From s.s.131 take the junction for Barumini at km 40,900: you reached the town km 19,9. From Barumini follow the road for Tuili for 1km, the nuragic complex can be seen on the left hand side of the road.
Tickets cost 4,20 Euro for adults; 3,10 Euro for visitors under 25. The price includes a guided tour.
This is the most important Nuraghic complex in the whole of Sardinia, with a majestic fortress surrounded by a sprawling village. The settlement was inhabited for almost 2000 years, from 1600 BC to the 3rd century AD.
Originally, the nuraghe consisted of five towers, the central one, also known as the keep, and four lateral towers united by rectilinear walls, with an internal courtyard in which was a spring which is still extant. The towers all had two superimposed floors. The higher portion, with terrace, was constructed with great care using smaller size stone blocks, carefully shaped and set in rows which terminated with protruding corbels. These corbels, displaced from their original positions, were found in large numbers during digs and are now on show – partially re-assembled – along the fencing of the archaeological area. Round the nuraghe was a primitive barbican with three towers.
This initial phase ended during the Middle Bronze Age some time round 1200 BC, when, following serious structural damage due to largely unknown reasons, the complex was renovated and its aspect was deeply altered. The structure was clad in massive masonry which in fact doubled its thickness; its entrance was moved from the southern side to the western and brought to several metres in height, meaning that entry was possible only by means of a wooden ladder. The old barbican was integrated with four new towers and covered the whole circumference of the nuraghe which took on the massive, imposing aspect it still has today. This second phase ended between the Early Bronze and the Late Bronze Ages, when the area was abandoned for some time. About the 10th century BC the site was reoccupied and the first huts were built. At this point in time, the whole complex had begun its long phase of decay which was to last for the whole Iron Age up to Roman Imperial Times. In the village, the most interesting dwellings are those dated at the beginning of the Iron Age, that is the 9th, 8th and 7th centuries BC. They are marked by a complex, irregular ground plan, where several different rooms face onto a central courtyard. In many huts the kitchen can be identified: it had an oven, in some cases still visible today.
Of special interest are two dwellings with a circular room, well preserved, with a stone perimeter bench, a great basin, again in stone, which was perhaps used for domestic rites of the waters. The meeting hut is also very interesting. It dates from the same period and is marked by its circular perimeter, along the internal side of which runs a stone bench, while there is a series of small niches in the walls.
Barumini is listed in the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.