We begin our walk in the city of Sassari… In this first part of the article we will tell you about the main squares. So we will see Piazza Italia and Piazza Castello, the Sanna Historical Museum and the Rosello Fountain.
The walk will then end with the second part of the article.
1) Emiciclo Garibaldi Square
Our itinerary starts from Emiciclo Garibaldi Square, commonly known as Emiciclo. The square overlooks the public gardens in the center of Sassari, one of the green lungs of the urban area.
Built in the second half of the 19th century, the square has the shape of a sloping semicircle. In the central position of the square there is the statue dedicated to Giuseppe Mazzini.
From here some streets start in the direction of the most central area of the city.
2) Brigata Sassari Square
Crossing via brigata Sassari, we immediately reach Largo Brigata Sassari. It is a small triangular square between the buildings.
In the center there is a two-level fountain housing a modern sculpture; the statue is a work by Sardinian sculptor Angelo Maggi.
Be careful as you approach, as the fountain is surrounded by low steps and has no parapet!
3) Castello Square
Continuing on our path, in a few steps we reach Castello Square, one of the squares in the heart of the city. The square, overlooked by some nineteenth-century buildings and more modern buildings, is characterized by stretches with large porticoes.
As the name suggests, this square is very important from a historical point of view.
Here there was the ancient Aragonese castle, dating back to the first half of the 13th century. The fortress was used not only for defensive purposes, but also as a prison and hosted the trials of the inquisition in the period between the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1877, after the unification of Italy, the castle was demolished to erase the memory of the Aragonese domination and to build the new Lamarmora barracks.
Over the last few years, the remains of some structures, such as parts of the moat and the barbican, have been recovered in the entrance area of the castle and transformed into an accessible museum itinerary in the middle of the square.
4) Piazza Italia
A short stretch of road with arcades between the buildings leads us from Castello Square to Piazza Italia; this is undoubtedly another symbolic place of the city! It is the largest square in the city, built in 1872.
Here we find some historic buildings, including the Palazzo della Provincia, in the neoclassical style. In the center there is also a statue dedicated to King Vittorio Emanuele II.
The square is also known for being the place where the first film was shot in Sardinia, in 1899; the film, by director Francesco Felicetti, was entitled “Journey of King Umberto I to Sardinia”.
5) Sanna Museum
Continuing south on via Roma, we reach the Sanna National Museum in a few minutes. Our advice is to visit it dedicating enough time to see the various rooms set up (at least 1-2 hours); in fact, you will find a lot of information, reconstructions and finds concerning the history of Sargegna, from prehistoric to Roman times; and also from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Of particular interest are the sections dedicated to the archaeological areas, including Monte d’Accoddi and the remains of the Roman city of Porto Torres.
6) Tola Square
From the area of Piazza Italia and Castello Square we set out along a downhill path; so we walk through picturesque streets and alleyways in the center until we reach another historic place: Tola Square. The square opens between buildings that belonged to the Sassari aristocracy; in its center stands the statue dedicated to Pasquale Tola (magistrate).
In a corner of the square stands Palazzo d’Usini, an elegant Renaissance building which currently houses the municipal library.
7) Fountain of Rosello
We reach the market square by leaving the narrow streets of the centre. Here the Rosello bridge crosses the homonymous valley.
Under the bridge we see the historic Rosello fountain, built near the ancient Gurusello spring known since Roman times; already mentioned in some 13th century documents, the fountain took on its present appearance in the Renaissance. A pedestrian path descends to the monument; so we can admire the statues representing the four seasons and the refined decorations.
Our walk will continue with the second part of the article…