203/377: Uri



Today is a beautiful day to ride, not too hot, not very windy and the sky is clean. A miracle. I cycle along the provincial road, bordered by rows of palm trees at the exit of Olmedo. After a while I arrive in Uri and I am joined by Councilor Matteo. He accompanies me to the Piccola Locanda S’Ausentu, where I immediately notice the beautiful swimming pool, and he leaves me telling me “settle in, I’ll come and get you in an hour and take you to visit the village”. Set in?? … I just jump in the pool!!

Matteo arrives on time. The inn is in Via della Civiltà Nuragica, established for the importance this culture has in this area, where more than fifty nuraghes have been counted. We walk along the main street, we pass an old school building, from 1912, where once there was an olive grove. It is now the municipal library, historical archive and hall for exhibitions. It was built by Mayor Michele Diaz.


Many houses are made of stone, mainly tufa and pink trachyte, which can be seen on the edges of doors and windows. We pass the old wash house, which was fed by a spring in the upper part of the village whose water was channeled (works made again by the Mayor Diaz). We arrive at the main square. Matteo explains to me that once the priest’s house occupied a large part of it but then the building was knocked down to expand the square. Now on the wall of the remaining building the war memorial has been erected with a mural by Pina Monne (muralist whose works I have now seen around many villages.)

Behind the square is the parish church, Nostra Signora della Pazienza, in pink trachyte, with a beautiful bell tower visible from several points in the village. The interior, well restored, features ancient elements, stone arches, and various stone trapdoors in the floor. Matthew raises one of them, and below it opens a chasm, which we illuminate to see inside. Here, a few meters deep, there were the old burials. I seem to see piles of material. We shut it back.


Left the church we go up the Carrela Santa Rughe which then becomes Santa Maria, what was the main street, with the oldest houses, which belonged to noble families. One of these in particular, very large, belonged to the mayor who lived the revolutionary movements of Angioy. At the end of the street we see the small church of Santa Croce. We arrive at another important house. On the edge of the roof there are two red female statues representing industry and agriculture: it was the home of the mayor Michele Diaz, whose initials are found on all the doors. And not far away there is a beautiful fountain that feeds the wash house, which was donated to the town by the Baroness of Ittiri.


After a good lunch at the restaurant Matteo leaves me in the hands of the boys of the association Archeouri Wandering, Giovanni, Franco, Antonio and Antonello with his two children Alessandro and Robertina. They define themselves “site discoverers” as they have been exploring the area for a long time in search of archaeological traces to report to the Archeological Superintendent. They’ve formed an association and now, in addition to offering visits to the main sites in the area, and the adjacent municipalities, they organise activities to show children their archaeological heritage. This is why today Antonello brought the children.


First stop is Sa Pedra Longa, a huge stele of a “tomb of the giants”, certainly the biggest I have seen so far. The children play around and Giovanni shows me photos taken by the drone during a visit with the children. The stele is the only visible thing, probably the tomb is partly still under the earth. In the photos the exedra and the perimeter of the tomb are formed by a chain of children. Very beautiful. They tell me how in this area there is one of the largest concentrations of nuraghi in Sardinia, some of which are now submerged by the Cuga lake, which in times of drought makes some nuraghe emerge.


We return to the village crossing the countryside, rich in olive groves, vineyards and some artichoke cultivation, which unfortunately has drastically decreased. Arriving in the upper part of Uri, we enter a land, where the important nuragic complex of Santa Caterina is located. There are the remains of a very large nuraghe, with side towers, a nuragic meeting hut, and other buildings certainly of a later age. Children explore and have fun while we reason about the size of this site, still to be excavated, but unfortunately surrounded by modern buildings (under which who knows what is hiding!) We admire the view that reaches as far as the Cuga lake and we end at the bar for an aperitif.

I end the day by the pool, working with the computer and giving up a last dive just to catch up with some work on the blog, and send emails to the municipalities, the latter perhaps useless work, since the rate of reply is very low. Buonanotte!






Matteo, the councilor, tells me about Cluriedo, a game that was created and organised in this village, inspired by the English Cluedo (created in Birmingham), played on historical places of Uri and with characters who actually existed. The children/teenagers had to reveal the mystery by moving the (real) characters to various places in the village. A very entertaining activity but above all useful for making the village and its history known to the new generations.

Then he tells me about Sardiku, the Sardinian version of Risk. This time a real board game, a bit like the Tancas, the Sardinian monopolies conceived at Santu Lussurgiu and of which I have already spoken. Sardiku takes place in Sardinia, the territory is divided into judicates and historical geographical areas. Playing to conquer the various territories the players begin to know not only the geography, but through the cards, also historical events and characters of Sardinia.

According to Matteo, but also in my opinion, these are the activities that make sense to find a sense of Sardinian identity. A long journey to start from a young age, together with the study of Sardinian history in schools. And who knows, maybe one day there will be the conditions to talk about independence too!