Ballao rises from a wide bend in the Flumendosa river, the first Sardinian river from which water flows. Together with its tributary called Stanali characterises the hilly landscape, covered with cork oak woods, holm oaks and Mediterranean scrub. Ballao is a village of 800 inhabitants of the historical region of Gerrei, on the border between southern Sardinia and Barbagie.
The fluvial landscape is its greatest attraction: among rocks of unusual shapes and enchanting natural pools, immersed in rich vegetation, you can observe grey herons, pheasants, mallards, bee-eater birds and, in the river’s waters, tortoises and eels. Near the village you can visit the Cortirosas mine, today a symbol of industrial archeology, which is part of the Geominerario di Sardegna park. Here is where antimony was once extracted and today you can see the ruins of its “laveria” (mining washery), flotation plant and electric generator.
What to visit
- The sacred well temple of Villa Clara and Funtana Cuberta
- The churches of Santa Croce, San Pietro, San Rocco and Santa Maria Nuraxi, which date back to the Byzantine era
- The banks of the Flumendosa and its valley
- The Cortirosas mine