Sassari Guide: Best Things To See And Do (+6 Accomodation Options)

Nestled in the heart of northern Sardinia, Sassari is a city rich in history, culture, and vibrancy. As the second-largest city on the island, Sassari is a significant cultural and economic hub, blending ancient traditions with modern life. The city’s origins date back to the early Middle Ages, and its historical legacy is reflected in its architecture, museums, and festivals.

Sassari Fontana

Sassari’s old town is a maze of narrow streets, lined with historic buildings and charming squares that transport visitors back in time. The Piazza d’Italia, the city’s main square, serves as the focal point of Sassari’s social life and is surrounded by elegant 19th-century buildings. Here, locals and tourists alike gather for the evening passeggiata, a traditional stroll that is a quintessential part of Italian culture.

Sassari 5

The city is also known for its impressive array of churches, such as the Cattedrale di San Nicola, which showcases a mix of Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque architectural styles. Another significant site is the Museo Nazionale “G.A. Sanna”, which houses extensive collections of archaeological artifacts and artworks that chronicle the rich history of Sardinia.

Sassari’s cultural calendar is punctuated by vibrant festivals, the most famous of which is the I Candelieri (Feast of Candles), held annually on August 14th. This event, part of the UNESCO Heritage, features a spectacular procession where enormous wooden candles are carried through the streets of the old town, reflecting the city’s deep-rooted traditions and communal spirit.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Sassari also offers easy access to beautiful beaches, serene parks, and natural reserves, making it a perfect destination for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers. From exploring the ancient ruins of Monte d’Accoddi to enjoying the serene beauty of Giardini Pubblici, Sassari provides a diverse range of experiences that cater to every visitor.

Historical and Cultural Attractions

Piazza d’Italia

Sassari Piazza

Piazza d’Italia is the beating heart of Sassari, serving as both a historical landmark and a vibrant social hub. This expansive square is framed by elegant 19th-century buildings, showcasing the architectural grandeur of the period. At its center stands the imposing statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II, a tribute to the first king of a unified Italy, symbolizing national pride and unity.

Sassari Municipio

The piazza is not just a visual spectacle but also a focal point of community life in Sassari. It hosts various public events, festivals, and gatherings, making it a lively spot for both locals and tourists. The evening passeggiata, where people stroll and socialize, is a daily ritual that underscores the square’s role as a social gathering place. The surrounding buildings, with their neoclassical facades, add to the square’s majestic atmosphere, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring Sassari.

Cattedrale di San Nicola

Sassari Duomo

The Cattedrale di San Nicola, located in the old town, features a captivating blend of Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles, reflecting its historical evolution. The Gothic elements are evident in the structure’s original design, while the later Baroque additions include the ornate facade and intricate interior decorations.

Inside, visitors are greeted by a series of beautiful frescoes, intricate carvings, and a richly decorated altar. The Museo del Tesoro, housed within the cathedral, showcases a remarkable collection of religious artifacts, including gold and silver liturgical objects, ancient manuscripts, and precious vestments. These treasures not only highlight the cathedral’s religious significance but also its historical importance as a center of art and culture in Sassari.

Museo Nazionale “G.A. Sanna”

Museo Sanna Sassari
Photo2023, CC BY 4.0,

The Museo Nazionale “G.A. Sanna” is one of Sassari’s premier cultural institutions, dedicated to preserving the island’s rich history and heritage. The museum’s extensive collection spans several millennia, offering insights into Sardinia’s archaeological and cultural past. Visitors can explore artifacts from the Nuragic civilization, including pottery, tools, and sculptures, as well as items from the Etruscan, Carthaginian, and Roman periods.

In addition to archaeological finds, the museum also features traditional Sardinian costumes, showcasing the island’s unique cultural identity. These exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of Sardinia’s historical development and its interactions with various Mediterranean cultures. The museum plays a crucial role in preserving and presenting the diverse heritage of Sardinia, making it an essential visit for anyone interested in the island’s history.

Museo Storico della Brigata Sassari

The Museo Storico della Brigata Sassari offers a poignant glimpse into the military history of Sassari and the bravery of the Sassari Brigade. This museum is dedicated to the famous brigade that played a significant role during World War I, particularly known for its resilience and valor.

The museum’s exhibits include an array of military memorabilia, such as uniforms, weapons, and personal items of the soldiers. One of the notable exhibits is a reconstructed trench, providing a stark and immersive experience of the wartime conditions faced by the brigade. Through its detailed displays and historical narratives, the museum honors the legacy of the Sassari Brigade and educates visitors about the region’s military history and its impact on local and national identity.

Architectural Highlights

Palazzo Ducale

Vestibolo Palazzo Ducale Sassari
9Koldobika6, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Palazzo Ducale stands as a grand emblem of Sassari’s architectural and administrative heritage. Originally built in the late 18th century, this impressive palace has served various roles throughout its history and currently functions as the Town Hall of Sassari. The palace is known for its neoclassical facade, which exudes elegance and grandeur, characteristic of the architectural style of the period.

Salone da Ballo Palazzo Ducale Sassari
9Koldobika6, CC BY-SA 4.0

Inside, the Palazzo Ducale houses numerous cultural exhibitions and events, making it a significant cultural venue in the city. Visitors can explore the beautifully decorated rooms and halls, which often host art exhibitions, historical displays, and cultural events that celebrate Sassari’s rich history and vibrant arts scene. The palace’s courtyard, with its serene atmosphere and classic design, provides a perfect setting for these events, enhancing the cultural experience of visitors.

Church of Santa Maria di Betlem

Sassari Chiesa di Santa Maria di Betlem 07
Gianni Careddu, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Church of Santa Maria di Betlem is a fascinating example of architectural diversity, showcasing a blend of styles that reflect its long history. Predominantly Romanesque in origin, the church also incorporates elements of Gothic and Baroque architecture. The exterior of the church is notable for its gothic influences and a touch of oriental design, particularly evident in the intricate details of its facade.

Sassari Chiesa di Santa Maria di Betlem 19
Gianni Careddu,, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Inside, the church features a baroque-style interior, with richly decorated chapels, altars, and frescoes. One of the most striking features is the ornate golden altar piece, which dominates the main aisle and draws visitors’ attention with its intricate craftsmanship. The church also plays a central role in local religious events and festivals, adding to its cultural and spiritual significance in Sassari.

Rosello Fountain

Fontana di Rosello 2
AlPanich, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Rosello Fountain is an iconic symbol of Sassari, representing the city’s historical and cultural heritage. Built in the late Renaissance style, this fountain is not only a remarkable piece of architecture but also a testament to the city’s artistic achievements during that period. The fountain features a series of elegant arches and columns, adorned with statues and intricate carvings.

Sassari Fontana di Rosello 1854 02
Gianni Careddu – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Located on the outskirts of the old town, the Rosello Fountain has been a central landmark in Sassari for centuries. It is particularly noted for its four lion statues, each representing a different season, and the central figure holding a cornucopia, symbolizing abundance. The fountain is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, who come to admire its beauty and historical significance.

Parks and Natural Attractions

Giardini Pubblici

Sassari giardini pubblici b
Meuh !, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The Giardini Pubblici, or Public Gardens, are a verdant oasis in the heart of Sassari, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustle of city life. Spread across a spacious area, these gardens are home to a variety of plant species, including exotic trees and colorful flower beds. The centerpiece of the park is a circular pond and fountain, surrounded by well-manicured lawns and shaded pathways.

Visitors to the Giardini Pubblici can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the winding footpaths, relax on the benches scattered throughout the park, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. The park also features several amenities, such as a playground for children and a café, making it a perfect spot for families and individuals seeking relaxation and recreation.

Monserrato Park

Sassari Parco

Located on the southwestern outskirts of Sassari, Monserrato Park is a scenic expanse of greenery that spans over five hectares. This park is known for its natural beauty and diverse plant life, including linden trees, holm oaks, carob trees, cypresses, and pines. The park’s layout follows the contours of a natural basin, providing a variety of landscapes and scenic views.

Sassari Parco Monserrato

Monserrato Park is also home to several architectural features, such as terraces, orchards, turrets, and tanks, which add to its charm and historical value. Visitors can enjoy walking through the park’s trails, relaxing in the shaded areas, or exploring the various architectural elements that dot the landscape. The park’s tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Best Hotels and Accommodation Options in Sassari

Sassari 9

Sassari offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Here are some of the best hotels and other places to stay in the city:

Hotel Carlo Felice

Located just 3 kilometers from the city center, Hotel Carlo Felice offers comfortable rooms with wooden floors, free Wi-Fi, and on-site parking. The hotel also features a restaurant that serves traditional Italian cuisine, making it a convenient and pleasant place for visitors.

Hotel Vittorio Emanuele

Situated in the heart of Sassari, Hotel Vittorio Emanuele combines modern amenities with historical charm. Guests appreciate its central location, which provides easy access to the city’s main attractions, including the Piazza d’Italia. The hotel is known for its friendly service and clean, comfortable rooms.

Pegasus Hotel

Pegasus Hotel offers a mix of comfort and convenience with its well-appointed rooms and proximity to the city’s main sites. The hotel features modern facilities and is popular among both business and leisure travelers.

Hotel Marini

Hotel Marini is a comfortable choice for visitors looking for a quieter stay. It offers well-furnished rooms, free parking, and a restaurant serving local dishes. The hotel is slightly removed from the hustle and bustle, providing a more relaxed atmosphere.

Cafe Bleu Relais

For those seeking a boutique experience, Cafe Bleu Relais is an excellent option. This charming hotel is highly rated for its stylish decor, exceptional service, and intimate atmosphere. It’s perfect for couples and those looking for a more personalized stay.

Other Accommodation Options

Apart from hotels, Sassari also offers various other types of accommodations such as bed and breakfasts, guest houses, and vacation rentals. These alternatives provide a more homely and often budget-friendly option for travelers. Popular choices include:

Where is Sassari?

Sassari is a city located in northwestern Sardinia, Italy. It is the second-largest city in Sardinia after Cagliari. The city lies along the Gulf of Asinara, an inlet of the Mediterranean Sea, at the mouth of the Mannu River, just northwest of Sassari city. It is surrounded by a green belt of olive plantations and is located on a wide karstic plateau that slopes gently down towards the Gulf of Asinara and the Nurra plain.

How to Get There

Come arrivare a Sassari

Sassari, one of Sardinia’s most important cities, is well-connected by various modes of transport. Here are some options for reaching this fascinating city:

By Plane

The nearest airport is Alghero-Fertilia Airport, located about 30 km from the city. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the city. Another option is Olbia-Costa Smeralda Airport, which is a bit further away but offers a wider range of international flights.

By Ship

Sassari is also easily accessible by sea. The nearest port is Porto Torres, which is about 25 km from the city. Several shipping companies offer regular services to and from mainland Italy.

By Train

Sassari’s train station is well-connected to other major cities in Sardinia, such as Cagliari and Olbia, through the regional Trenitalia service. The station is located in the city center, making it easy to reach your final destination.

By Car

If you prefer to travel by car, Sassari is well-connected with a network of roads and highways. The SS131 is the main road artery that connects Sassari with other important cities in Sardinia, such as Cagliari and Oristano.

By Bus

Sassari is served by a network of regional and intercity buses that connect the city with other destinations in Sardinia. The main bus companies include ARST and Turmo Travel.

Getting Around the City

Once you arrive in the city, you have several options for getting around:

  • Bus: The city has an urban bus network that connects various parts of the city.
  • Taxi: There are several taxi services available in the city for convenient and quick transportation.
  • Walking: The historic center of Sassari is relatively compact, making it easy to explore the area on foot.
  • Car Rental: If you prefer the flexibility to explore at your own pace, you might consider renting a car.

Weather in Sassari

Current weather
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-

Culinary Experiences

Local Markets

Mercato Civico and Mercato di San Nicola are two of the most vibrant and essential places to visit in Sassari for those interested in experiencing the local culinary culture.

Mercato Civico
Located in the heart of Sassari, Mercato Civico is the city’s main market and a bustling hub of local life. This market is housed in a large, historic building and offers a wide array of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and other local specialties. Visitors can find everything from freshly caught fish and artisan cheeses to an assortment of fruits and vegetables sourced from nearby farms. The market is also a great place to purchase traditional Sardinian products such as pecorino cheese, bottarga (cured fish roe), and various cured meats. In addition to food, Mercato Civico features stalls selling handmade crafts, pottery, and textiles, making it a perfect spot to pick up unique souvenirs.

Mercato di San Nicola
Another notable market in Sassari is Mercato di San Nicola. Though smaller than Mercato Civico, this market is equally rich in local flavors and offers a more intimate shopping experience. Here, visitors can browse stalls brimming with fresh produce, baked goods, and locally made delicacies. The market is particularly known for its selection of seasonal fruits, freshly baked breads, and local wines. Mercato di San Nicola is a favorite among locals for its high-quality products and friendly vendors, making it a delightful stop for any food enthusiast exploring Sassari.

Dining in Sassari

Sassari boasts a diverse culinary scene that reflects the rich traditions and flavors of Sardinia. Here are some recommendations for experiencing the best of local cuisine:

image 51

Il Vecchio Mulino
One of the most notable restaurants in Sassari, Il Vecchio Mulino is renowned for its authentic Sardinian dishes and warm, rustic ambiance. Located in the old town on Via Frigaglia, this restaurant offers a menu that highlights the best of local produce and traditional recipes. Signature dishes include malloreddus (Sardinian gnocchi) with sausage and tomato sauce, porceddu (roast suckling pig), and seadas (a traditional dessert made with cheese and honey). The restaurant’s extensive wine list features excellent local wines, making it a perfect spot for a memorable dining experience.

La Vela Latina
Located close to the port, La Vela Latina specializes in seafood, offering a menu that features the freshest catches of the day. Diners can enjoy dishes such as grilled calamari, seafood risotto, and lobster linguine while taking in views of the marina. The restaurant’s commitment to fresh ingredients and traditional preparation methods ensures an authentic Sardinian dining experience.

Festivals and Traditions

Cavalcata Sarda

Cavalcata Sarda

Cavalcata Sarda is another significant cultural event in Sassari, celebrated annually on the last Sunday of May. This festival is renowned for its grand parade featuring hundreds of participants dressed in traditional Sardinian costumes, showcasing the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the island.

The highlight of the Cavalcata Sarda is the horseback parade, where riders display their equestrian skills and perform various traditional rituals. The riders, adorned in colorful attire, ride through the streets of Sassari, accompanied by folk groups performing traditional music and dances.

In addition to the parade, the festival includes a variety of cultural performances, exhibitions, and food stalls offering local delicacies. The event provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Sardinian traditions, observe the intricate craftsmanship of the costumes, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

I Candelieri (Feast of Candles)

I Candelieri, also known as the Feast of Candles, is one of Sassari’s most important and vibrant annual festivals. Held every year on August 14th, this event has deep cultural and historical roots, dating back to the 16th century. The festival is a UNESCO-recognized tradition and is part of the network of the “Great Shoulder-borne Processional Structures.”

During the Feast of Candles, participants carry enormous, elaborately decorated wooden structures shaped like candles, known as “Candelieri”, through the streets of the old town. Each candlestick is carried by a different guild or local association, representing various trades and communities in Sassari. The procession starts at Piazza Castello and winds its way to the Church of Santa Maria di Betlem, where the candles are offered in a symbolic act of devotion.

The festival is a lively and colorful spectacle, accompanied by traditional music, dancing, and the enthusiastic participation of locals and visitors alike. The event culminates in a grand celebration with food, drink, and merrymaking, reflecting the communal spirit and cultural pride of Sassari’s residents.

Both I Candelieri and Cavalcata Sarda are integral parts of Sassari’s cultural calendar, reflecting the city’s rich history and communal values. These festivals attract thousands of visitors each year, making them a must-see for anyone exploring the cultural heritage of Sassari and Sardinia.

Nearby Attractions

Monte d’Accoddi

beautiful shot of prehistoric altar monte d accodd 2023 01 18 18 30 30 utc

Monte d’Accoddi is a unique archaeological site located near Sassari, dating back to the Neolithic period. This ancient structure is often referred to as the “Sardinian ziggurat” due to its stepped-pyramid shape, which is unlike any other prehistoric monument found in the Mediterranean.

The site consists of a large raised platform, accessed by a long ramp, that was likely used for religious and ceremonial purposes. The origins of Monte d’Accoddi date back to around 4,000 BC, with subsequent phases of construction and use extending into the Bronze Age.

Visitors to Monte d’Accoddi can explore the impressive stone structure and imagine the rituals and activities that once took place there. The site also offers insights into the early human settlements on Sardinia and their architectural ingenuity.

Capo Caccia

Porto Conte e Capo Caccia da Monte Doglia

Capo Caccia is a breathtaking promontory located on the northwestern coast of Sardinia, known for its dramatic cliff formations and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. This scenic area is part of the Parco Naturale Regionale di Porto Conte, a natural reserve that offers a wealth of outdoor activities and natural wonders.

One of the highlights of Capo Caccia is the series of coastal caves and grottos, the most famous of which is Neptune’s Grotto. This spectacular sea cave can be reached by boat or by descending a long stairway carved into the cliffside, known as the Escala del Cabirol (Goat’s Steps). Inside, visitors are treated to a mesmerizing display of stalactites and stalagmites, along with a large saltwater lake.

In addition to its caves, Capo Caccia boasts numerous hiking trails that wind along the cliffs, offering panoramic views of the coastline and the Rada di Alghero bay. The area is also rich in wildlife, making it a great spot for birdwatching and nature photography. With its combination of natural beauty and adventurous activities, Capo Caccia is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Basilica di Saccargia

Sassari 12

The Basilica di Saccargia is one of the most remarkable examples of Romanesque architecture in Sardinia. Located in the countryside southeast of Sassari, this church is renowned for its striking striped design, created from alternating layers of black basalt and white limestone. This distinctive pattern gives the basilica a unique and eye-catching appearance.

Constructed in the 12th century, the Basilica di Saccargia was an important religious site during the medieval period. Despite its abandonment in the 16th century, the church has remained in excellent condition, preserving its historical and architectural significance. The interior of the basilica is equally impressive, featuring a series of beautiful frescoes that depict scenes from the lives of the apostles. The main altar is particularly notable for its colorful and detailed frescoes, which are considered masterpieces of medieval art.

Lampianu Beach

Lampianu Beach is a hidden gem on the western coast of Sardinia, approximately 30 minutes from Sassari. This secluded area offers a peaceful retreat away from the more crowded tourist spots. The Lampianu coastline is dotted with small, pristine beaches and coves, providing a perfect escape for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

One of the most popular beaches in this area is Spiaggia di Rena Majori, known for its fine white sand and crystal-clear waters. The surrounding region is also ideal for hiking and exploring, with numerous coastal trails that offer stunning views of the rugged landscape and hidden coves. Whether you prefer sunbathing on the beach or embarking on a coastal adventure, Lampianu Beach provides an idyllic setting for both relaxation and exploration.

pinit fg en rect red 28

If you liked it you can share This Page on:

Punti di interesse
Info utili