I leave the countryside of Modolo that is already crazy hot. I go through the village again to continue the climb to Magomadas, a village whose name seems to come from a novel by Garcia Marquez. Going up, I see it above a hill, and slowly I climb uphill, admiring the amazing panorama of the valleys cultivated with vineyards and bordered by white limestones, which extends to the sea of Bosa.
I enter the village and cycle along the main street. Here too, as in the villages of this area, many doors and windows are surrounded by red trachyte. I pass the small church of Santa Croce in a square with almost more interesting houses than the church. A breathtaking climb leads me to the parish church of San Giovanni Battista, whose main dome and two secondary domes are all covered with colorful majolica tiles which stand out in the intense blue of the sky.
A motorcyclist passes me and advises me to turn right at the end of the climb. I follow his advice and get to the highest area, with an impressive viewpoint. I find the motorcyclist again, with a much longer beard than mine. It is Matteo, originally from Tresnuraghes but living for some time in Milan and here on vacation. We start to chat. We admire the whole panorama around, both the internal areas, vineyards, limestones, and the coast, from the very high mountains between Montresta and Bosa that descend on the sea, up to the blue expanse over the hills.
I say goodbye to Matteo, and stroll around the streets a little further, then come across the closed Wine Museum, where the history of winemaking in Planargia is explained, probably centered on malvasia, the typical local wine, to which the festival of Malvasia is dedicated. I go back to the entrance of the village, passing a wall full of murals, and reach the ancient fountain of Sant’Elia, and then decide to go down to the coast.
From more than 200 meters above sea level I head down towards the Marina di Magomadas, passing further land cultivated with vineyards, and quickly arriving at the seaside village of Santa Maria del Mare. I reach the square with the homonymous church, where once a year the statue of the Virgin with the Child arrives in procession from Magomadas.
The view from here is fantastic, the Sardinian Sea, a vast, endless blue expanse, the complete horizon line. On the right is the coast towards Bosa, Bosa Marina and the tower at the mouth of the River Temo. On the left is the cape with a islet in the territory of Tresnuraghes where I will be tomorrow. I stay a bit to enjoy this almost infinite view and then I get back on my bike to return to Bosa where I will spend the night, again guest of Alex and Paola at the Muraglia Vecchia.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
When we slip into a bar to have a coffee, Matteo tells me about a pianist friend from Magomadas, Fabio, who lives in London. Also known as “pianist without borders”, Fabio started by making his apprenticeship in a pizzeria, while every night he hanged with percussion players in Piccadilly, getting passionate about African rhythms. Hence the decision to leave for Africa to learn, from the true masters of rhythm.
Back in Europe, he decided to join the Global Public Pianos project, the consortium of artists who travel the world playing the pianos made available in public places, stations, street corners. Fabio plays his compositions, has played more than 700 pianos all over the world.
In his words: “Bringing a piano into the middle of a street means creating a community around that place. It is a unique, incredible, powerful thing. If I could I would only be a street musician.” His dream is to bring the piano to rural Africa, but I would say that in Sardinia too we need pianos on the streets, so Fabio, why not starting here? After all, we are partly Africans too!
Although I have not had the opportunity to visit archaeological sites in this area, I know that these territories were inhabited since pre-nuragic and nuragic ages, as evidenced by the remains of domus de janas, sacred wells and various nuragic towers that strategically dominated the valley around . History says that the original settlement of Magomadas arose in the Punic era: confirming the toponym Magom Adasht, the ‘new city’.
Then there is the narrative legend imagined by the writer Sergio Atzeni in his ‘We passed on earth, lightly’ when describing the shipwreck on this coast of the S’Ard, the people of the sea, in this beautiful paragraph:
“The currents were gentle and by naming all the syllables we named Fe the morning star, first star of the night, conducive to fertility. We saw the red cliffs approaching. None of us had ever managed a landing. M’u said, in the ancient language: “M’ag o m’ad as”. So we called that place and the name has remained in the millennia until today. The sea threw the ship against the rocks. Twenty-one times, until it smashed it into one hundred and one pieces. M’u the sage disappeared in the waves, the water consumed his bones. Twenty-one survived.”