179/377: Trinità d’Agultu e Vignola



The weather has definitely improved. A long journey awaits me today. And the first part is very hard. In fact, I decide to “climb over” the mountain passing by the road that goes up to the wind farm behind Bortigiadas. They are only a few kilometers, but for the last stretch I have to push my bike because of the heavy slope. Once at the top, however, the view is breathtaking. On one side the valley below Bortigiadas, on the other the plain that descends towards the coast which is not yet visible. From here I descend to Bonaita, a hamlet of Aggius. Then I cycle across the long straight road that cuts through the Valley of the Moon, between its granite boulders of the most bizarre shapes, and slowly go up a long uphill until finally the majestic view of the coast opens up, which I abandoned some time ago in the locality Vignola Mare (municipality of Aglientu).


I arrive at Trinità d’Agultu, at the top of a hill overlooking the coast a few kilometers away, and I stop in the beautiful central square, where the councilor Laura joins me, who will take me around for the day. The first stops are in middle and elementary schools, where I tell my story to children, who as always remain fascinated by this musician-traveler. Even the teachers are intrigued, who are particularly lively here, more than children, it must be the end of the academic year!


After a good lunch at the Hotel Da Paolino, run by Pietro, we drive to the coast. Laura explains to me that the municipality has about 42 kilometers of coastline. Vignola indicates the coastal area where there are several locations (not to be confused with the aforementioned Vignola Mare). The first stop is at Isola Rossa, once a colony of Ponzese fishermen, today an important tourist center. It is so called due to the presence of the homonymous island of red granite rock, widely present throughout the territory, so characteristic that the Costa Rossa brand was established to name this stretch of coast.


We pass by the small port, skirting restaurants that in a few months will be full of tourists, and we arrive at a beautiful vantage point. Not far from here there is a beautiful Aragonese tower, in an unreachable private land. We stop for a coffee at the bar of the Longa Beach, already set up for the upcoming season.


After passing the beautiful Marinedda beach, we head towards Costa Paradiso. Little by little we go up and enter a very wild territory, between granite spikes with incredible shapes, I don’t believe my eyes. Entering the residential area, the way in which the houses are inserted in the natural context strikes me, almost always with a low visual impact. The road leads down to the coast, where the sea is crystal clear.


We stop to admire the truly impressive scenery, with the red rocks overlooking the sea. Then we continue by car through the residential area, we are even crossed by wild boars, and the road becomes very narrow, climbing higher and higher, until we reach houses that a few hundred meters before were not even visible. The view is ever more incredible, all over the Gulf of Asinara. Among the vegetation somewhere there are the famous ‘cupolas’ … what will they ever be?





The 1960s saw the discovery and the boom in tourism in these areas of Sardinia. Here, films such as the Red Destert by director Michelangelo Antonioni filmed in Budelli and later Black Stallion produced by Francis Ford Coppola are filmed. Antonioni had a villa built here in Costa Paradiso by the architect Dante Bini, known as the bowls architect or the architect of the pyramids, to impress and conquer actress Monica Vitti. The construction technique was innovative, called Binishell, a unique dome-shaped reinforced concrete casting, in which openings, doors and windows, were made. The villa has two of these domes, and is connected to the sea by paths carved into the rock. But the end of the relationship between Antonioni and Vitti, the sale of the villa, which passes in different hands, means its decline, and today it is in a state of complete abandonment, and as still private property it cannot be visited … but perhaps… perhaps … hop! (Shhh …)