A symbolic monument of Olbia
Olbia is home to one of the most important religious monuments in Sardinia: the basilica of San Simplicio, dating back to the 12th century. Built in the Romanesque-Pisan style, it has a three-nave floor plan divided by arcades on pillars and columns. The capitals are decorated with plant and animal motifs, while the walls are decorated with frescoes dating back to the 15th century.
The exterior façades of the church were built with sloping walls, terminated by walls around the perimeter that are regularly interrupted at the base of the columns inserted in the façade. The front is decorated with a central rose window and a Romanesque-style portal, while the bell tower, about 18 metres high, was added later.
The basilica of San Simplicio is dedicated to the patron saint of Olbia who, according to tradition, was martyred during Diocletian's persecutions in 304 AD. The festivities are also linked to the saint, in mid-May, with events that include the procession accompanied by groups in Sardinian costumes from all over the island, and the evocative Palio della Stella (Star Palio) in Via Redipuglia.