A few kilometres from the town centre is the important archaeological area of Monte Sirai, a well conserved Punic and Roman settlement that is composed by an acropolis, necropolis, tofet and some domus de janas (i.e. fairies’ or witches’ houses) from where a wonderful panorama can be enjoyed over the Gulf of Palmas. The city of Carbonia was born officially in 1938 with the aim of providing a place of residence for the workers of the imposing coal basin to the south of the river Cixerri, in Sirai and Serbariu areas, at the entrance to the city. After 10 years there were 47.000 inhabitants and many houses were built for workers and managers (our B&B was designed for coal-mines’ managers too) in Serbariu, Bacu Abis and Cortoghiana. Carbonia became the main coal producer in Italy.
Great mine of Serbariu is today the Coal Museum and Italian Centre for Coal Culture, for its relevance to the local industrial archaeology. Sardinia was the first Geomining Park in the world to be recognized by UNESCO; the most important sites are here for reasons of variety and number, and demonstrate the mining activities carried out in Italy in past centuries. The largest area of the park is in Sulcis Iglesiente district with Serbariu (Carbonia), Monteponi (Iglesias), Porto Flavia Gallery (Masua), Henry Tunnel (Buggerru), Montevecchio (Guspini), Rosas Mine (Narcao) and finally S. Barbara Cave (S. Giovanni Miniera).
The different mines of Sulcis Iglesiente which are not used any more for extraction purposes are today the most important examples of industrial archaeology adapted for various cultural purposes. Of particular interest is the visit to the main structures of the mine, such as the lamp room, winches room and underground tunnel. It currently houses the Coal Museum and the Italian Centre for Coal Culture (CICC). The circuit running through the museum enables visitors the typical working day of miners and follow the transformation process of coal into a precious source of energy. Here it is possible to relive the intense experience of mining by visiting the imposing remains: guided tours can tell the miners’ hard day-to-day life and the complex mining system of Sulcis Iglesiente.
Tourism in Carbonia
Sulcis Iglesiente in Summertime will involve you in the magical energy and natural rhythm of cultural events and traditions, wine and food festivals and religious celebrations. Classical music, Jazz and Blues here have the most exclusive natural stages. At the end of July, one of the best dedicated festivals in Italy and Europe takes place, the eighteenth “Narcao Blues” Festival.