Today’s journey is one of the longest. In fact from Orune I have to go back to Bitti, but I take an internal road that will prevent me from going back down to the village and then up again. Through endless countrysides, I pass near the Nuraghic site of Su Romanzesu, in the Municipality of Bitti which I have not been able and I will not be able to visit on this tour, and I continue, also finding the crossroads for Buddusò and Osidda, which I will visit later. I continue through cork oaks and arrive at Mamone, where there is a penal colony. Shortly afterwards one of the strongest descents of the journey begins, a series of hairpin bends that open onto the valley, beyond which one already sees Lodè.
Once past the Riu Mannu river (yet another ‘big’ river) the hard climb to the village begins but they are only a few kilometers. When I arrive, Councilor Enedina and the librarian Franca welcome me. Parked the bike in the library, we have a coffee at the bar, and Enedina takes me around the village. The center is well maintained, almost all houses in stone. In the main square there is the parish church of Sant’Antonio, and on the other side a wall is completely painted with a beautiful mural depicting the local carnival mask, unique in its kind, and similar to some Greek masks. It is no coincidence that the mural was created by Greek muralists invited here by the Municipality.
We continue in the narrow streets of the center, we pass Su Porzu, an old portico between buildings, and we arrive at an area where the houses are built directly on the outcrop rock. Enedina shows me some of these acquired by the Municipality and restructured. A museum of agro-pastoral culture was set up inside them, and the buildings also act as a welcoming gate for the Tepilora park, which embraces the territories of Bitti, Lodè, Torpè and Posada.
We continue with the visit of three medieval churches, a short distance from each other: the church of the Immaculate, the Madonna del Rimedio, and the recently renovated church of Sa Itria. And before having lunch at the Sports Bar of Cristina and Pietro, we visit the domus de janas called Sa Janna de Oriavulache (but the locals call it Sas Calas de Sos Naneddos), which is located in private land (fortunately owned by Enedina’s family!) Inside there are candles, I take this opportunity to light them and give the cavity a suggestive atmosphere.
After lunch I settle in Peppino’s house, a nice retired Carabinieri marshal who welcomed the Mayor’s invitation to find me an accommodation. I take this opportunity to rest a little and in the late afternoon I go to Loredana and Paolo’s Bar Centrale to work on the blog (which just can’t keep up with my rides!) Here later, Enedina, her husband Stefano, and the Mayor Graziano join me for an aperitif.
It’s getting dark and we decide to join the Via Crucis procession that is taking place in the village. It is already the second to which I watch after that of Orosei. The illuminated streets are very suggestive, and red candles adorn every corner. It starts raining. Umbrellas are opened and people continue to parade, in steep climbs and descents. Before the procession arrives at the church, we leave the group and enter a very narrow passage between houses and a rock wall, which takes us back to the center, where we conclude the evening at the Su Recreu pizzeria.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Lodè is one of the four Municipalities that host the Tepilora Natural Park, which starts from the forests in the territory of Bitti, passing through the territory of Torpè and ending at the mouth of the Rio Posada in the homonymous municipality. The fulcrum is Mount Tepilora, a rocky peak that stands out on the territory, surrounded by thick woods. The whole area was reforested in the 1980s and in 2005 the Park was established to protect this area and its natural resources. The area is rich in springs and the typical vegetation is made up of holm oaks, ‘corbezzolo’ trees, junipers and cork trees. Among the fauna present are the Sardinian hare, wild boar, fox, fallow deer, mouflon and the golden eagle that inhabits the peaks of Mount Tepilora.
“Paraulas” is the title of the vocabulary of the Lodè Sardinian dialect (Lodinu) written by Gino Farris, here known as “Zineddu de Lanterna”. More than 13,000 words and local idioms collected over many years to preserve words that are being lost. In every village where I go I find variations not only of accents but also of individual words, in the sound or in the letters that compose them. Perhaps to say that there are 377 variants is risky but someone claims that there are certainly more than 100. And for me that I don’t even know well one of them, this journey is also becoming a journey in a Babel in which I am slowly starting to understand something!