Monti is a town on the border between Gallura and Logudoro, in Northeast Sardinia, known for the production of popular wines including Vermentino di Gallura DOCG.
The History Of Monti
The territory has been inhabited since Prehistoric times: the human presence in Neolithic and Nuragic has been proven by megalithic tombs, Menhir and Nuraghe. When Sardinia became Roman domain (238 b.C. – 456 A.C.) Monti assumed a strategic military role for the rule of North Sardinia, a valuable economic role for the valley’s fertility, and a key role in mobility due to the crossroads between two roads at Nuraghe Logu. A number of archaeological remains as well as a collection of coins from the area that show a clear picture from the Roman Era to the 1700s.
After defeating the Vandals, Sardinia became one of seven African provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire. This Byzantine rule (534-1073) has not been well documented, but it is evident from a religious perspective. It was Basilan monks, or Byzantine monks, who introduced Sardinia to the worship of different saints from Asia Minor, including San Paolo Eremita. Some of them even went as far as the foothills of Monti and lived in small caves. On 31st July 1348 two bishops, Marzocco di Bisarcio and Bernardo di Castro, consecrated the church dedicated to San Paolo Eremita.
Following the classification of ecclesiastical cultural heritage promoted by CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), a goblet was found in Monti from the mediaeval era that is the oldest ever found in Sardinia. The goblet resides in the parish of Monti, in the Cappella della Madonna. The events of the Marine Republics of Pisa and Genoa (1254-1303) are interwoven with those of the Judicates.
They involved Monti, which was part of the Logudoro Judicate in the Curatoria del Monteacuto, regarding a contest for Crasta Castle. Crasta Castle sits on a hill, nearly 500 m above Monti but about 3 km South of the city. It’s a strategic position, it ruled over the so-called “the Monti Corridor” or “the Monti Gap” and was part of the defence of the Torres Judicate and the Gallura Judicate as it guarded over communications between the marine area and the inland. The Malaspina family of Pisa and the Doria family of Genoa fought for control of this location quite intensely.
Sights To See In Monti
The Church of San Gavino Martire, was built in a Romanic style to replace the old one and consecrated in 1955. The new parish included the old building of which we still have the 1700s tower bell, and it also includes a crypt, which contains a stone inscription with the date it was finished (1734).
The sanctuary of San Paolo Eremita, accessible by going down SS 389 for Alà dei Sardi, is in a charming valley full of Mediterranean scrub. The intact altar safely kept the parchment which documents its consecration on 31st July 1348 by bishops Bisarcio and di Castro. The Museo Etnografico L. Pirisino-Casa Franco is in the historical city centre. The building is a typical Galluran home from the 1800s, with a granite facade with a view and wooden floors.
Monti is part of the national network of the “Città del Miele”. It has hosted La Casa Del Miele since December 2021. This is a project in progress that collects documents, testimonies, traditions and local topicalities with the goal to showcase honey and its use, as well as beekeeping and its connection to the territory.
Inside the Monti municipality we have Monte Olia, state property of Sardinia. It’s a natural oasis dedicated to recovering and safeguarding local flora and fauna, it has been operational for over 100 years. The natural basin of the Rio Crasta River is particularly interesting, it’s a river that flows through Gallura between the town of Monti and its state-owned forest. Here, the water’s force has shaped the rock to create lovely natural basins set in a frame of Mediterranean scrub that retains its untamed character. Known as “S’Elighe”, the pool is in between some of the wildest environments of the land.
Sights To See Near Monti
The hamlet of Su Canale is about 10 km from the town, and it is divided in different “rioni”: La Palazzina, Frades Berritteddos, Frades Tilignas, La Piana. Sos Rueddos, a small hamlet a few miles from the sanctuary of San Paolo, along the 389 highway towards Alà dei Sardi
The Beaches Near Monti
Piana beach, located in the municipality of Aglientu, is one of the most beautiful in the surrounding area. The beach develops into a crescent of fine white sand. This makes the landscape so charming, and it melts into the pink of the cliffs and the turquoise water. The beach is above all an ideal place for those into watersports like snorkelling and windsurfing, but also those who prefer hiking and being surrounded by untouched nature.