San Sperate does not preserve a significant number of architectural monuments, basically for two reasons. First, the local buildings were initially made with poor materials, such as mud and thatch. Second, the Campidano area has always been inhabited. Every single space, building, and materials were repurposed and transformed throughout the years. Following just some of the centuries-old buildings that have a historical significance.
Church of San Giovanni Battista
The building in of Catalan Gothic style (between the 12th and 14th centuries) leans on one of the 4 Punic necropolises of San Sperate, which in turn was built on the remains of the Nuragic settlement. Until the seventeenth century, the building was a parish church, and until 1892 a burial site was kept there. The first written records of its existence date back to 1589. Romanesque (XI-XII century) and Byzantine period (VI-XIII century) structures are integrated throughout. The church of San Giovanni gives its name to the entire neighborhood.
Church of Santa Lucia
The area around the church of Santa Lucia, like the San Giovanni neighborhood, has taken on its name from the church. Here again, the existing church was built on the remains of ancient Punic and Roman settlements. It has a Baroque style with some Byzantine inserts. Further evidence of cultural stratification is the presence of a well from the Nuragic period, still active and clearly visible inside the church. In the early 1980’s, one of the most prominent local artists, Raffaele Muscas, created for the church a touching and impressive via Crucis that is well worth a visit.
The parish church of San Sperate Martyr
After 1616, as a result of finding the alleged relics of the African martyr Saint Sperate, the parish church was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman-imperial thermal station. It was comprised of a single aisle with two chapels on each side, a deep rectory, and a square bell tower. Despite its peripheral position, it is the main church of the village.
Villa Tola was built in the nineteenth century in a neoclassical style designed by Gaetano Cima, the architect who conceived the Civil Hospital of Cagliari “San Giovanni di Dio”, the churches of San Francesco in Oristano, and the Santissima Vergine Assunta in Guasila. The building, made of ladiris (adobe, a sort of bricks made by mud and thatch ), was also influenced by the traditional architecture of Campidano`s dwellings.