In the heat of late July I leave Montiferru behind to return to Planargia, in the very small village of Sagama, just over two hundred inhabitants, but with an important history behind it.
Councilors Giacomo and Arianna, the social worker Giusy and Mario, the commander of the Barracellare Company, welcome me to the Municipality.
Despite the hot day, we get in the car to go and visit the surroundings of this village. We are in the San Michele plateau, where the archaeological traces are mainly nuraghi. We stop to see the Nuraghe Mura de Ganes, in the middle of an inaccessible field.
We come up to the rural church of San Michele Arcangelo, a place where there was the medieval village of Triganu, now disappeared, a situation similar to the one I found yesterday in Scano di Montiferro in the church of Sant’Antioco.
Here in San Michele the church has been rebuilt in a modern style, and yet the place is magical, silent, with a beautiful shady park and a series of water springs that are channeled to form ponds.
On the way back to the village, we stop to admire the remains of the Pascialzos nuraghe. The view extends to Sagama, behind the nuraghe and nestled on a limestone hill in the middle of the basaltic plateau.
Once back in the village we end the tour of the nuraghi by visiting the one of Muristene, on the outskirts, not far from the parish church. This was to be the first inhabited nucleus of this village and from here you could also see all the other nuraghi scattered not only in the territory of Sagama but also in the other neighbouring municipalities, Flussio, Tinnura, Suni.
Before the beautiful lunch organised by Ariadne, we can also see the menhir called “Sa Pedra Marmurada” in the midst of the vegetation of a sunny land, near which there was once a furnace where roof tiles were produced.
I spend the hot afternoon in the b&b Su Rizolu, in the historic centre, where the owners Tonina, Anna and Andreana tell me about the activity that has now disappeared from Sagama, the production of roof tiles. Some of them, in the shape of the thighs of the women used as molds, remain on display in their beautiful garden.
As the temperature drops, it’s the turn of the churches in the village. The parish church of San Gabriele Arcangelo is at the end of the main road, with a beautiful facade all in white limestone, and the low bell tower on the side. The church is closed and I cannot see the very ancient statue of the saint, from 1388, made in the workshop of Nino Pisano in Pisa.
Among the beautiful streets of the centre, there is the medieval church of Carmel, with interesting details on the facade, and then not far away, going up to the upper area after crossing alleys and stairways, the church of Santa Croce, right next to the deposit of the water that seems to be its bell tower!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
The local cultural and sport association Muristene takes its name from the nuraghe. Mario is a member of it and, in collaboration with the Municipality, they organised a musical evening to which the entire population was invited.
We are therefore gathered in a beautiful little square, in a relaxed summer atmosphere and, as I have already done countless times, I tell my journey with stories and musical interventions. In the audience, in the front row, a group of attentive and participatory children.
I find that here in Sagama schools closed in 1999. A situation that now afflicts many small villages in a slow sequence. Sagama children from pre-school onwards are forced to travel to neighbouring villages: Flussio, Tinnura, Scano di Montiferro, Suni.
Considering the distances (4 kilometers to Flussio), the situation here is better than in many other places (probably it takes less time and stress to reach the school from Sagama than, for example, to reach any school in Cagliari for the people of Cagliari!)
However, the closure of schools in small municipalities is a serious problem and one of the aspects that contribute, together with the long list of closings of essential services, to the slow abandonment of these places with a thousand-year history, and which could instead be small places of residence for a idyllic life.