Modolo. The smallest municipality in Sardinia by territory (while Baradili is the smallest by population). I will try to honor this record with a short article!
Today’s journey is beautiful, I leave Bosa Marina on my right and continue on the coast that leads me to Turas beach. The sea is relatively calm today but I have often seen this stretch of coast beaten by the violent mistral, with the waves coming frighteningly to the road.
I enter the valley of Abba Mala, a beautiful corner surrounded by limestone hills mainly cultivated with vineyards. A place that I have known since I was a child as one of these vineyards, with a beautiful country house, belongs to some dear friends of mine.
I enter the smallest municipal territory of Sardinia! And despite this, it is very rich in nuraghi and domus de janas, some of which are visible on one of the limestone ridges.
I enter the village, colorful, tidy, clean and frighteningly peaceful! The square at the entrance is embellished with basaltic statues, including that of Gramsci reading. Entering the tiny alleys, I find the church of Santa Croce almost hidden.
Then, at the end of a narrow street I find the parish church of S’Andrea Apostolo, now modern because it was rebuilt in the nineteenth century after a fire, but actually from the seventh century, founded by Byzantine friars. A little further on, a beautiful panoramic point from which I admire the valley below.
I cycle the main road until I get to the other side of the village, from where I see a white country church on the other side of the valley. It is the Madonna del Grappolo (grape) church, recently inaugurated to pay homage to one of the symbols of this territory, wine.
And it is with a very good local Malvasia wine that I accompany my lunch at the Sardineri restaurant, right next to the Town Hall, where the Mayor Omar, unfortunately not in the village today, has reserved a table for me. I enjoy the fish menu on a shaded outdoor table, breathing in the tranquility of this area.
I end the day at the La Tinaia farmhouse, where Giovanni and Ilaria, who follow my project online, offered me hospitality. I am in the middle of the valley, and from the terrace I enjoy a phenomenal sunset, the view of the surrounding vineyards, and a dinner based on local products, while I chat with Giovanni about his newly opened business, to which I wish a prosperous future!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
As I wander around the streets of Modolo, I run into the panoramic Orlando Biddau square, where I read a commemorative plaque dedicated to this poet, with his verses “And again in September you will find / intact your fresh wonder / the sea that I craved in a shell” ( from The Green Eves).
So I look this poet up and I discover he was an important figure of contemporary Sardinian poetry, winner of the prestigious Ozieri Prize and many other national awards. The themes addressed in his poems concern above all the love of nature and animals.
However, his tormented biography makes his poems rich in existential dramas. Biddau was in fact born in Fiume shortly before the war in 1938, and his life took place between Sardinia, Modolo where he grew up, birthplace of his parents, and then in Bosa, Cagliari and then in Genoa and Paris, where he graduated in letters from Sorbonne, and finally in Urbino.
However, he decided to return to Sardinia, where, once he left his teaching in Oristano, he would retire to the tranquility of Modolo. His work is still little known. Along with many collections of poems he also published the autobiographical novel “Predestination” partly set in Sardinia. Definitely to be added to my list of post-trip readings.