Laconi is one of the most interesting and unique villages in Sardinia, and by all means one of the most underrated ones. Located right in the center of the Island – or as many poetically say, in its heart – it is a collection of history, religion, traditions, and nature, all together in the same place.
I visited during a recent road trip around the island and while I wasn’t expecting much of it, I must admit I was truly impressed! The village is truly pretty; there is a lot to see; people are lovely and while there is just a handful of places to stay and eat, they are all top quality!
Among its many amenities, Laconi is home to the famous Parco Aymerich, where you will find the remains of a castle where a Sardinian aristocratic family used to live. This is the village where the most beloved Sardinian Saint (St. Ignazio) was born and raised; and it’s a place with a high concentration of pre-nuragic relics, all collected in the Menhir Museum located in the heart of town.
Locals love going to Laconi for a day trip, be it to have a refreshing walk in the park, to visit some of the most ancient historical ruins in Sardinia, or to join some heartfelt religious festival. In fact, Laconi is a village with a lot to offer, a lot to show, and many secrets to unveil – and you should plan to spend a night or two to take in all its beauty.
Curious to find out more? Continue reading!
For more hidden gems in Sardinia, read this post.
A Brief History Of Laconi, Sardinia
Laconi was inhabited since very early times, before the Nuragic civilization, when tribes of hunters would find shelter in the natural caves on the side of the hill where the modern village is located. Many of these prehistoric tribes left their mark on the territory, by sculpting rocks and menhirs, in the first attempts of portraiting nature or themselves.
Of course, an area like the one around Laconi was a great place to build Giants’ Tombs, Domus de Janas, and, later, the famous Sardinian Nuraghe. Laconi was also a somehow important town during the middle ages, and an essential part of the Giudicati system.
During the feudal era, Laconi ruled by the de Sena family first and the Aymerich family later, up until very recently. The Aymerichs contributed to a lot of Laconi’s development, with the creation of the natural park, the castle, and their residence which is now a museum.
What To See And Do In Laconi, Sardinia
Explore the Parco Aymerich
Parco Aymerich (Aymerich Park) was created by one of Laconi’s lords, don Ignazio Aymerich, in the 19th century. He used to travel a lot and would bring back seeds and plants from each of his trips, with the aim to create a garden where to collect all kinds of plants – from the most common ones to the rarest and most delicate.
The park is currently home to several rare plants, from the Lebanon Cedar which is about 25 meters (82 feet) tall to the most precious orchids – Laconi is the place with the highest variety of these pretty flowers! Having a walk here is particularly stunning during the fall whenfoliage is at its peak and creates a fairytale-like scenario.
The park is a huge green area inside the urban context of Laconi – it’s easy to reach on a short walk from the town center. Its 22 hectares are an oasis of trees, waterfalls, small rivers, and so on, a very precious resource for the local flora and fauna, and a small paradise for the ones who like to get lost in nature.
Inside the park, you won’t only see natural gems, but ancient ruins as well. The old Aymerich castle – or better, what’s left of it – still stands on the higher ground (the park goes from the top of the hill to the valley underneath): you can still clearly see parts of the walls, a room with seatings and a beautiful window overlooking the area.
Check out my posts The Most Captivating Castles In Sardinia and The Nicest Parks In Sardinia.
Visit the places of S.Ignazio da Laconi
Sant’Ignazio is one of the most beloved Sardinian Saints and is considered the patron of beggars and students. He was born in 1701 in a very poor but religious family and, since his childhood, had always been devoted and attentive to every aspect of his faith, going to church and becoming a monk at the age of 20.
He was always very close to people, as he took care of the collection of alms, and many have confirmed several miracles he performed. He was already considered “chosen by God” and very admired while alive, and it didn’t take too long to approve his sanctification after his death.
There are still plenty of people who venerate Sant’Ignazio, and they go to Laconi to visit the places where he spent his childhood and youth. You can see the house he lived in, the church he went to pray every day – dedicated to St. Ambrogio and then to him as well – and, next to the church, you can visit the museum dedicated to the saint, where some relics are jealously kept.
Among them, a silver box with one of the Saint’s hand’s bones is considered the most precious. The museum is also home to several precious statues, coins, and other artwork from the Roman and Middle Ages, and from the Renaissance times.
Visit the Menhir Museum
Located in the former Aymerich Palace and set across 11 rooms across two floors, the exhibit at the Menhir Museum is entirely dedicated to the prehistoric anthropomorphic art of the center and south of the island. One of the rooms is dedicated to artifacts that were found in funerary settings in the surroundings of Laconi.
The Menhir Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 to 6:00 pm (winter schedule) or from 3:30 to 7:00 pm (summer schedule). Admission is €5.
Make sure to read my post The Best Museums In Sardinia.
Despite it not being widely advertised, Laconi is the best place in Sardinia for truffles. The forests around the village have the ideal conditions for a flourishing truffle harvest and, despite some amateurs who still try to take the product with the wrong tools – ruining the ground – the production is always abundant and enough for everyone who visits to enjoy a taste.
The best period to eat some truffle-based dishes is in summer when the harvest is at its peak, and the best places are the local restaurants such as La Spillunca (more about it below). Otherwise, you can wait for Laconi’s truffle festival in mid-June and have a truffle-focused holiday.
Wine tasting at Cantina Gennamanna
The Gennamanna Winery was founded by Laconi’s former mayor, who decided to renew the old, historical bakery in Laconi that belonged to his family and turn it into a place where to greet guests and offer them some great wine. Here, in fact, you can join a wine tasting tour and find out about the town’s little secrets. Plus, their terrace offers a stunning view over all the valley!
The winery takes great pride in its products, all made with local grapes, with the goal to promote the typical, traditional Sardinian wines.
Check out my posts The Best Sardinian Wines and The Best Wineries In Sardinia.
Practical Information To Plan Your Trip To Laconi, Sardinia
How to get to Laconi
Laconi is located right in the middle of the island and is, therefore, somehow virtually equidistant from Cagliari and Sassari – even though, of course, the roads are different and so is the total kilometers’ count!
Sardinian public transportation isn’t the best, so be sure to either bring your car or rent one to go there at your own time and pace.
From Cagliari, you will just have to follow State Road SS125 and turn onto SS197 a bit before Sanluri and right after Serrenti. You will go through Villamar and Nurallao before reaching Laconi.
From Sassari or Alghero, follow SS125 southbound. You’ll have to switch to SS388 in Ghilarza, and then SS442 in Senis.
Where to sleep in Laconi
There are very few accommodation options in Laconi, but each of them is actually outstanding. Here are my recommendations – I have tried both and enjoyed them both, but my go-to place would be De Ajala as it’s more conveniently located and more budget friendly.
B&B De’ Ajala is truly a lovely place to stay in Laconi. The rooms, all decorated in traditional style, are comfortable, bright and spacious. Breakfast is prepared by the owner as soon as you wake up, and is a real feast! The location is excellent too: you will find it extremely easy to start a hike or a cycling session from there.
Baita Maore is a luxury B&B, with each room’s name recalling a plant typical of the area, and where guests can enjoy a peaceful stay immersed in the silent Sardinian countryside.
Of course, all rooms are equipped with every comfort, the staff is discreet and professional and everything, from the breakfast to the outside pool, is taken extra care of, so to grant the best experience to every visitor.
Where to eat in Laconi
Much like with accommodation, the choice of places to eat in Laconi si limited. Yet, food is absolutely delicious in each of them.
An excellent pub with very affordable prices, Sa Spillunca is a great choice at any time of the day. You can enjoy some typical meat dishes accompanied by a pint of local craft beer, or a simple hamburger prepared with local ingredients. Their eggs with truffle are simple yet heavenly.
I went to La Cascata with the lowest expectations and was pleasantly surprised to find one of the best pizza in Sardinia, proper Napoli style! It’s easy to see why this is a locals’ favorite. La Cascata serves several types of pizza and salads and has affordable prices for top quality products. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available too.
Another excellent pizza place on the higher part of Laconi, it offers vegan and vegetarian options. Portions are huge and prices affordable. A great place after a long day spent exploring the local attractions.