Borutta, a member of the “Borghi autentici d’Italia” (authentic villages of Italy) is a beautiful medieval town of the Logudoro-Meilogu. A small town with at most 744 inhabitants (1911 census) it is rich in history: the presence of man is already attested in the Neolithic era with the cultures of Bonnanaro and Ozieri, which have left a huge number of findings of great interest and important Domus de Janas.
Even in the Nuragic age, its territory played an important role thanks to the dominant position on the Nuraghi Valley, an area of Logudoro-Meilogu, in which there are the remains of over thirty nuraghi and ten tombs of giants. Two of the largest and most important nuraghi are located in the Borutta area, and can be seen from the Nuragic palace of Santu Antine.
This site was a Roman and later a Byzantine village. One of the most extraordinary discoveries, yet to be written, which occurred in the late ‘70s, was that of the burial of a Byzantine warrior and his son with his armour and a rich array of funerary objects, housed in the museum of the cathedral of San Pietro di Sorres of which it is one of the major attractions.
Throughout the middle ages, Borutta played a leading role thanks to the strategic position of its plateau, which allowed the control of the main road axis in Sardinia. Dating back to the XI century is the cathedral of San Pietro di Sorres considered one of the most important examples of Romanic architecture in Sardinia. Episcopal seat for about 500 years, until 1503 it had intense relations with France and in particular with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and one of the most enlightened Bishops of Sorres, Goffredo di Meleduno, buried in the cathedral of San Pietro in Borutta, who was proclaimed blessed for his ability to cure many terrible diseases.
The importance of the area can be seen in the numerous battles fought between the Doria and the Aragonesi for its conquest. In 1894 the cathedral of San Pietro di Sorres was proclaimed a national monument.
In addition to boasting a holy and a national monument, Borutta also has other extraordinary records: in 1946 it was headed by the first woman mayor in Italy, Ninetta Bartoli, whose effigy hangs in the Italian House of Representatives; in its SIC area (Area of Community Importance) it also counts two kinds of indigenous bats, veritable sentinels of an unpolluted environment, and it has the only abbey in Sardinia, with a large community of Benedictine monks headed by an abbot.
The pristine and suggestive area of Borutta is important from an environmental point of view as well: the SIC “ITB012212–Sa Rocca Ulari” area close to the town of Borutta comprises a karst cave that is 1 km long and much appreciated for caving, while Mount Pelao, a popular destination with hikers, cyclists and horse riders is one of the natural monuments of Sardinia.
Sicuramente da visitare la Biblioteca benedettina all’interno del Monastero di San Pietro di Sorres, specializzata in bibliografia religiosa, con un patrimonio librario di circa 70.000 unità tra cui molti sono esemplari unici, è visitata da studiosi e ricercatori provenienti da tutta Europa. Altra attrazione è il Museo della Cattedrale di San Pietro di Sorres, articolato su due piani e diviso in numerose sezioni che illustrano la storia del sito di Sorres. All’interno sono visibili opere d’arte di carattere religioso di varie epoche, una raccolta numismatica di notevole interesse e numerosi manufatti architettonici provenienti dall’antico episcopio. Molto interessante è la sezione archeologica riferita all’epoca preistorica (Grotta Ulari), protostorica (Nuraghe San Pietro) e romana.
In the Borgo (old town) moreover, a historical re-enactment “La Bastida di Sorres” takes place and is one of the most faithful and most popular ones in Italy, and is included in the great tourist events in Sardinia. It evokes the battle between the Doria and Aragonesi for the conquest of the fortification (la Bastida) of Sorres.