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“There is nothing to see in Nuoro: which to tell the truth, is always a relief. Sights are an irritating bore,” wrote D.H. Lawrence of the town he visited in 1921, though he was impressed by its appearance – “as if at the end of the world, mountains rising sombre behind”. NUORO’s superb backdrop – beneath the soaring peak of Monte Ortobene and opposite the sheer and stark heights of Monte Corrasi – is still a major part of its appeal. Some absorbing museums and a vibrant old centre bisected by the pedestrianized Corso Garibaldi are added reasons to spend time here.

Evident everywhere are reminders of Nuoro’s distinguished literary and artistic heritage, notably in connection with the locally born Sebastiano Satta (1867–1914), Sardinia’s best-known poet; Grazia Deledda (1871–1936), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926 in recognition of a writing career devoted to recounting the day-to-day trials and passions of local life; and the modernist sculptor Francesco Ciusa (1883–1949). With its transport connections, Nuoro also makes a useful gateway to Sardinia’s mountainous interior.

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