If you wander off the beaten path, Sardinia is not all beautiful rocky coves and turquoise water. It also has a history that would make Game of Thrones fans shudder. We were intrigued, after reading about the tumultuous history of the island, that the one-time naval power Pisa (yes, of Leaning Tower fame) ruled the north of the island for hundreds of years. And during that time way back - in fact in the 1100s - they built a series of seven quaint Romanesque churches - the largest concentration in Italy. In less than an afternoon's car ride, we took a break from the beaches and checked all seven Pisan churches off our list. Hidden among the serene surroundings of the churches are tales of nobles, monks, murders and treacherous plots. We wandered into a festival at one of the churches where the local historical group brought to life the medieval days with food, art and music of the era. At the church of Santa Maria di Tergu, we learned that the associated monastery was infamous for the intrigues and murders it had witnessed. So, if you have a good imagination and a love for real things that you thought only happened in Kings Landing, take a slight detour from the sea and visit our top 7 Sardinian churches. You'll learn a lot and have a nice break from the endless beauty of the blue-green coast.
The meticulously maintained Nostra Signora di Castro and its grounds overlook a broad plain and are a perfect wedding setting.
The church interiors have a Byzantine flavor.
The most impressive of the 900-year-old churches is Santissima Trinita di Saccaregia with its alternating white and black striped design.
A medieval fair was being hosted at Sant'Antioco di Bisarcio during our visit.
Alas, the 12th century San Michele di Salvenero has fallen into some disrepair.
Nostra Signora di Tergu was the scene of medieval intrigue and murder.
Santa Maria del Regno is high up in the quaint village of Ardara.
Most of the churches are still in use.