129/377: Girasole



Given the short distance that I have to cover today, and the fact that there is no one waiting for me at Girasole, I take it easy this morning. I take the opportunity to do a complete check on my bike at Giuseppe’s Biketown shop, a friend of Maurizio from bnb Il Vicoletto. I leave my bike there and in return I receive a service mountain bike with which I will spend the day, without luggage, since I will go back to sleep tonight at Maurizio’s bnb, who kindly offered me availability for another night.


With a light backpack on my shoulders, I set off towards Arbatax, a hamlet of Tortolì, and from here I deviate towards the coast and pass by the Riva di Ponente beach, today a paradise on a warm day with little wind. I continue and enter the Tortolì fishpond, crossing a small bridge that cuts across the ponds, and following a white road that runs along the canal. Unfortunately the gate is closed at the end and I have to turn around.


Returning to the beach, I cover the entire pine forest behind it until I enter the territory of Girasole. They are not even 100 meters from the beach, which however belongs only to the territory of Lotzorai. Despite this, the town is a few kilometers away, which I cross in the middle of cultivated fields.


By a secondary road I find myself facing the white church of Nostra Signora di Monserrato, in front of which a small granite pillar with a cross on it acts as the center of a little roundabout. I continue along the well-kept streets of the village center. There is no one around. I arrive at a roundabout on the main road that crosses the village and I am struck by the sculpture of a nuragic bronze, a somewhat simplified bronze version similar to that of the warrior I found in Teti.


I continue until I meet a small square with gardens. Here I am struck by another metal sculpture, this time of a ship with rowers. I don’t know why it reminds me of the peoples who came from the sea and the shipwreck described by Sergio Atzeni in his ‘Passavamo sul Terra Leggeri’. I stop at a bar in this little park to eat and spend a few hours working on my blog. I set off for a last tour of Girasole, hunting for glimpses to photograph. I find some beautiful murals, a square with a strange spider-shaped sculpture made from industrial metal remains, and some nice granite houses. I find a couple doing some gardening, and I ask them if there is anything worth seeing and they advise me to go to the Medusa castle. I ask “but, doesn’t it belong to the municipality of Lotzorai?” And they tell me that part of it falls within the territory of Girasole. However, I decide to leave the castle tomorrow and leave for Tortolì, following the beautiful cycle path, which however stops at the municipal boundary.


Again tonight, I spend a nice evening with Maurizio, who in the meantime has worked all day to edit a small video with all the footage he made yesterday in my Tortolì day. And tonight we have dinner with his bnb with some dishes cooked by him. He tells me one day would like to compete for a Master Chef!





I spoke earlier of the ‘black list’ of 377, a list of negative aspects that I try not to think about during my trip, but which nevertheless are there. One of these is the famous parochialism between villages, which at times made me smile, sometimes it is accentuated in a joking manner even between neighboring villages, but sometimes it reaches worrying levels.

I recently received an email from a citizen of a municipality (don’t worry, it is not Girasole!) who invited me to pay close attention to the “cheeky” of the village next door, because they would have tried to present as theirs the beauties of his village. The email went on with all the specific description of the various municipal limits “from this stone to this is ours, from this tree to that wall is ours” etc etc. I read about 10 percent of the email, which continued in paragraphs and paragraphs on how these “cheeky” people lived on “reflected light” of the hard work done by his municipality. In conclusion, this person asked me to be precise in the things I described to do justice to the hard work of promotion that his village carried out. And at the end of the email all the cadastral maps with municipal limits were attached!

I never replied to this email. Obviously this citizen has not understood my project very well, which is not a tourist guide to the territories. If there is one thing I am not interested in, it is these physical and mental barriers. Indeed, the red thread that draws my path is a line that unites, and does not separate, all the municipalities of Sardinia, a bit like the ribbon of Maria Lai who wanted to unite all the citizens of Ulassai, among them, and to their land (symbolically, the mountain).

But the saddest thing is that in addition to the email to denigrate the village next door, there has never been an email to offer me hospitality, offer me a visit to the beauties of his territory, or any help. Once I arrived in his town I didn’t have any kind of reception or guidance, except from a person born and raised in another town and who came here specifically to host me in the house of his grandparents, who came from this town, who illustrated the territory with a very high level of knowledge, and a sensitivity certainly greater than that of the email sender.