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The territory of the Arbus council is one of the largest and most varied in Sardinia. It stretches along the Southern western coast of the island, descending from Capo Frasca to Capo Pecora, along 47 kilometers of coastline.
It includes the Arcuentu Mountain range to the east, and an intermediary hilly sector, which hosts the impressive mining zone of Montevecchio, Ingurtosu and Gennamari, which gently decline towards the sea.
The town rises some 300 meters above sea level, distances 15 km from the coast, and is impressively set upon the “Sa Conca de su Monti” slope, and surrounded by numerous rocky peaks, pale in color (albus) which is where it got its name from.
However, according to other theories, it derives from “arbor” due to the great number of trees.
Or even arabus, as the entire area was repeatedly invaded in the past by Arabs during frequent raids along the Sardinian coasts.
The town is a typical mountain town, in the oldest part, with narrow and winding streets that branch off on both sides of the main street; stone houses made from rough cut stone (ladiri), typical of the area still stand.
In the second half of the 800s, with the development of the mining industry, Arbus became one of the largest mining centers in Sardinia and witnessed a period of great demographic increase.
When the mines closed, the economy became based on animal rearing, crafts and fishing, and activities linked to seaside resorts and cultural tourism is on the rise.