Places of prayer and festivity, reflection and celebration of ancient traditions, the novenaries are a strong symbol of Sardinia’s identity, having no equals anywhere else in Italy, in the Mediterranean or in the rest of Europe. The Path of the Sanctuaries connects twenty of them, along ancient pilgrimage routes in the central-northern part of the Island: over 400 kilometres in which you can retrace the footsteps left by worshippers over the centuries. Sometimes they were the mainstay of villages that have now disappeared, while today they stand alone in silence, surrounded by cumbessias or muristenes, patiently waiting for their guests. Once or twice a year, on the occasion of the joyful festivities dedicated to the patron saint, or welcoming wayfarers who choose to walk along the ‘path’ to enjoy an intimate experience and perceive the intense fascination that the sanctuaries are able to arouse all year round. From San Salvatore di Sinis, a ‘western-style village’ and point of arrival of the exciting Corsa degli Scalzi barefoot running event, to the extreme north-east, with the novenary of Nostra Signora del Buoncammino in Santa Teresa Gallura, the path includes stretches that were historically once walked along by pilgrims and are still the site of heartfelt processions, like the 33 kilometres from Nuoro to Lula on the occasion of the celebration of Saint Francis, or like the pilgrim trails that emerged almost spontaneously, such as that of the transhumance that shepherds from Barbargia travelled along to reach the Sanctuary of San Paolo in Monti.

Other Paths