Sant’Anna Arresi is situated at the centre of the Sulcis territory and is a charming village with myriads of attractions. Thus, it is not by chance, that over the last decades, it has undergone an increase in tourism. The toponym is derived from the union of the name of the Patron Saint with the name of an ‘a tancato’ Nuraghe in the centre of the inhabited centre, next to the Parish Church (dating back to halfway through the nineteenth century, which has today been replaced by a new building for worship, not far from the previous one). Human settlement on the territory, as regards available documentation, dates back to the Nuraghic period, thus to the Bronze Age, as is demonstrated by the numerous nuraghi and “giants’ tombs” found here. However, this area also assumed a great importance in the Phoenician-Punic Age and then the Roman period, for the convenient harbours offered by the landing places along the coast. Today’s inhabited centre came into existence in 1700 around the Arresi Nuraghe, which still dominates the main square, with the first group of rural houses which slowly but surely grew, until the village reached its present size.
The Arresi Nuraghe, as already mentioned, rises in the urban centre between the two churches ( the old and the new) dedicated to Sant’Anna. The structure is of the ‘tancato’ kind, that is, built with a main tower to the north and a secondary tower to the south, joined by walls that enclose a courtyard.
A Nuraghic fountain can also be visited not far from here. Another Nuraghe of certain interest is the ‘Coi Casu’ Nuraghe, situated at just a few kilometres from the village and still under excavation even though it can be visited. It is a complex nuraghe (whose shape is not yet clear), surrounded by the remains of a large village. Along the same road for the Coi Casu Nuraghe, we find the two main lagoons of the wetland area of Sant’Anna Arresi: the Maestrale and the Is Brebeis lagoons. At the end of this coastal lagoon strip, home to various kinds of waterfowl like stilt plovers, cormorants, crested cormorants and even flamingos, lies the headland of Porto Pino, with the seaside resort of the same name. This is a vast area with a pine forest of around 90 hectares, where holidaymakers’ homes are often hidden by the vegetation. As well as the Aleppo pine which grows spontaneously in the area, we also find two kinds of juniper trees, as well as the rare prickly oak in bush form. However the area’s major attraction is undoubtedly the beach of Porto Pino, with its kilometres of fine snow-white sand.
On the border with the Commune of Teulada, it rises into 30 m high dunes that provide an incomparably beautiful scenic backdrop to the deep blue sea. The main Feast of Sant’Anna Arresi is dedicated to the Patron Saint and is celebrated on 26th July, with a procession in which the statue of the Saint is accompanied by folkloristic groups from nearby villages. However the most fashionable and famous event is the ‘Ai confini tra Sardegna e jazz”, the jazz festival which in the months of August and September for more than 20 years has attracted large crowds to watch the performances by artists of national and international fame, in one of the most prestigious events of the Sardinian summer.