The Festival of San Salvatore and the barefoot run

The festival of San Salvatore, which takes place the 1st week-end of September, is one of the oldest and most peculiar events in Sardinia. On the 1st Saturday of September, at dawn, a group of around a thousand runners, all barefoot young men wearing a white robe, carry the simulacrum of San Salvatore from the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cabras to the rural church of San Salvatore. The church of San Salvatore, situated in close proximity to Tharros near Oristano, was built over an ancient underground sanctuary dedicated to the pagan worship of water. The seven kilometre run is repeated on the Sunday in the opposite direction to return the statue of the Saint to the church in Cabras. The celebration recalls the saving of the statue during the 1500s’ after an attack by the Saracens. In the evening, celebrations continue with grilled fish and Vernaccia, a sherry-like wine typical of this region, for everybody.

Cabras is in the province of Oristano and is easily reached from either end of the island via national route S.S.131, at the exit for Oristano leave the dual carriageway and follow the signposts to Cabras.

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