We'd driven past the Nuraghe Albucciu every day for the past seven days, so as our time in Sardinia came to an end, we thought we'd better take a look at it even though we're not nuraghistas. This one did impress me though.
I liked the way the builders had used the natural outcrop of granite boulders to build the nuraghe around an morph into the landscape. The usual huge blocks of drystone were used to build it and it had the usual corbelled side-chambers and corridor leading up to a platform area at the top. Today it is surrounded by cork oaks and olive trees, and a curious natural overhanging rock feature stood right next to the tower structure. This impressed me more than anything.
The smooth expansive wall beneath the overhang reminded me of exactly the sort of place where I have seen Australian aboriginal rock paintings and Jordanian and San petroglyphs. I wondered if these smooth rock walls had once been painted with ochres and umbers showing animal and sacred symbols. I looked for any evidence but of course found nothing except tiny bees' nests, cobwebs and lichen.
And beneath the rocks was a small low gap (which I probably could have squeezed through had I been being chased by a fire-breathing angry bull), through which I could see a number of chambers had been carved into – almost cave-like but absolutely (wo)man-made.
I was surprised to find I liked this nuraghe because I could 'people' it in my mind. It seemed like a very comfortable place to live. It even had a potential (or long forgotten) art gallery space!
Nuraghe Albucciu is just outside Arzachena on the SS125 and well signposted in the vicinity. It has an information office/shop with parking on the opposite side of the road to the nuraghe, which is reached through an underpass. We bought tickets to visit here, and Malchittu and Coddu Vecchju, at 5½ euros per person (includes an A5 colour site guide for each of the 3); the site is open from 09:00 – 19:00; the shops sell the expected range of drinks and souvenirs, and has clean toilets round the back; there's a café right next door.
The nuraghe was built onto the side of a granite cliff. The entrance is on the east side and above it you can see corbels which would have supported a wooden balcony; inside, there's a tholos (false domed ceiling) room on the right with a niche in the far wall which once led to another entrance to the nuraghe cut into the cliff, and to the left is a low entrance to a possible store room. Both these rooms have no natural light, but an electric lamp is supplied for visitors. A central staircase leads up to the terrace level, where you get a good view of the rooms surrounding the tower, and to the south a few steps down take you through a doorway into the largest room, with one wall of solid granite, and two windows constructed with the narrower part to the outside.
Finds from the site are exhibited at the museum in Sassari.