Easy route today, about ten kilometers of plain and slight descent, through cork oaks, and as I approach Buddusò some granite quarries also appear, an important activity for this area, although in recent years the production has dropped considerably.
I get to the town where Maria Antonietta, met in my day 9 in Ollolai, is waiting for me. With her Angela, councilor for culture, and Luca, an archaeological guide. After a coffee in the center together with Gianni, president of the Civic School of Music, we go to the archaeological site of Noelle. Here is a beautiful nuraghe, in which we enter and climb to the top, with Luca explaining the structure of the various rooms and their uses. He also tells me that perfectly spherical stones were found here, probably bullets that the first inhabitants used with slings to defend themselves from external attacks.
Not far from here, in the middle of the cork trees, two tombs of the giants, and a curiosity that shows us Maria Antonietta, the “smallest dolmen in the world”, a stone slab resting horizontally on two smaller and stumpier ones. We return to the town for an aperitif before heading to the central Logudoro Restaurant where we expect a lunch based on delicious appetizers, pasta and pork (we give up on the sebadas!!)
In the afternoon Maria Antonietta takes me for a ride in the historic center of the town, full of beautiful granite buildings, some of which are uninhabited, others are well restored. In the village you can admire many granite statues, works by sculptors from all over the world who took part in a sculpture symposium that took place annually in Buddusò between 1984 and 2004 (I remember now Teulada, another town where I found something similar). Still inside the town, in the upper part, we visit the Domus de Janas of San Sebastiano, almost attached to houses (a bit like I saw in Nughedu Santa Vittoria).
The day has ruined and it started to rain, the temperatures dropped considerably. We go to the dam of Sos Canales, a dam on the Tirso, the longest river in Sardinia that is born right near here, in the area of Sa Pianedda, on the border with Bitti. In the rain we can admire the waters surrounded by woods. We return to the town, this time for a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here Pieropaolo guides us through the exhibition of sculptures, those in wood inside the structure, while those in granite are outside. Here too, as in the town centre, the sculptures are works by the participants in the sculpture symposium. We focus on the wooden ones, some quite figurative while others are very abstract and can be interpreted in different ways, especially those made by overseas sculptors.
We end the tour by visiting the little country church of Santa Reparata, in the cork oak fields in the direction of Alà dei Sardi, from where I came this morning. All around the church, granite tables. Here in fact a feast is held once a year, attracting thousands of people. Some members of the committee are here to do some work, and proudly show us the kitchens, in nearby farmhouses, with an impressive number of giant-sized pots, necessary to provide food for all the participants!
We conclude the evening for dinner at Francesca and Gianni’s Hotel La Madonnina, which my friend Gianni (another, the third today!) met in my day 2 in Oliena but originally from Buddusò, kindly booked me. Here with Maria Antonietta (with whom we ordered two soups to balance the burly lunch) Angela and her husband (Gianni…again!!) join us for dinner.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
In my day 9 in Ollolai, I received a notification of a tag on Facebook from a certain Maria Antonietta who I do not know: it is the photo of the entrance sign of the village with my sticker and with the words “following Sebastiano Dessanay’s footsteps”. I worry a little when I get the message of this stranger who wants, in her words “get to know you and shake your hand”. On a very rainy but busy day, we manage to meet. This woman with a Milanese accent introduces herself. In fact, Maria Antonietta was born in Milan but her parents are from Buddusò, and despite living in Milan, she manages to return to Sardinia every weekend. She is passionate about archeology and every time she comes back she visits the various sites, alone or with an archeology group, she goes to see events, she simply visits places she doesn’t know. From Ollolai, I will meet her again several times, at Gavoi during my event at the Fiore Sardo Museum, and then by chance (?) in Galtellì in a pizzeria with the archeology group, in Olbia (where she owns a family home) and today here in Buddusò … Antoniè, have I forgotten any place?