What I have always feared about this trip happened today: not to be eaten by a sheepdog, but to get sick. Too much food? Too much sausage? Cold? Widespread virus? Whatever the cause, I spent a dreadful night, and this morning starts with nausea and weakness.
Lodine, you who are the first Sardinian municipality to make a contribution towards my project, you do not deserve a day like that. I can hardly reach you cycling the few miles uphill that separate you from Gavoi, I throw myself in the bar of the main street, drinking a hot herbal tea waiting for the bed & breakfast to finish preparing my room. The only thing I want is to throw myself in bed. The mayor comes to greet me and invite me for dinner, an invitation that unfortunately I will have to decline with the promise to meet again at the end of the project.
And the day is spent in bed.
At least the next day, before leaving for Fonni, I dedicate a little time to you, oh Lodine, a village from which dozens of times I have passed through going from Gavoi to Fonni or Mamoiada, and where I stopped countless times to admire one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever found in Sardinia: along that little uphill, immediately after the bar I named earlier, which leads to the church of San Giorgio, you get to a point where you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains, the valley of Lake Gusana and the village of Lodine, in front of which you can see Fonni too. And as if this were not enough, you can climb a little higher up on the top of a ruined nuraghe. It seems to be on the top of the world. At least of this little big world that is Lodine.
And before I set off to Fonni I admire your street art, the multicolored crib, the strange sculptures, and the murals depicting almost exclusively twentieth century characters, from the Blues Brother, to Frida Kalo, passing by Fabrizio De Andrè, Nelson Mandela, Bob Marley and many others.
Surely I will see you again Lodine!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Antonella, the owner of the b&b, takes care of my state of health, puts the molleton sheets in bed and turns on the heating. ‘Stay in the warmth,’ she tells me. My stomach is upset and I go to bed. I sleep for a few hours. When I descend, still with nausea, Antonella asks me if I want to eat home-made ravioli, sausage and a very good cheese. At the mere thought I get sick and I ask for an infusion but Antonella insists ‘look, they are good, all healthy stuff that makes you heal!’ I gentlely decline, and finally I am offered a nice herbal tea. I go back to bed. Dinner time. I return downstairs. This time I decide to eat something. Antonella and her husband prepare a light dinner with potatoes and slices of beef. ‘Taste the sausage and the ham, they are delicious!’ insists Antonella, but I have her husband on my side, and I can finally save myself only by adding a slice of melted cheese on bread. And there was evening and there was morning. Breakfast. I feel a bit better. Antonella offers me homemade jam from their apples, very good, thanks to the rains of this year, then yogurt, fruit, sweets (pabassini) and finally ‘you have to taste our ham and sausage!’ … I accept only half, a taste the prosciutto crudo, and I must admit, it is very good. Before leaving, Antonella puts in a bag three pabassini (‘sure you do not want four?’) and other cakes with honey, almonds and orange (‘that are really healthy!’). I’m stuffed, ate too much, hoping I will not get a stomach congestion on the way, but with the guilt of not having eaten their sausage! I will certainly have to go back to Lodine!