2/377: Oliena


The road to Oliena (pic by Francesca Ardau)

Day 2. Pedalling downhill. Marreri Crossroad. Then riding uphill. Tough. “It’s all flat,” they told me. Along the Monte Ortobene, however, the view that I leave behind is breathtaking, in an almost summer day, clear colours, the smell of the countryside with a hint of smoke, someone is burning leaves?

Two Maremmano shepherd dogs run after me, my nightmare, I shout at them very loudly, as someone taught me, and they actually stop and step back. Comforted by the dogs halt, I continue proudly and I stop to eat two ‘arbutus’ berries.

I pass the peak. Another descent. Fast. The Supramonte mountain appears in front of me. And another climb, hard, towards Oliena, at the foot of the limestone mass that looms over the village (“It’s all flat” … it resonates).

377 street art

A special welcome. Institutions and citizens. Cannonau wine in the Mayor’s room. Super lunch at the home of a special family, rare people, passionate about art, enthusiastic about my project and welcoming me in their house. Siesta.

Su Gologone water springs

Then off to the Su Gologone springs that pour water with a thundering sound on the Cedrino river. The damage caused by the flood in 2013. The limestone rock walls, in periods of heavy rain, eject water from all the pores … literally. Water that has traveled for miles below the ground, inside karstic cavities of which the whole area is notoriously full of.

Traditional dress exhibition at Museo dei Gesuiti

And art. Today at the former Jesuit convent, an exhibition on the traditional costume, with an exceptional, contemporary, sensory setting, 7 themed rooms, with fragrances, incense, tobacco, lavender, soap, with the ‘disassembled’ olianese costume in all its components, one for each room, all lent by the citizens.

I have enough to write something with my bass ukulele. Mission accomplished. I can afford to enjoy a nice dinner … with a nice dessert…from Siniscola!

Dessert, pompia


Inspired by the elegance and sobriety of the traditional costume exhibition. Written at Graziella Piras’ home.



Enrico, 12, plays the drums. He is lucky to have a beautiful basement, with the instrument set inside a large and elegant niche. After dinner, I ask him if he wants to play something with me, on the bass ukulele. Enrico accepts, but as soon as he sees the parents and all the guests wanting to follow us, he tells me “Come on in, hurry, so we can lock ourselves in”. So we are alone and we can indulge. The ukulele is not amplified. I ask him if he can play softly so we can both hear each other. Yes, yes he tells me. So, what do we play? Queen’s ‘Another one bites the dust’. Deal. And there is also a nice bass line! One, two, three, four … BOOM CHA BOOM CHA … and we go on for 5 minutes, with Enrico playing at stadium volumes, amplified by the niche, and my poor ukulele that could have played Bohemian Rhapsody, or whatever … but that goes on with discipline, playing the beautiful Deacon’s bass line.