I leave the Agriturismo in the middle of a wind farm and cycle down towards Nulvi where I have to pass again. From here I take the state road 127. Despite being a much longer alternative, I have now learned my lesson and I am not wrong. The many bends (irrelevant for a cyclist) greatly alleviate the slope, and the road is very scenic. I see Osilo on the top of the hill and during the last stretch the sky is overcast, some thunders and drizzle. The African heat is coming!
I finally get to Osilo, we are more than 600 meters above sea level and the view is incredible. The first thing I do is look for a b&b. I find the Abberi Sas Ventanas, where I immediately throw myself in the shower! Then in the crazy heat I set off for the center where I buy some bread and sliced meat, and eat in a small square in the shade. I understand that I will have to start to completely change the times of how I spend my days. I go back to the b&b to take a siesta and to work and I decide to go out only at sunset.
The historical centre develops all around the fortress where the Malaspina Castle is located. I climb the narrow streets, all cobbled, with many historic houses, and arrive at the castle which unfortunately is closed. I have to settle for admiring the main tower from below. I go down between narrow lanes and steps and arrive at a tiny little church, San Maurizio. Continuing through the center, you I come across several churches, there are 36 within the village and its territory. I also pass the beautiful building of the Town Hall. Here in Osilo, clear calcareous rocks and very dark vulcanites are used for construction.
I go down to the lower part of the town, crossing characteristic corners and I stop to admire the panorama that overlooks the other two main hills in the territory, that of Sant’Antonio, and that of Bonaria, 800 meters high, which host both the relative churches . The deadly heat discourages me and I decide not to ride my bike to visit them. I cycle around the village, up to the characteristic cemetery that develops vertically on the ridge of the hill. From here the view over the plain below, to the sea, the Gulf of Asinara, is incredible. Tomorrow, going towards Sennori, I’ll cross the Osilo hamlets of Santa Vittoria and San Lorenzo, to see the Valley of the Mills.
For dinner I go to the Osteria Caffè Il Castello, located in the historic building that once housed the Monte Granatico. Pasta bottarga and crabs, excellent! And I return to the b&b in the darkness of the streets lit with orange light, after a day in silence … nearly.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Even in the days I spent in complete solitude there was actually some exchange of words or interaction with someone. Even today. I ask a guy if there is a b&b in the village. He points it out to me (it’s right below). Without ringing at the door, I call the number indicated on the door, they say that there is no room for tonight. I climb into the historic center and stop in front of a grocery store. I ask the owner who kindly suggests me another place. I call. There is a place. I arrive at the b&b Abberi Sas Ventanas and the mistress is kind and professional, and of few words, rarity for a Sardinian, and to me today very welcome!
I go to a shop to buy bread and sliced meat. The owner asks me if I am from Osilo (question of which obviously she already knows the answer) and tells me that a foreigner, with a southern Italian city accent (I don’t want to mention where) one day paid with a 100 euro note, which turned out to be fake, and since then she is on guard with foreigners! I go to eat in the center and meet the owner of the grocery from before, who asks me if I had found a place. All good!
As I pass by a little cobblestone alley I notice a beautiful view with flowers. I stop to take pictures. A lady, from above a balcony, sees me and tells me “Isn’t it beautiful? An old lady who lives right here takes care of them ”. I smile at her and ask her for directions to the castle. Arrived, I see everything closed and a gentleman working inside a garage. “Excuse me, does the castle open?” “Oh no, unfortunately not.”
A Councilor of the Municipality calls me. Someone gave him my number. He wanted to apologise for not being able to be here, but tells me a few things about Osilo and recommends what to see.
While I go to dinner, I the same lady of before hanging from another balcony! It must be the opposite side of the same apartment. I ask for directions to the Osteria, which she gives me, and we take the opportunity to exchange a few more words, on the village, on my journey, and then when she tells me she has lived in Cagliari for 35 years I tell her that I too am of Cagliari, if she ever heard the surname Dessanay. “Of course, the regional councilor!” “He was my grandfather,” I say. The lady seems intrigued by this coincidence.
At the restaurant I exchange a few words with the waiter, even with the cook who offers me a delicious first course. When I leave, guess who I find? No, not the lady on the balcony, but the owner of the grocery store, who is drinking a beer, and who now, at the third meeting of the day, greets me like a friend!