128/377: Tortolì


Today it is a beautiful and warm day and I leave early, to be able to stop at the various beaches between Bari Sardo and Tortolì. I walk along a stretch of 125 motorway and then enter the road that leads directly to the beach of Cea, which yesterday I saw from afar. Today I admire it in all its beauty, white sand, calm water and the two red rocks in the middle of the sea. I stay here for a while, then I set off again, following the coastal road that goes up for a while between more red rocks, and then descends towards the beaches of Tortolì, the Golfetto, the Piscinette where I stop to admire the beautiful granite smoothed by the sea, and then along the Lido di Orrì.

The road enters the inland to avoid the airport runway, which was opened for some logistic needs of the Arbatax paper mill, and which for a while also worked with commercial flights, but has been closed since 2011. I get to the entrance of Tortolì and at the center of the first roundabout there is a stone statue of a cyclist. I arrive in the center, where the Town Hall is located, closed today, and even here a giant bicycle dominates. It was here that the hundredth Giro d’Italia passed, a few years ago.

I don’t really know where I will be staying tonight, but given how things are going I don’t worry too much. I wander a little along the streets of the center, well cared for and I reach the long road that leads to Arbatax, now full of people sunbathing in the outside tables of the bars. I return to the center, find a restaurant and have lunch with a nice plate of spaghetti with clams and bottarga. Then I get to know that tonight right here in Tortolì there will be a charity concert and I decide to contact the organisers to be able to participate.

I contact the bnb Il Vicoletto, and when I arrive and see the wheel of a bicycle at the entrance I realise I have arrived in a special place. And in fact the owner Maurizio welcomes me very well and makes me feel at home. When I tell him about the project Maurizio gets excited and proposes me a bike ride around the area. He arms himself with a mobile phone stabiliser and takes his old bike. We head towards the coast. We arrive at the end of the track of the old airport that arrives right at the beach. After a bike ride along the strip, we take the road again and arrive at the Sughereta municipal park, full of oak trees and children who run here and there with their families. And Maurizio films.

We back to the road that leads to the San Gemiliano tower, with Maurizio continuing to film while trudging uphill with his gearless bike! We arrive at the tower, we climb over it through the lateral iron ladder. From here we can admire the whole coast. We continue to the beach of Porto Frailis, now deserted, and finally we arrive at Arbatax, an important hamlet of Tortolì, for various reasons, the port first, and in the past the paper mill, now abandoned. Not far from the port, in a side street, there is a beautiful mural dedicated to the hundredth Giro d’Italia, where we stop to take some pictures.

Then we head towards the famous square where the famous red rocks face, the red profidities that I recently crossed in different places, and where the historical editions of the Rocce Rosse Blues festival took place for many years, before the last edition moved to Osini. We walk along the pier of the harbor, full of murals, then we stop at the roundabout overlooking the little station of the Trenino Verde, and here too another sign of the Giro d’ItIalia with a beautiful antique bicycle in the center of the roundabout. On the way back we pass by the little station of Tortolì and we return to the bnb. It’s time to get ready for the concert.




Amelia Sorrentino, 7 years old, flew to the sky in December due to a rare intestinal disease. His father Corrado, a former swimming champion, founded a charity association dedicated to his daughter. Recently, twenty-five Sardinian artists have recorded a song dedicated to little Amelia, “The Dance of the Crumbs” to raise funds for the association.

A concert was organised today in Tortolì to raise additional funds. When I find out, I decide that this is a good opportunity to give some support for a good cause. I read the names of the participants, including the pianist Luca Nulchis, and I immediately get in touch with his sister Elena, a singer I’ve known for many years. Elena puts me in touch with the organisers, who are happy to have me as an unexpected last-minute guest!


The San Francesco Theater begins to fill up, the atmosphere is obviously very emotional, and on the stage a series of artists alternate, Luca Nulchis, Egidiana Carta, the Sant’Anna choir directed by Giampriamo Incollu and many others including some very young and promising musicians. When it’s my turn, I go on stage, dressed as a cyclist, and quickly explain why this bizarre outfit for a concert. The public, who probably did not expect my presence, appreciates my dedication of a short piece with the bass ukulele for little Amelia. At the end of the concert Maurizio and I, who was present to support both me and his mother who sang in the choir, return to the bnb to have a bite to eat, in company of another bnb guest and a friend of Maurizio, and once again I feel satisfied by a day full of humanity.