The heat is returning, a serious one. I descend towards Pozzomaggiore, going past the Nuraghe Alvu on the same road I did yesterday to get to Cossoine. I arrive in the Town Hall, where the Mayor Mariano welcomes me with the Vice Mayor Lisa, the councilors Pierluigi and Daniela, and Giomaria, president of the Pro Loco and member of Pozzo Bike, the local cycling association. After a while Matteo also arrives, deputy mayor of Uri but today on duty here. A lot of people at my disposal and a full day in a village that proves to be rich in historical, cultural and religious attractions.
And the religious aspects takes the whole morning. I start the tour from the parish church of San Giorgio right in front of the Town Hall, where Antonio will guide us here and in the other churches. Antonio is a connoisseur of many details. He starts from the description of the external facade and then shows me the beautiful interior, whose side chapels impress me with the beauty of their wooden altars, statues and above all some beautiful decorated vaults. I admire the baptismal font with a decorated wooden cover, the confessionals, and then the main altar. Here in June, after her beatification, the remains of Edvige Carboni, whose birthplace I will visit later, were brought back from Albano Laziale.
We continue to the central church of Santa Croce, made of limestone and leaning against a beautiful neo-Gothic noble palace. Antonio points out to me some mysterious bas-reliefs carved on some external stones of the church. Inside, on the altar surrounded by old frescoes, there is a beautiful wooden crucifix, with a unique expression, which they call Babbu Mannu.
We walk through the historic center, between some beautiful murals and many elegant buildings, made of various types of stone, dark volcanic, pink trachyte, limestone, as if to testify an ancient splendor of this village. And here too, as in the other villages of the area, many entrances of houses have beautiful lintels and decorated stones.
We arrive at the birthplace of Edvige Carboni. We move between the various well-preserved rooms, the hall, the kitchen, and above all the bedroom, where even the clothes of the Blessed are kept, and a whole series of objects that belonged to her. Edvige was devoted to Jesus, whose stigmata she carried in her body often bleed for no reason, and to Our Lady. Throughout her life she dedicated herself to helping poor, sick and needy people.
From here we head to the church of Sant’Antonio Abate (or the Madonna della Salute), with a beautiful late Baroque facade, next to which is the convent of the Augustinian friars. Also here the interior is full of impressive decorative elements.
The next is perhaps one of the most important churches, the Sanctuary of San Costantino, on the outskirts of the village. The building, in a mixture of pink trachyte and white limestone, is imposing, and despite being built only a hundred years ago, it is elegant. The Ardia di San Costantino takes place around here, as in Sedilo, on 7 July. This is a religious horse race, pretty reckless, and it is represented in many murals in the centre.
And to finish the tour of the churches, we arrive at the church of San Pietro, just outside the village. This, unlike the others, is built with dark volcanic stone. We cannot go inside, but its position is magnificent. From here we enjoy an incredible panorama, with the village not far away, the volcanic peaks, the mount of Bonvehì in the territory of Mara, and all the territory that goes towards the coast of Bosa.
The morning ends with a visit to the Horse Museum. Here are a whole series of objects and documents related to this animal which in these territories is bred with care and has considerable importance. Inside the museum there are also a series of beautiful works by an artist I did not know, Gustavo Pesarin.
In the evening, after my performance in front of the Mayor, administrators, citizens and young boys and children, and after an evening in a pizzeria, during which the diners generously collected some money for my project, which is given to me by the amazing Mayor Mariano, between a joke and the the other. I go to sleep at the b&b Sopra Sa Corte, and while it is strangely drizzling outside, I think of the richness of this village but above all of two things: Pesarin art and Bonvey coffee.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
At the Horse Museum I was struck by the wonderful works of Gustavo Pesarin, drawings, prints, ceramics. My research on this character, still alive, is facilitated by his Curriculum Vitae, framed near some of the works. Thus reads the first paragraph: “Pozzomaggiore: On January 28, 1939 I was born on the first floor of a small building in via Grande, near S.Croce (today Usai-Casule house). They called me Gustavo, almost like my father ”
And then the other paragraphs follow, The Elementary School years, Middle School in Pozzomaggiore, Sassari, Turin Polytechnic, Florence Faculty of Architecture, Sardinia Cagliari, where he carried out the freelance profession of architect who “at that time, in Sardinia, was a figure not well understood, it was often felt as a figure without stringent values or models of both formal and psychological rigor “, and finally Urbino, where he still resides, last paragraph of his CV which ends thus:” Urbino, for those who understand, is definitely the City of the Soul “. And then his signature. A CV that also denotes the qualities of a writer.
Giomaria, who kept me company all day, talks to me about his roasting activity and before lunch he takes me to see the building where Caffè Bonvey is produced. And here the passion for coffee transpires. Its production (as well as preparation) is a real art. I get lost in looking at the machinery and containers full of dark-colored beans, and I am happy to find special realities in Sardinia like this enterprise, and professional people, while Giomaria takes a couple of packs of coffee which he must deliver to some of his customers.
In the afternoon I can’t help but taste his coffee, so we go to a bar where I taste Bonvey, which I consider to be of the highest level, because it mixes the usual flavor of our coffee, with a slightly more modern taste. It reminds me the qualities of coffee now used in the most “cool” cafes in London and New York, where coffee culture is said to be at the forefront. And finally, Giomaria explains the name to me: Bonvey, Bon vehì, Bonu ighinu (Good neighbour.) But I’ll talk about this tomorrow in Mara.