Sardinia is one of the most ancient lands in Italy, South West Sardinia holds extraordinary old traditions.
The first landing place for noblemen and ancient folks was the Island of Sant’Antioco; it’s original name was Sulcis and later the island and town are named after the early Christian martyr of Sardinia, Sant’Antioco. He’s been a Christian evangelizer of the area, who was martyred in 127 AD. He is a figure associated with the Sardinian mines from which the Romans extracted minerals and precious metals; the Romans condemned prisoners of war and Christians to work these mines. Antiochus’ legend states that he was condemned to work the mines on the island that now bears his name. The legend says, that the martyr Antiochus found refuge here in a cave, just before the Romans from North Africa could find him. He was then buried in the catacombs under the parish church of Sant’Antioco, in which the spoils of the Saint were found in 1615. Fifteen days after Easter is celebrated in Sant’Antioco the oldest festivity of Sardinia, to honour the patron saint of the island.
Sant’Antioco Island presents a big archaeological evidence of Phoenicians, Punic and Romans times. The majority of the artefacts comes from the tofet (the sanctuary) and necropoleis of the ancient city: one can admire children’s funeral vases, today displayed in the archaeological museum.
The Island is made up of volcanic and chalky rocks that alternate with large beaches and intimate coves. The sea is crystal clear and full of fish, that’s why the local restaurant often offer fresh fish, served with a glass of excellent Carignano wine from wineries of Sulcis Iglesiente.
Calasetta is a fishermen town rich in traditions connected to sea-life. From its port you can reach S. Pietro Island or go on a cruise to the most beautiful beaches such as Sotto Torre, le Saline e Spiaggia Grande. During Summer nights, the town becomes a big museum with cultural and music events, wine and food festivals organized for Summer tourism. In the whole island you can practice windsurf, kite-surf, diving, sailing and fish tourism.