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Olbia is one of the main cities in Sardinia, (fourth for number of inhabitants after, Cagliari, Sassari and Quartu Sant’Elena), and is a rapidly growing industrial and commercial centre. It was the capital of the “Giudicato di Gallura” and the first Gallura Episcopal seat; since 2006 it has been the administrative capital city (with the town of Tempio Pausania) of the Olbia-Tempio province.
Fragments of ceramics and a little statue representing the Mother Goddess found in Porto Rotondo, dates back to the Mid Neolithic Age (4.000-3.500 B.C.) the first evidence of human presence in the Olbia area.
Near Olbia there are also some interesting archaeological sites dating back to the pre-nuraghic period: the nuraghe “Riu Molinu” (Cabu Abbas), the “Giants” tomb of “Su Monte de S’Abe”, the sacred nuraghic well of Sa Testa, the Punic walls located between “Via Torino” and “Via Acquedotto”, the “Pedres” and “Sa Paulazza” castles, the Roman waterworks, the Roman farm of “S’Imbalconadu” along the road to Padru.
There are also nineteenth-century buildings like the library “Biblioteca Simpliciana” and the Town Hall. Among the cult buildings, we must mention the little “Basilica di San Simplicio”, located in the city centre, set in a square where several Roman milestones can be seen; this simple granite structure is considered the most important medieval monument in the whole of Gallura.
It is also worth visiting the recently open archaeological museum, located on the little island of “Peddone”, along the road which leads to the “Isola Bianca” port, in front of the city centre. Its characteristic feature is the main large central patio, where some recently discovered Roman ships are housed. Not to be missed are the several splendid beaches which surround the entire area. The seashore and preserved area of “Tavolara-Punta Coda Cavallo” spreads (for about 15,000 hectares) along one of the most beautiful and evocative part of the coasts of the whole Mediterranean sea and is of major importance. It is also not far away from the “Costa Smeralda”.
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