Autumn in Barbagia

Updated on Aug 24, 2018 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Autumn in Barbagia

Autumn in Barbagia is an annual celebration of the region’s traditions, arts and crafts as well as food and wine in Sardinia’s mountainous interior.

Known locally as Autonno in Barbagia, the festival runs from 1st September to the middle of December and visits over 30 villages. The region is one of the least populated areas of Europe, and as such, has been able to preserve both its ancient traditions and the wild, natural beauty of its landscape. As the festival moves from one village to another, each in turn offers a great range of events, tastings, workshops and exhibitions.

To give you a flavour of what to expect, here’s the low down on some of the events in the villages of Bitti and Oliena that open Autumn in Barbagia this year.


Bitti’s festivities

Saturday 1st to Sunday 2nd September


The celebrations kick off at around 9am with handicrafts, tastings and refreshments in the village streets, as well as a bicycle race. At 10am, educational workshops start in some of the oldest houses in the village. There’s a guided tour of the village at 11.30am and local cheese tasting at 5pm. Don't miss the children’s palio with wooden horses at around 6.30pm.

In the evening from 9pm, live music fills the village streets.

The following day sees more tastings and craftwork exhibitions as well as children’s workshops.

Choirs and folk groups perform throughout the weekend in the village streets. Plus, there are art and crafts exhibitions and a display of vintage bicycles!


Oliena’s festivities

Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September


The festivities begin in the village streets at 4pm on Friday 7th September and really get underway from 10am the following morning, with shepherds preparing cheeses, craftsmen working leather and wood and embroiderers creating the shawls of Oliena’s traditional dress. Local ladies will be baking bread and preparing pasta dishes, while grapes are crushed and wine cellars are opened for tastings. At 11am you can witness the traditional rituals of an ancient Olianese wedding.


That evening from 7pm, a traditional parade will be followed by dancing, folk music and fireworks in Piazza Berlinguer.

On Sunday, the celebrations continue with a food theme throughout the day and more dancing in the streets from 4pm. That evening the celebrations peak with ‘Batokatù Catalana’, featuring Sardinian folk music and dance.


Autunno in Barbagia 2018 Calendar

For further details, including the dates of the festival at each village, please visit the official website Autunno in Barbagia.


Where to stay

Hotel Su Lithu, Bitti


Perfect for a romantic getaway, this small family-run hotel is perched above the village with fabulous views. We'd recommend eating at the hotel's restaurant which uses local produce from the family's farm.


Hotel Su Gologone, Oliena


In the foothills of the Supramonte mountain range, the Hotel Su Gologone is a magical hotel overflowing with charm and character. It tumbles down the hillside, a maze of hidden courtyards and secret nooks adorned with local arts and crafts. What's more it has one of the best restaurants on the island of Sardinia.


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