I leave very early from Stintino. Today, I have more than 50 kilometers to go and it is expected to be very hot. Once past the Saline and the beach of Ezzi Mannu, I arrive at the hamlet of Pozzo San Nicola, still in the territory of Stintino, and here I stop in the small square to have a snack. I leave again for the provincial road 34 which slowly enters the hills of the Nurra, the fertile cultivated plain. I also had the option of passing by the coastal road that passes near Argentiera (in the territory of Sassari) and then arriving from Fertilia, a hamlet that, like Arborea, was created by Mussolini to move Ferrarese settlers here. But this road would have been much longer. I do not regret the choice since the temperature has risen a lot, we are at almost 40 degrees, the sky is overcast and the humidity is very high. I can’t wait to arrive. After covering a stretch on the provincial road 93 which seems infinite to me, a false floor, slightly uphill, I arrive at the hamlet of La Corte (Sassari) and take the busy provincial 42. I get overtaken by a van which stops just ahead . It is Claudio from the b&b where I stayed in Stintino with the whole group of tourists who are going to the beach and who wanted to greet me again!
I’m exhausted from the heat. I arrive at the famous Sella & Mosca wine estates, in business since 1899, where Chiara, the marketing manager, is waiting for me for a guided tour. The outdoor spaces are beautiful and well-kept. We visit a part of the vineyard and then Chiara shows me the buildings, the old cellars, where there are huge centennial barrels, and the new ones smelling of wine. Then she shows me the little church of the Grape built for the owners and the employees, before returning to the reception where I finally meet Bastianina, who has been following me online from the beginning of the project, and Salvatore, a dear double bassist friend. We are offered a drink based on a new product, a peat sparkling wine of excellent quality.
By now it is almost time for lunch and it is unthinkable to pedal under over 40 degrees for those few kilometers that separate us from the town, so I load everything into Salvatore’s car to take me to the b&b La Tana di Cagliostro owned by his friend Marco who will host me for the day. In the late afternoon I bring the bike for a set-up and I take this opportunity to visit the town centre. I walk along the central Via XX Settembre to reach the Spanish tower right on the seafront, from where I can admire the transparency of the water that beats on the low rocks.
I then walk along a stretch of the beautiful ramparts, sea on one side, historical center on the other, then I go through narrow alleys, passing ancient buildings, the church of Carmelo and then the Cathedral of the Immaculate, and a beautiful installation of coloured cages hung for some streets and squares, an installation designed by Tonino Serra, with the birds positioned outside them, a tribute to the natural reserve of Porto Conte. I reach the beautiful civic square from which, through an underpass, I go out on the edge of the marina.
After picking up the bicycle, I prepare for the evening at the Cyrano bookshop/winery, right in front of the beautiful Manno gardens. Here a presentation of my project has been organised with music played by me and by my friends Salvatore Maltana on electric bass and Marcello Peghin on guitar, with whom I happened to collaborate in the past. It is also nice to see familiar faces met along my journey. At the end of the event we walk through Alghero by night, in a suggestion of lights, coral installations (from which this whole area takes its name, the Coral Riviera) and the beautiful photos of Daniela Zedda in the street exhibition “How much distance in my sandals”, homage to the Giro d’Italia and practicable by bicycle, which depicts ten centenarian women and ten centenarian men.
We arrive at the historic Poco Loco, a restaurant run by Massimiliano, which I see with pleasure after so many years. The Poco Loco is famous not only for its delicious food and pizzas by the meter, but also for live music. Here passed important names of the international music scene, and I can proudly say that I have often played here too!
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
For the saga of the various languages present in Sardinia, welcome to Alguèr, where the dialect is an archaic variant of Catalan that then underwent influences from Castilian, Sardinian and Italian. The history of this dialect begins when the Aragonese conquerors drove away the Sardinian populations and their previous masters, the Dorias, a family that in the Judicial period had possessions in all of the Giudicato of Torres (whose traces I have already found in many countries visited recently). Like the Tabarchino in Carloforte, the Sassarese and the Gallurese, also the Algherese is a linguistic minority restricted only to this area, and for this recognized and protected by various articles of state and regional laws.
For the series “the big absentees” I cannot but make a list of places of interest in the area around Alghero that I have not had the opportunity to visit on this “urban” day:
– the marine area of Capo Caccia with its beautiful Caves of Neptune
– the bay of Porto Conte, with its natural park
– the beautiful beaches, Le Bombarde and the Lazzaretto
– the very important archaeological sites of Santu Perdu, Anghelu Ruju, Palmavera and Sant’Imbenia
The sagas continue …