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Sanluri is the main town in central Campidano and lies to the right of the Mannu river. The northern part of its territory is characterised by a hilly landscape, whilst to the south there are flat plains. The region has been inhabited since the Nuragic period, however, the real history of Sanluri began in Medieval times. The ancient town's strategic position meant that it was the object of a hard fought battle during the war between the Aragonese and the Sardinians of the Giudicato d'Arborea. The Castle of Sanluri played an important part in this conflict, being the stage of intense political and military encounters. Despite the presence of the castle the Aragonese defeated the Sardinians in 1409 at the famous "Batalla" (battle) and conquered Sanluri. The town offers visitors a variety of interesting possibilities: the Castle of Eleonora D'Arborea (also known as "Castello Giudicale") is particularly interesting because it is one of the best-preserved Medieval fortresses in Sardinia. There are also a number of fascinating ancient churches (S. Pietro, S. Lorenzo e S. Martino), besides the Parish Church of Nostra Signora delle Grazie, which host various masterpieces of sacred art, recently restored and put on display for visitors to admire. Then there is the Duca D'Aosta Museum, hosting an exhibition of antiques and objects belonging to the Duke, as well as relics from the war in Ethiopia and World War I and II. The collection of Florentine wax sculptures is particularly interesting and includes about 400 pieces. The Historical Ethnographical Museum (Capuchin Convent), inaugurated in 1991, hosts numerous exhibits which bear testimony to Sardinian life in the last centuries, sacred art, handicraft, the arts and professions of the monks, as well as objects and instruments from every day life.
Sanluri offers a programme of fascinating events which are held throughout the year. The "Sa Batalla" di Sanluri (Battle of Sanluri on 30th of June) is celebrated with a series of festivities which last a whole week. Visitors can watch fascinating games, tournaments and Medieval displays which re-enact the ancient battle, with cavalrymen and infantrymen, on the original site of the battle. The Festival of San Lorenzo is celebrated in the first ten days of August. The Town Festival (end of September) celebrates the old customs, professions, traditions and places of the town with fragrances and flavours of times gone by. The inhabitants of Sanluri welcome visitors into their houses and offer them a selection of local food and wine from the vast gastronomic patrimony of the area.
The area surrounding Sanluri is also rich in places of cultural interest. We recommend the museum and the Nuragic complex of Genna Maria at Villanovaforru, as well as the Nuragic village Su Nuraxi at Barumini.
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