It is true that you can do both things at the same time, as there is no lack of attractions and places of interest.
And if you are in the city for working purposes, nothing prevents you to mix business with pleasure.
A city looking to the sea
Sassari is located in the immediate hinterland of the Gulf
and lies on a bright calcareous tableland which gently slopes down to the coast. The city is very near to the sea whose scent is pleasantly noticeable in the air.
Cosy, vivid and dynamic, Sassari retains the vestiges of a past sinking its roots in the middle ages as it became a free city,
a centre for trades and a major cultural attraction.
In that period the historical centre
got its actual shape which you can recognize in its distinctive maze of streets, alleyways and little squares where the most authentic spirit of the city lingers.
Walking through history
Inside the ancient city walls
, of which some stretches still exist, you encounter the most significant historical and artistic monuments: the Cathedral
in Catalan gothic style,
the late Renaissance church of St. Catherine
, the medieval church of St. Mary of Bethlehem
the sixteenth-century Fountain of Rosello
, the Ducal Palace
, the Usini Palace
and the building of the Jesuit College which now houses the University
Those are some of the highlights of a long trip in which you will easy find further items of interest such as the artistic polychromatic wood-carved retables, i.e. magnificent Spanish baroque works of art, which frame the altars of several churches (remarkable are those of the church
of St. Antony
, of the church of the Rosary
and of the thirteenth-century monastery of St. Peter in Silki
Ancient and modern
The most recent urban tissue is in turn rich of element of interest and appeal, from the eighteenth-century expansion around the wide square of Piazza d'Italia
which is the traditional meeting place of the city. The architectures which surround the square form an homogeneous and organic whole of remarkable visual impact.
The most prestigious and impressive building is the Province Building
in Neoclassical style. On the other side of the square is the Giordano Palace
in Neogothic style.
A city to stay in and eat around the table
Craftsmen's workshops, outdoor cafes, entertainment venues, big and small stores for shopping and many food courts, trattorias
which offer even the oldest and most genuine dishes from the local gastronomic tradition.
The typical cuisine of Sassari
is made up of several dishes of peasant origin and is experienced as an occasion for conviviality and its features make it unique in the area
of the Sardinian gastronomy.
The Festha Manna
, i.e. the Great Feast of Sassari
on the 14th August
: the streets of the city centre become the setting of the Faradda di Li Candareri
(the Descent of the Candle Holders) a procession which recurs for centuries to fulfil the vow made to Our Lady of the Assumption who saved the city from the plague in the sixteenth century.
The leading actors of the Faradda are the gremi
(i.e. the medieval guilds) whose members carry on their backs heavy lavishly embellished candlesticks and dance until they come to the church of St. Mary of Bethlehem.
The city houses also the Cavalcata sarda
(Sardinian Cavalcade) which is held once a year on the penultimate Sunday of May
This laic event consists of a parade - on foot or on horse - of folkloristic groups wearing the rich traditional costumes
from the different parts of Sardinia.
Those events attract thousands of visitors both
Italians and foreigners.
Also the hinterland has remarkable landscape and cultural attractions.
You only need a few minutes to reach the thick pinewood and beach of Platamona
, an ideal beach destination which is enjoyable even in winter and autumn with plenty of warm and sunny days.
The most renowned coast stretches of the North
West Sardinia lie no more than a half hour away
from Sassari: the Catalan city of Alghero
(the visit of the city centre is a must) with
the splendid Coral Coast
(Rivera del Corallo
the village of Stintino
with the famous Pelosa beach
, separated from the near island of Asinara
from a turquoise sea inlet;
the monumental Romanic-Pisan basilica of Saccargia
, the most famous in Sardinia in this style; the near city of Porto Torres
which is also rich in archaeological remains (the prehistoric altar of Monte d'Accoddi
) from the roman (Antiquarium
and archaeological park
and medieval periods (the basilica of St. Gavinus
which is the biggest and oldest Romanic church of Sardinia).