It’s spring. The real one. I mean, you don’t know how to dress. And today I decide for short sleeves and shorts even if there is a slight cool breeze. A few scattered clouds, on one side, but it should not rain. I cycle up the steep slope that climbs towards the granite mountains. I’m heading towards Gallura, a new area of this project. I pass under the futuristic overpass of the 131bis road, and I arrive at the first hamlets of Padru, Graniadolzu, Budò and Biasi, and then in the middle of a beautiful cork oak forest.
I am reached near the entrance of the village by Suzy, who is following my project from the beginning (because, she explains to me later, she had the idea of visiting all the Sardinian forest guard stations!) I put the sticker in the entrance sign, I take the photo, then I take the daily selfie, the photo of the Town Hall and I arrive in the centre, in the beautiful little square with the war memorial, where Suzy lives.
I set my things and immediately make a brief tour of the relatively new houses. In fact, Padru has a fairly recent history, it was born at the end of the 18th century and became Municipality only in 1996 (it was once part of Buddusò).
We take the car for a tour of the area. We head to the slopes of Monte Sa Pianedda, so called because of the presence of small plateaus, rich in water springs. It was an area where coal was produced. From here we can admire Babbevera, the great green valley, beyond which stands the granite Monte Nieddu. Then we arrive at the Santu Miali archaeological area, where in the middle of the vegetation there are the remains of a particular Romanesque church with two apses, and the remains of two medieval tombs.
We go back to the village and stop at the beautiful little church of San Michele right next to the current cemetery. Then we take the car again to drive towards Monte Nieddu. We pass the bridge over the Rio Mannu (will it be the same one I crossed in Lodè or another ??) The whole territory is colored by the yellow broom in bloom. Going up, the view expands to Olbia and to the island of Tavolara, a limestone island that I have seen for some days and that will characterize all the next steps. Around us, granites of the most incredible shapes, a special one shaped like a fish!
We go back down into the valley and start the tour of the hamlets. These are the oldest parts of the municipal area, even medieval. We enter Sotza, Cuzzola, Su Tirialzu, Sos Runcos, Sas Enas, and then we arrive at Sa Pedra Bianca, so called because of the presence of very white granites all around. We stop at the church, in front of which the view embraces from Montalbo to the whole of Gallura. We are very high, it snows a lot here in winter. And the houses are very old, all in granite, many abandoned. The last village we visit is Sa Serra, where we stop at the small church Sant’Elia, surrounded by beautiful centuries-old olive trees.
For lunch we stop at the hamlet of Biasì, at the home of Suzy’s sister-in-law Rosalba, a skilled cook who prepared local specialties, antipasti, ‘sa mazza frissa’, gallurese soup, roast lamb, ‘rivea’ (the ‘cordula’) , ‘sebada’ and ‘formaggelle’. I can barely get up again. After the coffee we take the car for a last ride, to the hamlet of Casteddu, where we stop at a farmhouse full of ancient plants. We are under Monte Nieddu and from here you can see the granite rocks where Roman settlements were found, from which probably the name Casteddu (Castle).
Once back in the village, Suzy gets ready to go to work and I can finally rest a little and try to work on the blog, which is now left behind! In the evening I go to the pizzeria La Fermata where Suzy works, along with Rosalba and her husband Antonello, where we enjoy a good pizza made by their son Simone. I leave with a promise to return to Padru one day. A promise that I am now making in almost all villages, and that would cost me another year in Sardinia … who knows, maybe …
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Every morning a person gets up between 7 and 8 am and:
– prepare their luggage
– have breakfast
– (publish an article on the blog)
– says goodbye the host
– leave by bicycle
– ride under all weather conditions
– arrives in a new village
– meet someone, often many people, sometimes schoolchildren
– sees things, often many, archaeological sites, museums, artisan laboratories, factories
– has lunch
– walks through the center of the village
– meet someone, often many people, sometimes schoolchildren PART 2
– sees things, often many, archaeological sites, museums, artisan laboratories, factories PART 2
– (writes music, keeps a diary)
– (prepare emails to send to the Municipalities, send emails, messages)
– has dinner
– (meets someone, often many people, sometimes schoolchildren PART 3)
– (sees things, often many, archaeological sites, museums, artisan laboratories, factories PART 3)
– download the photos and videos of the day
– backs up data
– prepare three posts on Instagram for the next day
– (prepares weekly posts on Facebook, thank you posts, search for hospitality)
– (composes and records a musical fragment)
– (composes the text for the blog post)
– (translates the blog text into English)
– (prepare all the photos for the blog)
– (upload material to the blog)
– charges all the electronic equipment
– go to sleep on a new bed
Who are they?
PS surely I forgot something …