THE VILLAGE The curious name Palmas Arborea is possibly linked to the presence during the past of palms whose growth was helped by the humidity of the soil and the mild climate. Obviously we refer to dwarf fan palms that, according to a Sardinian tradition, were used for several plaiting purposes. To Palmas Arborea’s area belongs a small village called Tiria where the houses are built within a greenish nature that is located at Monte Arci slopes.
TERRITORY The village is located on a flat territory on the left side of the river Tirso. On the east side, it is dominated by Monte Arci whereas in the west part there is Santa Giusta’s pond. Palmas Arborea borders on Santa Giusta and its territory stretched from Pauli Majori pond up to the mountainous hills of S’Acqua Bella, in the territory of Monte Arci. Not far from the village centre there is another wood, Bae Suergiu. Palmas Arborea shares with Santa Giusta the ownership of Pauli Majori pond that is an 80 hectares-wide fauna oasis and surrounded by reed-wood consisting of 160 hectares. This oasis is the natural habitat of protected species such as the purple swamp hen and the mallard.
Other interesting wood areas are Riu Mottu, Is Cantareddus and Mont’e Moba; moreover we must remember the leech-wood and the two springs: Sa Mitz’e sa Figu and Sa Figu Era¸ both naturalistically important.
ARCHAEOLOGY Human settlements in Palmas Arborea are testified since late Neolithic period. Afterwards the Nuragic population settled in the territory as it is shown by the traces of nuraghi and ruins of villages spread all over the territory. In the area called Perda Bogada a nuraghe base and other village ruins were found. Other nuraghi were present in the territory even though the traces are hard to be catalogued owing to the way in which the volcanic material had been successively used to build houses.After the nuragic settlement, Palmas Arborea was colonized by the Punic and the Roman and it possibly took a guard role on Othoca (Santa Giusta). A Roman memorial stone has been found nearby S. Antioco’s church. Moreover in a zone called Mitzienas there are ruins of a Roman road and a bridge called ‘Ponte Vecchio’ (Old Bridge) made up of two brick arcades and a stone basement.
HISTORY During the Medieval age Palmas Arborea belonged to the Giudicato d’Arborea and was administrated by the Curatoria di Simaxis first and by the Marquisate of Oristano later. During the Giudicati period, Palmas often recurs in the peace treaty of 1388 between Eleonora d’Arborea and the king of Aragon through its three names: Palmas, Palmas de Ponte and Palmas Majore. Successively it belonged to the Nurra family until 1839.
CITY CENTRE Palmas Arborea is characterised, above all in the most ancient part, by short houses most of which are made of “ladiri” – raw bricks. The rest of the village has many beautiful villas that give Palmas an elegant and neat looks.
TYPICAL PRODUCTS The rediscovery of ancient traditional activities linked to the craft allows Palmas Arborea to have many typical products. Among them we must remember the embroidery made by particular techniques and and the production of baskets that is bounded with the exploitation of the local resources such as asphodels and rush.
GASTRONOMY The typical gastronomic products are homemade bread, cheese and good red wine.
Furthermore, there are the other typical Sardinian products such as malloreddus (type of pasta), roast lamb and piglet. There is a curiosity connected with the wine of Palmas Arborea: as Vittorio Angius, friar and writer from Cagliari, once said, owing to the water bad quality, red wine was the only remedy for thirst in Palmas Arborea.
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION OF “PAULI MAJORI” Besides the Centre for Environmental Education of Morgongiori, the first in the territory, there is the Pauli Majori one that derives its name from the pond. It is run by WWF Italia and it is endowed with a multimedia and a scientific room that offer different initiatives among which guided visits, documentation activities, naturalistic researches and conferences apt to increase the knowledge of local flora and fauna
CELEBRATIONS AND FAIRS The most important celebration in Palmas Arborea is on S. Antioco martyr’s day that is fifteen days after Easter. On that occasion the inhabitants prepare a bonfire called “su foghilloi” that is lit on the eve day. Another important element is the procession of decked out carts. In the past on this occasion there was a equestrian competition called “Su Pannu” that consisted of acrobatics shows by horsemen. Nowadays this tradition is still alive thanks to the tradition of the so-called “Pariglie palmaresi” (pairs of Palmas) when expert horsemen show their abilities through daring and spectacular feats. The celebrations for S. Antioco occur again during summer whereas in Tiria, a small hamlet close to Palmas Arborea, on the 7th of August there are the celebrations of Madonna delle Grazie.