Ogliastra is magic. An area of enchanting beauty, located along the eastern side of Sardinia, in a natural amphitheater between the peaks of Gennargentu and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is considered one of the most evocative and uncontaminated places on the island. A land rich in natural monuments, pristine beaches, trekking, mountain biking and climbing itineraries. The numerous archaeological emergencies testify to the richness of its history starting from the Neolithic. These uniquenesses that represent the main attractions of the great summer tourist flow, collide with the scarcity of important cultural events that can create moments of mutual contamination between travelers and residents.
The Municipality of Lotzorai, whose toponym means “almond grove”, is located on the central eastern coast of Sardinia, in Ogliastra, spread over 17 km2 with a population of about 2200 inhabitants. It is located in the center of a mountainous semicircle, a natural amphitheater that slopes towards the sea embraced by two rivers, the Pramaera and the Girasole, which make this vast area fertile and rich in wetlands of considerable importance and beauty from a naturalistic point of view. Lotzorai is a well-established summer tourist destination, attracted above all by the beautiful beaches that develop along 6 km of coast (between Arbatax in the south and the Baunei area in the north) on a crystalline sea. Beaches (Tancau, Pollu, Is Orrosas, Iscrixedda and Isula Manna) enclosed in the splendid gulf protected by the Isolotto d’Ogliastra belonging to the Municipality of Lotzorai. Wild atmosphere, which retains all its charm even on the busiest beaches.
This paradise is one of the five "Blue Zones" in the world, thanks to its lifestyle and nutrition.
No less important is the hinterland, where there are some very important historical-archaeological emergencies. Among these is the old Church of Sant’Elena, for centuries the parish church of Lotzorai built around the year 1100 which, although now reduced to ruins, bears witness to the importance of the area in the medieval period. Another precious testimony of local history is the medieval castle of “Medusa”, whose presence is strongly identifying and a recovery and enhancement project is underway on what remains. It represents one of the most significant testimonies of the medieval age of Ogliastra and its history is intertwined with numerous tales and legends. Built on a granite rock hill, about fifty meters high, a short distance from the sea and near the mouth of the Rio Girasole, the castle of Medusa is located in a strategic position to defend a valley made fertile by the river which represents at the same time an access and penetration route towards the innermost hilly areas and a route, sometimes an escape, towards the sea. In fact, the news taken from the Antoninian Itinerary is known, according to which the city of eastern Sulci should have arisen in this area, homonymous with the other more famous western Sulci, today’s Sant’Antioco. The name of the castle confirms the local tradition according to which it was built by an unidentified queen Medusa, whose story is lost in myth.
These characteristics have meant that this area was already frequented before the construction of the castle, judging by the dense distribution throughout the valley of sites relating to the prehistoric age but also to subsequent historical periods.
The Recent Neolithic (about 5500 years ago) is testified by the magic of the pre-Nuragic necropolis of Tracùcu – Genna ‘e Tramonti. The Domus de Janas, or “fairy houses”. The Necropolis is a beautiful and vast archaeological site located about three kilometers from the town. It looks like a real fairy-tale scenario in which the hypogeal necropolis of about twenty Domus de Janas emerges.
Lotzorai is a pearl of Ogliastra, set on the shining waters that embrace and protect it, guaranteeing safety and well-being for human settlements since the dawn of time.