Today a weather alarm has been issued for high temperatures. And I haven’t learned my lesson yet. I decide to take a secondary road, to avoid retracing the roads already covered (I had only two options: either go back to Martis, or to Bulzi and Sedini), and to follow the advice of the locals! And here I am to climb the mountain, towards wind turbines (damned!), exhausted by the heat, and in some places going slower than on foot. Fortunately, a nice meeting takes place along the way. A car crosses me, then, once it’s gone, I hear “hey you wait!” and a woman comes out of the car. It is Nadia, archaeologist of the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage of this area, who tells me that she saw my project and was waiting for the moment to meet me somewhere … but in these lost mountain roads…who would have said!
I finally arrive in the village and immediately notice the elegance of some buildings. I go to the Town Hall. While I am waiting for the Mayor, a gentleman stops me and begins to tell me about all the rocks in the area. I tell him to be a geologist and then he indulges in the description of his finds of precious geodes in his campaigns. Fortunately, the Mayor arrives shortly afterwards and takes me away from this “Indiana Jones” of jasper!
After a coffee, we take the car to visit an archaeological site just outside the village. Here is the sacred well of Irru, a beautiful white limestone structure, very similar to the one I have already seen in Perfugas. A series of boulders are accumulated all around and the Mayor tells me that they are trying to work to ensure that the structure can be partially rebuilt. Among other things, one of the Time in Jazz Festival concerts will take place here. And it was here that the archaeologist Nadia was on duty!
From here we move towards Monte Alma, a limestone hill on which is the church of Nostra Signora di Monte Alma. Despite the muggy and veiled day the view is incredible. You can see almost all of the Anglona, up to the Limbara mountains, and Nulvi in front, just below a limestone and sandstone ridge.
Back in town, Antonello takes me to the church of San Filippo Neri, in the narrow streets of the historic centre. Here are the ‘candelieri’ that come out in procession every August 14. As soon as Antonello opens the door the view is incredible, six immense colorful structures resting on the walls of the church. They are the ‘gremi’, three new, higher, and the three that were used before, a little lower. And near the six candlesticks, immense to hold these ‘gremi’. The main colors are yellow for the farmers (the color of the crops), green for the shepherds (the color of the pasture) and blue for the artisans (the color of the sky, given that they worked outdoors). It takes 20 people to bring these immense and very heavy structures. The only other parades with candlesticks are held in Sassari, Iglesias and Ploaghe.
Antonello says goodbye and leaves, and I stop at the bar to eat. Despite the extreme heat, in the afternoon I take a tour of the historic centre to take some pictures. I pass from the church of Santa Tecla, which has annexed a structure that was once a convent. Then I go into the well-kept streets and cross several characteristic views, and another church, San Bonaventura, also with a beautiful side structure. I discover that it too was a convent, the one above, “e subra”, to distinguish it from the one I’ve seen before, below, “e josso”.
Once back in the main street I take the direction of the farm where I am a guest, on the road that leads to Tergu. And once again there is a lot of uphill. There is a crazy heat and I take it slowly. I reach the top of the plateau, the view is incredible. I get closer and closer to the wind farm (again!) and in the end, right in the middle of the shovels, is the Ruspina farm, owned by Silvia and Andreina. Here I rest, I write and finally I have dinner, with very good products, entirely produced here.
Wind turbines spinning
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
While we are in the car, Antonello tells me about the sale of houses for 1 euro, which was promoted and started in this municipality (something already found in Ollolai). The operation is aimed at recovering old houses in historic centres, and should entice people not only to buy, but above all to move a bit of economy in the area, for example by using construction companies and local professionals to recover the buildings. In addition, it is hoped that those who buy, often foreigners or non-residents in general, will spend a part of the year here, thus contributing to small local economies. Once in the historic centre, Antonello shows me two of these houses, one still to be recovered, and one, on the other hand, recently purchased and with works already in progress. They are old houses, with much work to be done, but seeing those nearby, ancient and well restored, you can already see the harmony that they will create once finished, contributing to the improvement of the historic centre. And Antonello has to leave me at 14.30 because he has an appointment in Sassari for a deed of sale of another property for 1 euro!