Tratalias: a ghost town of wonders

Tratalias, a small medieval town in Sulcis, had a population of just over 1,500 in the 1950s when it started to be damaged by the infiltration of water from a dyke built near Rio Palmas, and the resulting construction of the Monte Pranu reservoir.

The worsening damage forced the town government to rebuild the town in a nearby, slightly hilly area where the residents were all relocated.

Red People

Sa genti arrubia (“the red people”) is the name for flamingos in the Sardinian dialect.

Phoenicopterus roseus — their scientific name — are red because of their diet predominantly of shrimp and mollusks. These migratory wader birds are graceful and absolutely elegant; Sardinia is their perfect habitat with its many wetlands where some live year-round.

Photo by Lorenzo Sestrieri of Obiettivo Mediterraneo

The sea, the beaches and Neptune grass

Calasetta is not widely known, but there’s no question that those who have come will never forget its magnificent beaches.

Sottotorre is the cove right below the Torre Sabauda tower overlooking the town. It’s a gorgeous, white-beached cove with crystal-blue water that is very shallow, making it a popular destination for families with children. La Salina, just a kilometer out of town, has two white sandy dunes dotted with San Pancrazio lilies where two species of wind-bent juniper grow: juniperus phoenicea, or Phoenician juniper, and juniperus macrocarpa.

A bit further is Spiaggia Grande, a cove stretching to Punta della Tonnara, venerated by surfers as it is open to the mistral wind; part of it is reserved for tourists traveling with their canine friends.