Explore medieval buildings, museums and mining tunnels carved into cliffs at this historic town in southwest Sardinia.
The former mining area of Iglesias is nestled in moss-covered hills at a height of 620 feet (190 meters). This is the capital of the Carbonia-Iglesias province and it is among the largest towns on the island. Explore historic gems, such as a cathedral, castle and mining complex.
Tour the town center to see monuments from the Middle Ages that help to tell the story of Iglesias. Visit the 13th-century Cathedral of Santa Chiara for its many statues and paintings. Admire the gothic façades of the Madonna delle Grazie and San Francesco churches. As you make your way through the town, pause to enjoy the views of the Marganai Mountains in the distance.
One of the area’s principle draws is its rich mining history. See old mining tools, equipment and other artifacts at the Mining Museum. If that piques your interest into what used to go on underground here, tour the former mining complex at Port Flavia and learn more about mining technology at its Museum of Mining Machines. Then go to the sleepy villages of Nebida and Masua, which used to house the miners.
When you are back in Iglesias, try some typical cuisine from the region, which is a mix of fish, pasta and cheeses. Tuna and swordfish are particularly popular. If you are in the area during the middle of August, come to Iglesias for the annual Candelieri. This is a religious procession involving the carrying of huge candle holders by townspeople.
The nearest large transportation hub to the town is Cagliari International Airport, which is 30 miles (48 kilometers) to the east. There are two buses per day from there which take passengers on the 2-hour journey to Iglesias. You can also drive or take a taxi, which should take less than 1 hour.
Relive the town’s fascinating past through its well-preserved churches and mining complexes.