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Su Niu e S'Achili > Armungia

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A stage of medium length and good elevation changes, with some sections made difficult by invasive vegetation.

We pass the old Su Suergiu mine, just below Villasalto.

Special Notes

A stage to avoid in the middle summer months.

Several sections of the route (both before and after arriving in Villasalto) are overgrown with tall plants and the track in the terrain has to be guessed.

Signposting is patchy and often non-existent at junctions: it is good to keep an eye on the GPS path.

On the way you come across several wire gates that you have to open (and close again and again!).

The only watering hole is in Villasalto.

when to go
March - November
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

Leave the homestead and follow a narrow path through the forest, which rises slowly (about 100 m height difference) to a road, which we follow briefly to the left until we turn left onto a small path (barely visible, we have to climb over a wire fence) and begin a rapid descent (about 100 m drop). Passing a rest area (with two old open masonry walls, one of which is intact), we return to the road on a false level and cross the Riu Genna. Then we go downhill again (about 200 m drop) on a path until we cross a paved road and take a rather difficult path that continues up and down, across the valley of the Riu Spigulu, between the trees. When we come across a dirt road, we follow it to the left, passing Riu Tolu, then just after a hairpin bend we take a small path to the right and start the climb (about 150 m height difference), often making our way through the bushes.

Finally we reach a provincial road, cross it and take a flat road that quickly leads us to the village of Villasalto, where we can take a break and have a bite to eat. We leave the village on a small asphalt road that descends slowly (about 300 m drop) towards the valley floor; we pass the remains of the old mines of Su Suergiu, where antimony was mined. When we reach the Riu Corr’e Cerbu, we cross it over a small bridge (if there is water), then we turn right and pass a small gate. We take a small path and climb back up (about 100 m height difference); the section is a little tricky due to weeds. When we come to a pass, we cross the dirt road and immediately take a path downhill again until we come to a paved road on the right; shortly after, we return to a path on the right (which is also overgrown with plants and tall grass) that leads us uphill and downhill to the beautiful centre of Armungia.

What to know

Armungia is the birthplace of Emilio Lussu, a writer and politician of national importance who can be considered the father of modern Sardinia.

He was born in 1890 and, like other young men of his generation, was an active interventionist in the First World War. During his time on the Austrian front, which he recounts in his famous book Un anno sull'Altopiano (A Year on the Plateau), he distinguished himself for his bravery and above all, in his role as an officer, for his determined resistance to the suicidal attacks of his Brigata Sassari, the only battalion with regional recruitment - in fact a people in arms.

On his return from the war, during which he had developed a pronounced anti-militarism, he was recognised as a charismatic leader and in 1921, together with other veterans and Sardinian workers, founded the Partito Sardo d'Azione, which achieved 33% in its first elections. With the rise of fascism, Lusso and the PSA opposed the Blackshirts and founded the Greyshirts, which wore the flag of the Four Moors on their chest - already the symbol of the Sassari Brigade. Mussolini, unable to bend the Sardinian political movement by force, used promises and compromises to break the unity of the PSA. Lussu, now isolated, became the victim of a lynching attempt by the Blackshirts. Having discovered the plan in advance, he locked himself in his house, waited for the attackers and killed a fascist who climbed onto the balcony of his house in Cagliari. After this episode, Lussu was imprisoned and exiled to the island of Lipari along with other anti-fascists (including Carlo Rosselli and Francesco Nitti). Here the opponents of the regime were able to enjoy a certain freedom, which enabled Lussu, Rosselli and Nitti to organise a daring escape in a motorboat that took them across the Mediterranean to France.

Lussu settled in Paris, where he was one of the founders of Giustizia e Libertà, and then in Geneva, where he met his second wife Joyce Lussu - a multi-faceted personality, partisan, poet, translator... During his exile, which lasted 14 years, Lussu devoted himself particularly intensively to writing. After participating in the war in Spain and in the Resistance in France, he returned home to take part in the partisan struggle.

After the war, he was one of the fathers of the Constituante and continued his political activity in parliament with the PSI, twice becoming a minister. He died in 1975 and was one of the supporters of Sardinian federalism in opposition to separatist groups.

One of the most important rivers in Sardinia is the Flumendosa.

With a length of 127 km (according to the Tirso), it has been an important river since ancient times and there are numerous nuraghi on its banks. It rises in the Gennargentu, on the slopes of Mount Perda Aira, and flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea, where it gives rise to several artificial lakes that contribute to the water and electricity supply of the centraland southern areas of the region. The Flumendosa leads to spectacular valleys with dense forests.

One of Sardinia’s intangible cultural assets is hand weaving, a domestic technique that has been handed down since ancient times and was not destroyed by the Industrial Revolution. Throughout the region there are unique weaving systems that have been handed down from mother to daughter, in a reality where the loom was a fundamental element of domestic life.

The Casa Lussu Association aims to preserve this ancient art by continuing to renew and bring to life the traditional techniques of the Armungese: priali weaving, an archaic technique for producing a more structured fabric, and the pappaus technique used to make blankets.

What to see

In Armungia, a museum system tells the story of the village through a diffuse museum.

The Museo Etnografico Sa Domu de is Ainas aims to reconstruct the peasant culture that characterised the area of Sarrabus Gerrei, together with the artisan and mining culture of the forge.

The Museo storico "Emilio e Joyce Lussu" allows you to delve into the history of these two important figures of the Italian 20th century through an innovative museum tour.

For more information on opening hours and tickets, visit LINK.

The Nuraghe of Armungia is one of the rare examples of a nuraghe preserved in a town centre.

It is a single-towered nuraghe dating from the 15th to 14th century BC that watched over the Flumendosa Valley. With a diameter of twelve metres, it is a good ten metres high and culminates in a false dome; inside the nuraghe is a staircase with 17 steps leading to a kind of terrace. Giovanni Lilliu, an archaeologist considered one of the greatest experts on Nuragic civilisation, considers it one of the most spacious on the island.

The Armungia region has always been a mining area. In particular, in nearby Villasalto, the mines of Su Suergiu were active until a few years ago, where antimony was mined.

Antimony was already known in Punic-Phoenician times, and in modern times the mining of antimony began in 1858. In ancient Egypt it was used for decorative and hygienic purposes and in alchemy it was considered one of the raw materials for making the philosopher's stone.

Villasalto was the most important mining site in Italy. The remains of the mining structure are part of the Geomining, Historical and Environmental Park of Sardinia. Inside the administrative building, in perfect Art Nouveau style, there is the Museo Archeologico-Industriale dell'attività mineraria ''Su Suergiu'' (archaeological-industrial mining museum ''Su Suergiu''), where you can admire samples of the minerals extracted, the equipment of the chemical laboratory and the instruments that have marked the history of this place: from the miners' tools to the mining machines.

For more information on opening hours and tickets, visit LINK.

In the neighbouring municipality of Ballao stands the Orguglioso (or Sassai) Castle.

This building is linked to the popular legend of the castellana and the golden loom, according to which in ancient times the castellana of Sassai wove very fine fabrics with her golden loom. When enemies attacked the castle, the princess was buried together with her loom, and even today you can hear her wailing on moonlit nights.

No golden loom has been found in the ruins of the castle, which was built in the 12th century by the Giudici of Cagliari. Some claim that it was taken by the soldiers of Mariano d'Arborea (judge of Arborea in the 14th century) who attacked the castle, built right on the border with the Giudicato of Arborea and characterised by its trapezoidal shape that takes advantage of the protruding rocks.

Today only the ruins of the fortress remain, which has inspired numerous legends of chivalry. Many everyday objects have been found during the numerous excavation campaigns, especially crockery and kitchen utensils marked by Pisan or Iberian majolica, but also clothing, toys, coins and animal remains.

what to eat

Particolare varietà del più noto pane carasau è il pistoccu, la cui differenza fondamentale con il classico pane sardo è la presenza del sale. 

Viene realizzato con un processo di doppia lievitazione e durante la cottura la sfoglia rotonda si gonfia come un pallone, per poi essere tagliata a metà e formare due sfoglie che seguono un secondo processo (la biscottatura) che le rende croccanti e gustose.

A particular variant of the more familiar pane carasau is the Pistoccu, whose fundamental difference from the classic Sardinian bread is the presence of salt.

It is made with a double leavening process. During baking, the round sheet of dough swells like a balloon and is then cut in half to form two sheets that follow a second process (the sponge) that makes them crispy and tasty.

The Lentisk is a plant that is found in abundance throughout the Gerrei region.

It belongs to the same family as the pistachio and is known for the properties of the oil extracted from its small berries: it is an excellent nutritional supplement and has excellent soothing and re-epithelialising properties, so its use in folk medicine has been passed down. It has been known since prehistoric times and was once widely used by the local population, who used it abundantly for cooking: it was an inferior product compared to the precious olive oil.

Today it is back in fashion because of its strong aromatic properties, but its very low yield and difficult harvesting in the dense bushes make it a very expensive product. Traditionally, it is cold pressed by pounding it with the feet on a cork plate. It is used to fry sweet pancakes.

A piece of cork and orange peel is placed in the oil to precipitate impurities. Lentisk resin is used as an ingredient in the production of the local gin, giniu.

where to sleep

B&B Casa Lussu, in Armungia. Tel. +39339 814 1786

B&B Su Carreeri, in Armungia. Tel. +39345 086 5059


The starting point is reachable by car.

The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.

The nearest location that can be reached by bus is San Nicolò Gerrei, starting from the city of Cagliari.

Here is the LINK to check the timetables.

“Under a leaden sky we approach the old antimony mines, now embattled by vegetation”

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