Today is an awful day. It’s very cold, 6 degrees, some say that in Fonni is snowing. And a furious wind is blowing. No cycling trip today. I left the bike in Buddusò, tonight I’ll interrupt my project to go to Olbia and catch a plane to go to play in Birmingham. On the way back then I will cycle the Buddusò-Osidda section and then continue towards Nule.
Maria Antonietta, with whom I spent the day yesterday in Buddusò, kindly offered to take me to Olbia, and spend half a day in Osidda with me. So we take the car under the icy mistral that shakes us, and travel the 7 kilometers amidst the green and rich countryside of cork oaks.
We pass the bridge over the river Tirso, which is not far from here, and shortly after, before entering the village, we find the indication for the Nuraghe Usanis. Challenging the icy drizzle and a strong wind, we pass through wet and thorny fields and climb the main tower, still well preserved and with little excavation, catching sight of the entrance with a granite lintel. From here on the view of the surrounding mountains is incredible but the wind is too strong to stay long.
We enter the village and park in the main square overlooking the town, a beautiful modern building, in granite like most of the buildings around. The town is very small, around the main road, 240 inhabitants. We walk along the narrow streets around the square, with well restored old granite houses, and characteristic views.
We stop in front of an imposing building in granite, the Delogu palace, currently a b&b, on which door hangs a sign that shows a telephone number to call. I dial the number, a lady answers me, I ask if the building can be visited. I am told “give me 5 minutes”. From a nearby street comes Signora Peppina, the owner, who opens the building and guides us through its 4 floors. Everything is beautifully kept, with antique objects and simple but very elegant guest rooms. We climb up to the panoramic tower, on which we cannot stay because of the wind, but we can admire the roofs of the houses with ancient tiles. Peppina tells us the story of the building, which was built by a certain Andrea Sanna (of whom there is also an ancient photo hanging on the wall), and then passed to the Delogu family.
Peppina’s accent confirms that we are here in the Nuoro area. In fact, Osidda is the last town north of the province of Nuoro, on the border with Gallura. Once thanked for the availability and greeted, Maria Antonietta and I head to the upper part of the town, where the parish church of Sant’Angelo is located, where we enter for a quick visit. After that we get back in the car and leave for Olbia. I will cycle back from here in a week, hoping that the weather is going to be better!
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
We are still in the car trying to figure out where to go to see the nuraghe. A car comes in the opposite direction, stops, and a man of a certain age stops and looks at us frowning and with an inquiring expression without uttering a word. If I didn’t know the Sardinians I have to admit that I would have worried, and instead, lowering the window, I ask if it is possible to arrive at the nuraghe and how. The expression of the man changes all of a sudden, he relaxes, “of course you can go, you have to jump the wall but there is the ladder, go, no one will tell you anything, the nuraghe is there to be visited!”
Near here passes a path included in the Tramudas project, the transhumance routes. Through this project the Gal (Local Action Group) of the Barbagie, Manrolisai, Mare Monti and Ogliastra, want to enhance the paths of the wandering shepherds who brought the cattle to warmer grazing areas during the winter. Although today the transhumance still takes place but with transport on the vehicles, these itineraries preserve a considerable naturalistic and anthropic interest such as to be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.