Santu Lussurgiu, about 500 meters above the sea level, is one of the most important villages of the Montiferru region. Thanks to its strategical position, with mountains on the one side and not too far from the see on the other side, and to the abundance of water, assured by the presence of numerous perennial springs, it has been inhabited since ancient times. Archeological relics point to the existence of human settlements in the territory of Santu Lussurgiu since prehistory, as proved by the discovery of domus de janas, tombe di giganti e nuraghi dating back to the pre-Nuragic times. Other relics, as cinerary urns, are evidence of Punic and Roman settlements.
The village has medieval origins, although an exact dating about its genesis is not available. The first available reference is a parchment dating back to 1185, which had been rediscovered in the XV century within the Church of Santa Croce, originally dedicated to Saint Lussorio. The name of the saint in the local dialect coincides with the name of the village itself, Santu Lussulzu. A slow process of urbanization led to the development, around the Church of Santa Croce, of a village having the typical structure of old medieval centers, characterized by narrow and winding streets and row houses. Santu Lussurgiu maintains its center to this day and, with its cobbled lanes and ancient stone houses decorated according to the Gothic-Catalan style, the center of Santu Lussurgiu represents one of the most authentic in Sardinia.
At present, Santu Lussurgiu has slightly more than 2400 inhabitants. Its economy mainly relies on sheep-breeding and cattle-farming, especially of bovines. Special importance has the bovine breed “sardo-modicana”, renowned and highly esteemed, which led to the creation of the brand “Bue rosso”. Besides this, other traditional activities are farming and olive and grape growing, while industrial activities developed during the last decades within the food and the milk-and-dairy sectors. The cheese “casizolu”, obtained from the Bue Rosso cows’ milk, is the flagship of Santu Lussurgiu’s production and a Slow Food product. Other two among Santu Lussurgiu’s typical products are wine and a spirit called “abbardente”. Santu Lussurgiu’s handicraft is renowned in Sardinia for the craftsmanship of its artisans, among others carpenters, woodcarvers, blacksmiths, cutlers, tailors and cobblers.