204/377: Usini


Today’s route is in the midst of valleys of white limestone, olive trees and vineyards. The first stop is right in the middle of these lands in the countryside, from the top of which I see Sassari in the distance. I arrive at the house of Claudia and Fabio, who have invited me to lunch and who will take me around the village.


I drop bike and luggage and we take the car together with their children Giammaria 12 years old, Ernesto 7, Giacinto 5, to go to the village where the administration is waiting for me to welcome me with a little refreshment. We have time to visit the beautiful church of Santa Croce, from the 11th century, and Giammaria guides me, describing it to me in its history and in its details, starting from its white limestone, up to the altars and niches of the interior .


We come back for lunch, at the end of which Claudia and I play a tune, ukulele bass and guitalele (a mixture of guitar and ukulele). We need to get back in the car because we are expected to meet some ladies who are preparing the andarinos, a typical local pasta. I look at them, I watch them take the pasta, roll it finely on the striped glass and with a quick gesture move it to the side to start over. One of them let little Ernesto and Giacinto try to make some.


From here we move to visit the Cherchi winery, where they welcome us with excellent Vermentino and Cagnulare tastings and tell us a bit about the history of this reality born in the Seventies. I take this opportunity to take some pictures of the cellars and of the external vineyards.


The last stop is at the Derosas house, where councilor Gian Luigi leads us. This beautiful building was the residence of a family of local landowners. We enter into its environments, characterized by arches, frescoed walls, period furniture and a part reserved to collect the local ethnographic heritage.

It’s time to leave for Sassari, where I’ll sleep tonight. It’s just the first of a series of return trips to the second city of Sardinia … oh I forgot … today was my birthday!



Variation on a Claudia Crabuzza’s song




I often like to talk about people who are not native to the places I describe, but who are now part of them. Claudia Crabuzza is a singer from Alghero but recently moved to Usini, with an important musical past. Leader and founder of the Chichimeca group with whom she has made several records and played throughout Italy and abroad. Lately she also works as a soloist, singing in Algherese dialect. In 2010 she won the Maria Carta Prize in duo with guitarist Caterinangela Fadda, and then she made a record reinterpreting the songs of the algherese singer-songwriter Pino Piras. Her latest album “Com a soldat” from 2016 contains all female-themed songs, stories and emotions of a mother woman’s daily battles. I just have to listen to it! (PS I had to use Google translate to translate many of the biographical texts found online on Claudia, all in Algherese!)

It is always thought that the most ruthless Sardinian bandits were from the inland, while also the Sassarese and Logudoro boasts a large presence of characters involved in tragic events. At the end of the nineteenth century, Luigi Delogu was born in Usini, a bandit who in addition to various murders was also the author of the murder of his wife and lover. He surrendered to the Carabinieri only to have his family the reward of 8000 lire. And in Usini, at the same time, the famous Francesco Derosas, known as Cicciu Rosa, was born, who was even interviewed by Sebastiano Satta who made an article in the Sassarese newspaper L’Isola. Cicciu Rosa, a fugitive, committed several murders, including that of the carabiniere Vittorio Audisio, who cost him his capture after sowing terror in the Sassari countryside for years.