I thought from Austis to Sorgono it was all downhill … and instead … almost all uphill! But beautiful, in the woods.
Upon arrival I meet the Mayor who tells me a little about the village, full of services, a hospital, several schools, offices. But above all famous for the production of the excellent Mandrolisai wine, which I can not wait to taste.
And then he recommends their archaeological areas, to which I am promptly accompanied by the Culture Councilor .
After a short visit to the church of San Mauro, which has the largest front rosette of Sardinia and the beautiful muristenes (the houses around), we arrive first to a beautiful ‘tomb of the giants’, and then to the nuraghe Talei, one of the few examples of protonuraghi in Sardinia.
Not far from here, one of the most important sites in the area: Biru e ‘Concas. Here, among the trees, there is an impressive number of menhirs, some lined up in long lines, others on the ground, scattered. It seems that digging continue to find hundreds of them. It is certain that this was to be a very important place for an ancient civilization, perhaps one of the most important in the Mediterranean.
We return to the village for a visit to the Museo dei Segni nel Legno (Museum of the Signs in the Wood), where we find examples of wood carvings on old trunks by seventeenth to nineteenth-century workshops. Among the signs on the wood are often also symbols of planets or satellites. What did they mean?
In the museum there is also an exhibition dedicated to the works of Sergio Frau, a supporter of the theory that Sardinia was the island of Atlantis, a civilization then swept away by a great wave. So many clues, who knows.
I also pay a visit to the Green Train station, which from Cagliari arrived here, but that for a little longer than a year remains inactive for the closure of the route from Laconi to Sorgono. A line that climbs into the green woods, in the middle of the mountains, and that was very popular with tourists. A pity that it is closed. Like all the inhabitants here (but also of the surrounding countries invested by the closure as Tonara) I hope that the works for the restoration of the line will be carried out soon.
In the afternoon my contact here, Iuri, leads me to see what has been identified as the geographical center of Sardinia, the zero point, the ideal point. It’s strange to be here, in the middle of a valley in the middle of nowhere. Maybe the ancients felt this center in some way? And that they were slightly wrong putting the Biru e’ Concas menhirs only a few miles away? Or maybe it was the aliens? Coming from the satellites inscribed in the old trunks in the Museum? Who knows.
I finish the day at Iuri’s bar, Il Risveglio, a historic place where the English writer D.H.Lawrence also stayed, who wrote about the experience in his book Sea and Sardinia. Sitting at a table I work on my itinerary and on the articles of my blog, watched over by the Albion spirit.
Inspired by the repetitive sound of the locomotive (now rusty on the rails of the station).
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Iuri and Enrico manage the Il Risveglio bar on the main street. As soon as I go in, I’m hit by the good taste and the ‘international’ feel, but rooted in the territory of this place. Iuri and Enrico are very professional, they take care of me all day, and I immediately understand that I ended up in good hands.
Next to the bar is the Barber Shop, run by a young man. Here too an international feel (Is it Lawrence’s influence? Or the Beatles’ Penny Lane?)
In the afternoon Iuri takes me to see a friend, Francesca, very young, who decided to stay here to devote herself to the production of spelt bread, pasta and other products. The work of grinding spelt is done with a wooden mill the size of a large sideboard inside the shop, with the suggestive name ‘Il Raccolto di Merea‘.
In the evening Daniele joins us, who will host me for the night. For the past two years Daniele and his family have been running an agriturismo farm just outside the town, Su Connottu, on the road to Atzara. He tells me that there is still work to be done but that he is confident things will grow. The place is in the middle of the beautiful vineyards of Mandrolisai, this year unfortunately very damaged by rains.
I am impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of these young people who decide to stay here. As Iuri told me “if in every Sardinian village there were at least ten young people who remained instead of leaving, and they worked hard for the village, then things would be much better for the whole community”. Popular wisdom.