- NE of Nuoro
Lonely Planet review for Monte Ortobene
About 7km northeast of Nuoro is the granite peak of Monte Ortobene, capped by its massive statue of the Redentore (Christ the Redeemer). It's a place of veneration, but it's also a favourite picnic spot for locals. On 29 August (starting bright and early at 06:00) the brightly clothed faithful make a pilgrimage here from the cathedral. Afterwards Mass is celebrated in the nearby Chiesa di Nostra Signora del Monte, and there's another late-morning Mass at the feet of the statue.
After the spirit has been taken care of, the thoughts of the Nuoresi turn to more terrestrial needs. Many fan out in the woods (full of ilex, pine, fir and poplar) and open picnic hampers, while others crowd into a couple of bars or grab a restaurant table.
The statue was raised in 1901 in response to a call by Pope Leo XIII to raise 19 statues of Christ around Italy to represent the 19 centuries of Christianity. Grazia Deledda was behind the push by Nuoro to be one of the sites. Since then the statue, which shows Christ trampling the devil underfoot, has been the object of pilgrims who attribute to it all manner of cures and interventions.