On the west coast of Sardinia, in the province of Oristano, there is one of the most picturesque villages in Italy, dominated by a medieval castle, with its multicolored houses along the river Temo that divides it in two with sinuous forms.
Bosa: the origins of the rainbow village
In the province of Oristano, the village of Bosa lies along the banks of the river Temo, among the remains of the ancient tanneries, which were used for the production of leather, exported throughout Europe. Among palm trees, volcanic rocks, natural caves, and alluvial plains, up to the proximity of the paradisiacal sea of the seaside resort of Bosa Marina. The fascinating Sardinian village boasts very ancient origins, already inhabited in prehistoric and protohistoric times, as evidenced by the funeral caves found, along with the Domus de Janas, prehistoric burial structures carved into the rock, typical of pre-Nuragic Sardinia.
A territory that has witnessed the permanence of the Phoenician peoples who founded it and built its port and of the Punics, coming from Carthage, arrived at the predominance of the Romans. Between 1062 and 1073, the Middle Ages was built the Church and Cathedral of San Pietro, one of the oldest Romanesque churches in Sardinia. The village of Bosa, over the centuries, has been the protagonist of all the historical events that have affected the island, including Aragonese, Spanish, Austrian and Sardinian-Piedmontese domination.
What to see in the historical center of Bosa
First, enjoy the landscape and the postcard images of Bosa, a glimpse of Sardinia, with its colorful houses and the river Temo that runs through them. Truly indescribable! The best vantage points are along the road that connects Macomer with Cuglieri to have a beautiful view of the houses along the river; the other point to enjoy the beautiful Bosa is on Belvedere Street. Then, take the Ponte Vecchio that crosses the Temo, the only navigable waterway in Sardinia, to discover the ancient tanneries, famous in Italy in past centuries. From here, you can have a look at the Duomo and the village.
This is the historic medieval district of Sa Costa, which lies at Serravalle’s foot and is framed by an impressive castle. From here, it is a must to walk through the streets of the historical center, which can only be covered on foot, among the narrow streets, the cobblestone alleys, and the ancient arcades. The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, with bars, restaurants, and fashionable stores. Here there is also the imposing Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the cathedral of Bosa, in a late baroque-neoclassical style that offers itself to the eye with its two domes, covered with colored majolica and its grandiose internal frescoes.
The Malaspina Castle of Bosa
Bosa, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is dominated by the imposing castle of Serravalle, also known as Malaspina Castle. Built-in 1122 by the ancient Tuscan family of Malaspina mentioned by Dante in the “Divine Comedy.” It rises from the top of the hill of Serravalle and can be reached through a rather steep staircase. But once you get to the top, you can enjoy the splendid panorama. Inside the castle walls, there is the church of Nostra Signora de Sos Regnos Altos, a small temple embellished, inside, by a remarkable cycle of frescoes of the Spanish school, made between the XIV and XV century.
What to visit in Bosa
To complete the picture of the religious architecture of Bosa, the small rural church of San Giorgio on the left bank of the Temo, built before the eleventh century and that today we see redefined in a baroque style. We also recommend San Bacchisio, dedicated to the doctors and martyrs, Cosma and Damiano, after the plagues of the 15th and 16th centuries, and the small church of Sant’Eligio, built on the ruins of a nuraghe, like many early Christian and early medieval churches. To see also the old tanneries, Las Conzas, along the left bank of the river Temo, considered a national monument.
Bosa and surroundings between beaches and crystal clear sea
Bosa is also a site of great natural interest. Inland and north of the mouth of the river Temo, there are many protected species of animals, especially the various colonies of griffon vultures, to be admired with a sailing trip or by boat on the river. The paradisiacal seabed, rich in corals and lobsters, is an ideal destination for snorkeling enthusiasts. Other famous places for trekking and birdwatching are the bio marine park of Capo Marrargiu and the natural reserve of Badde Aggiosu and Monte Mannu. And about 2 km from the center of the village, you will find the village of Bosa Marina, with its famous and pristine sandy beach, famous for its clear waters. A rainbow of shades offers the small corner of Paradise of Bosa: from the pastel colors of the characteristic houses to the blue tones of the river and the sea nearby.