A combination of colours, costumes and traditions enlivens the religious events in the towns of Villanova and leads to the discovery of Sardinia.
In August, Villanova Monteleone celebrates the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of the shepherds, San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), in the characteristic Shrine of Interrios, a few kilometres away from the town. During the celebrations the statue of the saint is carried in procession from the village to the Church of Interrios, accompanied by the obrieri (presidents of the Sardinian Guild of Arts and Crafts) and the shepherds with a long procession of adorned horses in a spontaneous exhibition of flags and traditional costumes. The young men, eager to show their riding and horsemanship skills to the girls, ride ponies bareback. The religious Festival of the Marys, celebrated in the rustic site in the countryside of Villanova, is still more intimate and charming.
In Padria it is possible to enjoy the festivities in honour of Santa Giulia, in the church dedicated to her in May. The religious festival is characterised by a solemn procession accompanied by horsemen and a mass celebrated by the priests of Forania and often presided over by the Bishop. The festivities in honour of S. Antonio da Padova (St. Anthony of Padua) are characterised by the lightening of Su Fogu followed by a procession with the relics of the saint.
The Shrine of Nostra Signora di Bonu Ighinu (Our Lady of Bonu Ighinu) offers an exciting view; it is located in the territory of Mara, not far from the ruins of the castle of Bonvehì. According to legend, the little country church was built on the site where the Virgin Mary probably appeared to ask the people of Mara and the neighbouring villages, in perpetual conflict with each other, to re-establish the rules of Bonu Ighinu, of good neighbourliness. From that moment, they gave it the name of Bonuighinu that is good neighbourliness.