A shopwindow of the island for those arriving in Sardinia - either by boat, or by plane, Olbia immediately fills the traveller with the fragrant exhalations of the oily Mediterranean sea, its fantastic colours, the enchanting setting of the coast and the granite massifs in the background...
Indeed, Olbia is one of the island's main docks, already well-known and valued for its natural safety by the Carthaginians and the Romans, whose navi onerarie, loaded with wheat, sailed off to the Capital, at times sinking down to the bottom of the sea during some Homeric tempest, where, even recently, at least 18 boats were found, 2 of which date back from Nero's era.
The commercial importance of Olbia shows in the splendid, severe Romanesque Church of San Simplicio, decorated with a few Gothic friezes which evoke cosmopolitan artistic influences.
In the close surroundings of Olbia, two castles are worth visiting: the Sa Paulazza castle, built with stones from former nuraghes during Justinian's reign, in 534 AD, and the medieval Pedres castle.
Today, Olbia is a lively economical centre which has managed to answer the growing touristic and trading demands and which stands at the heart of Gallura's economical development.
The well-equipped modern harbour is the starting point of daily journeys to the Continent and other Mediterranean countries.
2 miles away in the south, there is a small airport well linked up with European cities and the whole of Italy.
An always expanding and improving infrastructure, modern and well stocked shops, shipyards, food industries, famous restaurants, Cerasarda, traditional workshops and many other assets make an interesting spot of Olbia in itself, and this is without talking of its key situation for discovering and enjoying the most renowned touristic sites in Gallura.
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