The cordiality and good humour of the inhabitants of Tempio Pausania, located in a splendid position on a ridge of the Limbara massif, make this a pleasant mountain resort with splendid view on all sides.
The excellent climate and the beautiful country in its vicinity with remains of stone walls, foot bridges and solitary huts create a perfect place to escape from the buzzing beach life, and taste the local specialities including the fine vermentino wine.
The town is built of grey granite with its centre in Piazza Gallura, a handsome square with the town hall taking up the whole of one side, while at the top of the Corso in Piazza San Pietro is a 15th century Aragonese-Romanesque cathedral of the same name, restored in the 19th century but retaining the original carved wooden door and bell tower.
The Oratory complete the marvellous scene with an elegant Romanesque facade and wooden altarpiece decorated in gold inside.
Uphill through the pinewoods a short distance away, reached by a woodland path and surrounded by trees is Rinaggiu Spring, Fonte Rinaggiu famous for its diuretic mineral water, nice spot to enjoy the fantastic view over Tempio old town and Mount Limbara to the south.
Human presence in the area goes fair back in history, the Nuraghe Majori andIzzana in its vicinity testimony the existence of a flourish community since the 16th century BC.
Around the third century BC. the Romans established the first settlement here, known by the name of Gemellae, to control the inland wild Gallura region, and built a road-way to Olbia.
In the Medieval age under Sardinians, acquired the name of Villa Templi and became the capital of the Gemini Perfecture part of, then called, Giudicato di Gallura.
It is under the Pisans that the town started to be called Tempio and, with the Spanish-Aragonese domination, acquired much more power as the most important administrative and religious centre of the region.
Since the 19th centuries Tempio Pausania from Phausania (first bishop residency built over the ruin of Roman Olbia) has increased its importance especially in the cork trade and established itself as the beautiful mountain town that we know today.
Places to see
2km from town on the ss133 road to Palau the Nuraghe, dating back to the Bronze Age, is situated on the right of a country road surrounded by a thick cork forest.
A compound fortified tower build on natural rock with two small rooms next to each other and a corridor connecting to the main chamber.
Follow the sign Alle terme from the town centre.
This fresh water spring comes as a pleasant surprise, built of stone and surrounded by woodland, it is the ideal place for picnickers or tourist on a walking adventure.
Its waters have been known for centuries as one of the finest in Italy
The Limbara Massif is a thickly wooded peak situated within easy reach by car, around 8km from Tempio.
Twisting up the mountain is a spectacle in itself, a cone-shaped peak (Punta Balestrieri) looming up the trees dominates the scene; the gorgeous view over the valley is magnificent.
Near the top, on the Punto Panoramico, wonderfully spotted is a statue of Madonnna and the child, a place of religious worship with different amulets and objects of ex-voto offering and in the vicinity the Church of Madonna della Neve.
You can reach the top only on foot, but it is worth it, spectacular view as far as Tavolara Island will leave you speechless.
The mountain can be climb all year round.
The Cathedral is situated at the top of the Corso in the Piazza S. Pietro.
A 15th century Aragonese-Romanesque work of art built in granite with a baroque interior, unfortunately most part of the structure has been restored during the 19th century, the only original elements are the portal and the bell tower.
The Oratory of the Rosary with late Romanesque and 18th century decorations is opposite, to be noted the wooden altarpiece decorated in gold.
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