Sardina's cultural heritage stretches back to pre-history, as can be seen in the mysterious ancient stone ruins of Santa Christina which are more than 3,800 years old, and feature a sacred well and underground shrine.
Ever since then the island has been a meeting point between the cultures of northern Europe and the exotic East. Signs of this past remain in the ruins of the 730BC Phoenician port of Tharros, much of which is now excavated and restored. The Romans spent time in Sardinia too, and 28km from Oristano lies the old spa town of Forum Traiani built around hot sulphur springs. A modern spa complex lies beside the older Roman remains and 19th century buildings.
For a more modern cultural experience, the village of San Sperate lies around 25km inland and is known as a living museum The walls and buildings are home to over 320 paintings which began to appear in the 1960s and continue to this day. The village is easily reachable by bus from Cagliari. In Cagliari itself you can find two art museums of note. The Siamese Art Museum exhibits an extensive collection of art works, crafts, silverware and more from South East Asia from the 11th century onwards. The National Picture Gallery of Cagliari has works by Sardinia's own Pietro Cavaro, alongside other fine examples of Sardinian art, pottery and weaponry.