131/377: Baunei



Today’s itinerary is split into two stretches, the first is short, to Santa Maria Navarrese, a hamlet of Baunei by the sea, the second, which I will do after lunch, all the way up to Baunei.

After the short first stretch of road, between low granite hills, I arrive in Santa Maria Navarrese where councilor Ivan welcomes me. We stop right in a park at the entrance, where a group of retired volunteers is treating the trunks of millennial olive trees. We salute them and climb up to the medieval church of Santa Maria, built by the princess of Navarre in honor of the Virgin Mary for having survived the sinking of her ship. Inside the church there must have been the tombs of the sailors who died in the shipwreck. It seems that in the altar a silver container was found which contained a saint’s finger as a relic, now kept in Lanusei.


Opposite the church is one of the most majestic olive trees, with a very large trunk. Not far away in the square there is an ancient oven that is still used for parties. Walking in a narrow street we pass the beautiful Villa Vigna, the first house of the hamlet dating back to the 1950s, and shortly after we arrive at the Spanish tower, well preserved. Ivan has the keys, so we go up to the terrace, from where you can admire all the view of the marina and the beach. We go down again, walk along the promenade and return to the central square. From here we take the car to get to a vantage point, where the trekking paths begin, which unfortunately I will not have time to do on this trip. The territory of Baunei is vast, and at least two of its beauties, the Golgo and the Perda Longa, I wanted to see … I plan to return here in the future.


After lunch at Il Pozzo restaurant, I say goodbye to Ivan and set off for Baunei. I face the climb on the highway 125. It is better than I thought. Unfortunately the weather is getting ruined and it is starting to drizzle. I arrive in the village and it is raining. Fortunately, I have a place to go, my friend Giuseppe’s house, which also hosted me in Chia during my day at Domus De Maria. The house is right in the historic center, where almost all houses are built with the typical white limestone of this area.


Despite the rain I decide to take a short walk in the village to take some pictures of characteristic views. I walk along the narrow streets, joined by steep stairs or descents, like in the many (many!) Sardinian villages perched in the side of a mountain. On the main road is the parish church of San Nicola, characteristic for an old entrance facade detached from the main body of the church. I walk until I reach a vantage point from which you can admire the whole valley down to the coast, but today the view is not the best because of the rain.


I return home and work until dinner time. After eating a bite at the Central Bar, I am joined by the members of the Montesantu polyphonic choir. Together with their director Giampriamo, whom I met at the Amelia concert in Tortolì, we head to the home of one of the members where the rehearsal takes place. The choir presents me with a selection of songs from their repertoire, and between a glass of wine and another I can also join them with my ukulele, spending an evening in joy.






Ivan, councilor, is the owner of a series of shops that offer local fast food products such as takeaway culurgiones, or hamburgers of local “zero kilometer” meat, or local milk and fruit shakes. The two stores were born as McPuddu (surname of Ivan that in Sardinian also means chicken) and McFruttu (surname of his mother, which means fruit).

With Ivan’s disbelief, a letter arrived from the McDonald’s legal team that distrusted him from using the Mc prefix in front of his names, as they could lead to confusion among customers. To avoid being involved in a court case against such a large multinational, Ivan added the word ‘censored’ and changed the prefix from Mc to De, much more in line with Sardinian surnames (even with the origin of my De-Sanay … if I had the idea of ​​fast food it would become McSanay … or translated altogether McCure … which is actually a surname of Scottish origin!).

Recently the two stores became Mec Puddu and Mec Fruttus, and they had a boom in customers, perhaps as a sign of solidarity after the affair with McDonald’s. Certainly there are no comparisons between the two: the Mc that sells products of dubious quality, or at least poorly digestible, while the “censored” De and then Mec that sells high quality local products … which would you choose?