Villamassargia: Middle Ages between castles, churches and olive trees

Discover the architectural and naturalistic beauties of Villamassargia, a small village in the Sulcis-Iglesiente area. The tour includes the visit to the church of San Ranieri, to the ruins of the castle of Gioiosa Guardia and to S’Ortu Mannu wood. The medieval church of San Ranieri (today Madonna del Pilar) preserves an inscription with the construction date (1318) and the name of the builder, Arzocco de Garnas: these are uncommon facts in medieval Sardinian architecture. The castle of Gioiosa Guardia was built around the XIIIth century on a hill which guards the village of Villamassargia: this is a strategic point of control of the road that, in the Middle Ages, started from Castel di Castro (Cagliari) and led to Villa di Chiesa (Iglesias). At the foot of the castle there is the S’Ortu Mannu wood which, among the other centuries-old trees, preserves Sa Reina, which is a 900 years-old olive tree. The artistic, architectural and naturalistic Middle Ages in one tour.

DURATION About 4 hours

ITINERARY LENGTH About 2 Km (transfer with the car not included)

TOUR TYPE by car and walking route

LANGUAGES Italian, German, English, LIS

PRICE Adults 60€, teenagers (10-16 years old) and disabled 20€, children under 10 years free of charge. Price reductions are applied based on the number of participants


The itinerary is difficult and arduous because we have to climb the hill to reach the castle and the ground is unstable and steep. It is recommended for people who have previous experience of trekking and mountain walking.

INFORMATION DETAIL The meeting point is in the main square of Villamassargia, piazza Pilar, in front of San Ranieri church. We drive with own car to the castle and to the olive tree grove then. We can organise the trip from/to the main southern cities of the island plus a lunch in a local restaurant, under request.

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