretch of beach which is 4 kilometres long. To one side, there is a channel and an old pier, and the so-called "first beach" - 600 metres of fine compact sand, a stretch of unusually transparent water and facilities for bathers to relax or take part in sporting activities. It is a wonderful area for tourists. The area given the name “second beach” is a soft, white sandy beach, which sometimes has a reddish hue due to the reflection of the coral found on the shore line. It is quite wild and often battered by winds. There are also beautiful high, enchanting sand dunes.
On the hill top are thick clumps of prickly juniper which blend harmoniously with the colours of the marine sea holly, the euphorbia and the alpha plant. Of undisputed charm is the view of the coast at sunset, when the last sparks of light turn the dry branches of the junipers, shaped and smoothed by the wind, red. A little to the right of the beaches you can still see the anti-ship battery named after Admiral "Candiani" used in World War II, which gives the area its name; it is a system of underground bunkers, trenches and shooting ranges that once housed five pieces of large calibre artillery. At the coast, however, we can find the large hill of Porto Pino - Candiani, noted for the unique Aleppo pine, wonderfuly juxtaposed with the thorny oak, cistus and rosemary. Together they form a symphony of aggressive and seductive scents.
The thick strip of shrubs stretches all the way to Porto Pineto, another resort town of Sant'Anna Arresi, which also spreads out over enchanting white sandy coves and low rocks.
Carignano del Sulcis
Green hills and blue sea: the perfect combination that embodies the history of these landscapes, their culture and traditions, such as the wine-producing tradition, which occupies a perfect location in these valleys , at the back of the cliffs, sheltered from the maestrale wind. From the coast to the pine forest to the mountain slopes that skirt around monte S’Arri, the land is teeming with vineyards using the cordon or tree training systems depending on the dfferent conditions of the land. The famous Carignan Sulcis and fine Vermentino di Sant'Anna Arresi can be found here.
The latter, in particular, is the jewel of wines, produced by the Mesa Winery, nestled in the Mediterranean shrub of Porto Pino, and has been awarded the controlled designation of origin thanks to its organoleptic properties. It is made purely from Vermentino grapes, most of which are aged in steel, while the rest undergo a maceration of the skins and are aged in barrels. The straw–yellow colour is very clear with shades of lime green. The aroma has hints of white pepper, while on the palate it is full-bodied and opulent, with a pleasantly fruity finish.
Working together, Corsica, the Province of La Spezia, Livorno, the municipality of Castagneto Carducci and the Municipality of Castelnuovo Magra (project leader) are part of the ambitious VER.TOUR.MER project (Preservation and Enhancement of Land / Land Vermentino) of the OP Maritime Italy France funded by the European community. Its goal is to enhance the Ver.tour.mer Vermentino wine and its territory, through conferences, debates and exhibitions designed to promote food and wine of the land where the grape was historically present.
Enoy local wine tasting and great seafood. You can also enjoy the characteristic festivals which, especially in the summer months, enliven the evenings of residents and holidaymakers
“Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz”
Another tourist attraction in the area is the internationally renowned festival "Ai Confini tra Sardegna and Jazz," held in the central Piazza del Nuraghe between August and September. It is attended by some of the greatest musicians in the world.
The main festival, however, and the one most enjoyed by the locals, is held on the last Sunday in July. This is a traditional procession where the statue is accompanied by folk groups from neighbouring villages. It is dedicated to Sant’ Anna, the most revered patron saint of the village on whom the whole history of his town is based.