No trip today. I have been here since last night for not having found anywhere to stay in Onani. I stayed at the b&b Una Notte Museum owned by Minni (nobody even remembers his real name here!), located inside the museum complex. Minni also has the bar next to the Town Hall, Su Tzilleri de Pigozzi, where I start the day having breakfast and meeting the Mayor Giuseppe, who together with the librarian Giusy who contacted me first took care of my hospitality.
Yesterday I realised here in Bitti there is a great deal to see and I get active immediately. A call to Piergiorgio who manages the Bitti Rex, and in a short time we are there, in the middle of an olive grove just outside the village, where the faithful reconstructions of many species of dinosaurs are scattered among the green, a perfect scenario for an exhibition of this type.
Back in the village I take a walk through the steep streets of the center, with granite houses, and going down the main road I find the Terrapintada ceramics workshop, where I come to realizs that they are the ones who produce the famous animals, one of which , the fox, has been hanging for many years by the window of my flat in Birmingham! They are Simonetta, Robert and Giulia, who show me their work and after listening to my story they give me the gift of a prototype for a new job: the apple!
After a good lunch offered by Fabio at Su Cantaru restaurant (thanks to the contact given by my new friend Pietro from Orosei) I continue the tour of the center, in which walls are affixed plaques with phrases of the local writer Michelangelo Pira. I go through small streets, passing three contiguous churches, the Chiesa delle Grazie, Santu Michelli and Sa Pietate. I have read that here in Bitti, including the rural ones, there are thirty churches! Continuing the tour I ran into various works by the local muralist Diego Asproni, including the one made right in front of Michelangelo Pira’s birthplace.
After the tour, I return to the Museum, a real Bitti district whose houses have been renovated and turned into a museum pole. First of all I visit the Ethnographic Museum, in which a house was set up exactly as it should have been at the beginning of the last century, and in which objects and tools of the various trades can be found. Photographs also show how the village was, and especially the San Michele hill, with the old church then demolished and replaced by Our Lady of Miracles, with green roofs visible from far away.
But the part of the museum that interests me most is that dedicated to the tenores singers, where I spend more than an hour reading, listening, and as I already did in Santu Lussurgiu, to analyze the various voices of the song thanks to the possibility to isolate the four voices of the Tenores of Bitti, now become the emblem of this type of singing (of which, however, there are other equally good groups) thanks to the famous production of Peter Gabriel’s Real World.
Before returning to dinner at Fabio’s, I go to Minni’s Su Tzilleri, for an aperitif, and I take advantage of a guitar on display to play a little.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Minni is passionate about Bitti and Bitt-les (Beatles). His Tzilleri de Pigozzi (this was his father’s nickname), opened in 1979, strikes me immediately for all the references to the Beatles, so when I discover Minni’s passion we start talking about the Fab Four. Minni shows me a photo and tells me when in 2005 they organised the Beatles Day here in Bitti, where they managed to bring the now legendary Pete Best, the first drummer then replaced by Ringo Starr. As soon as I see an acoustic guitar on display I take it, tune it and I play on Blackbird in honor of this Tzilleri!
Then Minni tells me about the history of the b&b Una Notte al Museo, a house that once belonged to the Tola family, nobles, that of the bittese poet Ciriaco Antonio Tola. Located in the historic center it is now inside the museum complex (hence the name) but remains the only private building. Inside the house there are a lot of objects and memories including an original copy of the first print of Tola’s poems, wanted by his nephew after having found them on papers after his grandfather’s death. Ah, these grandparents poets!