Tharros and Forum Triani


The ruins of Tharros are on the Cape San Marco a short drive from Oristano.   The city is currently thought to have been founded by the Phoenicians in about the 8th century BC but there is a much older submerged harbour wall close by.   Apparently sea levels rose in the 12th century BC suggesting the original city was much earlier than the Phoenicians.


It was built alongside a Nuragic village and became an imporant port subsequenty occupied by the Punics and then the Romans.  The city was abandoned in 1070 when the inhabitants moved to Oristano due to the Saracen raids.

Ruins at Tharros

Thereafter it was used as a quarry, quiet effectively it would seem as there is little to see other than the streets between the remains of the buildings.   The most striking feature for me was the roads which were paved in black stone slabs that would have contrasted impressively with the lighter coloured stone of the buildings.

Church of San Giovanni

Alongside the Roman road to Tharros is the oldest church in Sardinia; the Church of San Giovanni which was built in the 9th century AD.   It is a  delightfully simple building with a barrel-vaulted roof and is completely unadorned.

Church of San Giovanni

Forum Triani

Forum Triani, now Fordongianus, was built on the site of a thermal spring on the Roman road between Cagliari and Olbia   Originally known as Aquae Ypsitanae it became and important centre for trade with the local tribes.    All that is left now are the ruins of the baths and the spring itself which is very hot!  The water temperature is 54°C as it bubbles into from the ground.

The spring. The water leaves the ground at 54 degree centigrade
The remains of the bath

The Forum

In the town is one small section of possibly Roman pavement, and a few of houses look like they have been around since the Romans left and there is the Aragonese House, a Spanish farm house, now in the centre of town.   The rest of town is …… waiting for the tourists!

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