Today again, overcast day. The route is long. I cycle around the Limbara mount complex, taking a road closed to traffic, all uphill, which then becomes a pebbly country road. All around granites. At the top I look for the entrance to a cycle path, the old converted railway track. Through here the route is much longer but the path is beautiful because the rise is gentle and above all it passes through woods, valleys and in the midst of beautifully shaped granite rocks, dug just to let the train pass through. On the route there are also various stations, now abandoned.
Shortly before entering the village, I stop at a rock called Sa Conca Fraicata, the shrunken cave, a cavity in granite enclosed by a wall, probably used in the past as a refuge for people or animals. I arrive in the village and I am welcomed by Roberta, sister of Giovanni, one of the crazy cyclists who went from Cagliari to Olbia aboard a Graziella bike, I mentioned him on the Luogosanto article, and whom I met last summer in Cagliari, where he currently lives. Roberta instead runs a bakery/shop here in Calangianus. She settles me in a nice little house she owns just above the shop, provides me with sandwiches for lunch and leaves me in total autonomy. I take this opportunity to rest and do everything calmly and in my own time!
In the afternoon, I walk around the village. Like all the Gallura villages, here too the buildings stone is granite. I observe several historic buildings, very elegant and with wrought-iron balconies. I get to the main square, where the monument statue to the war fallen stands in front of beautiful buildings. From here I continue to the Cork Museum, located in a beautiful restored historic building. Here one of the most important activities in this area is given prominence. I join a guided tour in English, to hear about the various phases of cork collection and production, up to admire the final products, corks but also other artifacts.
I continue the exploration of the village, among its narrow streets, and I arrive at a square entirely in granite where there are two churches, also in granite, the parish church of Santa Giusta from 1500, with a high bell tower, and next to it the small small church of Santa Croce.
I climb to the upper part of the town, from where I can admire the view of the territory, although the day is very gray, like granite. I conclude the evening at dinner with Roberta and her parents, eating excellent meat, vegetables and homemade desserts, and talking about dialects and Sardinian language.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
By now on this journey I have surrendered to the complexity of the Sardinian linguistic question, languages rather than dialects, local variations, by geographical area but also by village, linguistic islands, and so on and so forth. I’ve been in Gallura for a while now. Here people say “we speak Gallurese not Sardinian”, and my doubt is always what they mean by Sardinian. Gradually I realised that when they talk about Sardinian, they mean Logudorese. The Nuorese would be a central Sardinia variant of the Logudorese, while our Campidanese would in effect be another variant of Sardinian, so different that sometimes it is not really understood by the inhabitants of these areas, and of central Sardinia. The Gallurese in reality would be an extension in Sardinia of the southern Corsican dialect, a fairly extensive linguistic intrusion, to which the Sassarese and the Maddalenino can also be ascribed. Not to mention the Algherese dialect, a Catalan intrusion, the Carlofortino, a Genoese intrusion, and the Cagliari dialect, the Casteddaio, a kind of mix of Campidanese, Italian and unique features of the various districts of Casteddu. In short, Sardinia is turning out to be like a real Babel!!!