Sardinia, Italy • Planu Sartu: Ruins Between the Mountains and the Sea

Planu Sartu is an abandoned town situated near Buggerru, a village in southwestern Sardinia. Sardinia, which belongs to Italy, is the second biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and it is located halfway between continental Italy and the Spanish Balearic islands. A few kilometres north, there is Corsica, an island belonging to France and south of Sardinia there are Algeria and Tunisia, two countries that are part of the Maghreb African region.

In 1869, the discovery of deposits of lead and zinc led to the acquisition of the area by the Malfidano mining society, a French company. Soon, miners from all over Sardinia and Italy moved to Planu Sartu, attracted by the wealth found in the area. For instance, the first car registered in Sardinia and the first town in Sardinia with electricity was Buggerru. In its best days, the village hosted up to 2750 people, a primary school and various shops. Planu Sartu lasted less than 100 years, as the mines closed in 1955.

Nowadays, one can find, in Planu Sartu, only ruins and tiles with the buildings’ decoration.  The few wooden signs found in the area appear to be old and illegible. There are only dirt roads to explore the area. As the village is untouched, Planu Sartu features plenty of maquis shrub land. The only animals you will see roaming are wild goats. A fence covers the mine itself, as it is a risky area. Once you arrive to the cliffs, look out on your right: you can see that in the distance there is Capo Pecora, a beach that is 15 km away.

Planu Sartu, part of the cultural park Giuseppe Dessì, is remote to reach. From Cagliari, you must take the SS 130 leading to Iglesias. Once you arrive to Iglesias, stay on the left. You will start seeing the first abandoned mines, even though your destination is 30 km away. Keep on going straight, past the hamlet of Bindua, until you see the direction Nebida-Buggerru. There, you should turn right and keep on going straight through the SP83, a panoramic route with the sea on your left and mountains filled with vegetation on your right. Once you pass the sign for the beach of Cala Domestica, keep your eyes open until you will see again the sea, after 10 km of nature. On your left, at one point, there will be a dirt road. Take that road, as it is the only one, and pay attention to it, as there are no signs indicating this abandoned village.

Featured Photo Credit: Alessio Amato

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