Wandering Sardinia

Santa Sabina is a small site in the Nuoro province outside of Macomer, but the 10th century church will charm you, and the nuraghe built between 1600 and 1000 BC has a great interior space and you can climb it to the top.

Santa Sabina Church & Nuraghe

Updated Jan 02, 2021

santa sabina
Santa Sabina Panorama

Another one of Sardinia’s amazing freeway off-ramp attractions, the main site of Santa Sabina consists of a 10-11th century church and a single tower nuraghe, as shown in the picture above. There is also a sacred well called Cherchizzu you can access from Santa Savina by crossing under the highway.

The site is located in the outskirts of Silanus, just south of the SS129 east of the town of Macomer.

Although the Romanesque style of the church is apparent, there are also some some Byzantine characteristics found in the architecture.

There is a statue of Santa Sabina behind the altar:

santa sabina
Santa Sabina

On the site is another modern building with exhibits about the site and the culture of the town of Silanus.

santa sabina church and nuraghe
Santa Sabina Church and Nuraghe

The nuraghe is a very fine example of a single tower with three niches. There is a vestibule to the right of the entrance, and a clockwise sphiral staircase to the left which gets to to the top of the nuraghe.

The nuraghe would have had a second story, but many of the stones have been carted off to be used elsewhere, including the church.

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Santa Sabina Church - 10th-11th century

The church is a delight to the eyes. It’s imperfect, so we see the humanness of it, the handiwork.

Festa di Santa Sabina a Silanus

On the third Sunday in September, Silanus throws a party.

The celebrations begin with the novena, during which the faithful gather in the cumbessias located near the church. On Sundays, in addition to religious rites, there are also numerous folkloristic events with traditional dances and songs and tastings of the typical local food and wine products. ~ SardegnaInFesta

Who Was Santa Sabina?

Tradition has it that Sabina was a pagan noblewoman who lived in the 2nd century, wife of Senator Valentino. Converted to Christianity, she was martyred around the year 120. Her relics are found in Rome, in the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill. This is one of my favorite basilicas to visit and the oldest Roman Basilica in Rome, built between 422 and 432.

Province: Nuoro Province Map

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