As I imagined, on waking I have severe pain in the foot, caused by yesterday’s fall, and as soon as I put my foot on the ground I understand that it will be hard to pedal, but above all to walk. And I start to fear for the rest of the trip too.
However, I get on my bicycle to get out of the Planargia and enter the Marghine. Along the road to Macomer I see the nuraghe Succoronis which announces an area rich in nuragic testimonies.
On the other side of the highway 131, in front of the town and below the rocky ridge, there is the imposing nuraghe Santa Barbara, a high basalt tower above a large four-lobed bastion.
In the area there are also the necropolis of Filigosa, and the important site of Tamuli, where menhirs and giants’ tombs are located. Unfortunately, I have to call the cooperative that manages the sites to cancel my visits, the pain in the foot does not allow me to walk!
As I have experienced before, I enter Macomer with the feeling of entering a metropolis, after having spent the last few weeks, except for Bosa, in tiny towns. I pass the Piazza delle Due Stazioni, so called because of the presence of two railway stations, that of the Ferrovie dello Stato which connects Cagliari with Sassari and Porto Torres, and that of the Ferrovie della Sardegna which connect Macomer with Nuoro on one side and with Bosa on the other (the two lines are both closed … Benjamin Piercy will be turning in his grave!)
I settle at the Casa Castori b&b, a beautiful medieval building in basalt, and I can just take a few steps nearby, to admire the historic center, with the houses almost all in basalt, and which bear traces of the ancient Spanish rulers in the form of beautiful lintels and door and window frames.
Nearby is the parish church of San Pantaleo, from 1635, in a panoramic position from which you can admire the whole plain of Abbasanta. This part of Macomer overlooks a basaltic ridge on the Rio S’Adde valley. In a cave of a gorge of this river the famous Venus of Macomer was found, a basaltic statuette dated between the Paleolithic and Mesolithic and preserved in the archaeological museum of Cagliari.
In the evening, when the foot seems to be going a little better, I meet Gian Luca, president of the ProPositivo association and organizer of the Resilience Festival which is taking place right now. Gian Luca takes me on a tour of some of the most modern districts of the city, where over the past three years a series of street art works have been created by local and international artists as part of the festival.
As we stroll, I admire the murals in bright colors, with different styles, which often ‘speak’ about the events that have characterized these places. I am particularly struck by those murals that tell the story of the local industry.
Macomer in fact, having found itself in a central position and well connected to the rest of Sardinia by railways and roads, has been and continues to be an important production center. Currently the industries that mainly produce are the textile and dairy industries located in the large industrial area of Tossilo, in the plain below the town.
Gian Luca takes me to see what are now the ruins of the old dairies, where some families produced cheeses for export all over the world, and of the ALAS (Anonima Lanaria Sarda) factories that worked the ‘orbace’, the raw wool, and produced wool for mattresses, fabrics and blankets.
And we end the tour to see the murals that are being completed on three facades of popular buildings that surround a small square. On the right a large and colorful Grazia Deledda, created by Mamblo in collaboration with the Skizzo Association, the founding group and promoter of the Non Solo Murales initiative in San Gavino Monreale.
At the center is a work by the Sardinian artists Kiki Skipi and Andrea Casciu and the internationally renowned artist Nemo’s, inspired by the archetype of Sardinian society, founded on a matriarchy crushed by masculine inhumanity, which holds the nuragic spacecraft, symbol of the ancient island civilization.
On the left the work of the artists from Cagliari Daniela Frongia and Daniele Gregorini. The work represents the instability of the world, balanced and at the same time arising from a river of concepts and words and in which man is modernised and darkened. The same painted words were inspired by the real conversations or phrases heard by the artists in the square during the execution of the work.
At the end of the evening I am invited to play the ukulele at one of the events organised for the Festival of Resilience, the presentation of the book The Stars of Capo Gelsomino by the author Elvira Serra. My notes, conceived on this trip, open up Elvira’s story, and unite Macomer, Nuoro and that fantastic Capo Gelsomino inspired by the similar sounding and real Capo Comino.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Living abroad I realised how much Italians (and Sardinians) are a people inclined to continual complaints (and for people who know me well I am the confirmation to the rule!)
From the assumption “if the time spent complaining about the problems were invested in the search for solutions, today we will have concrete, innovative and sustainable alternatives” the ProPositivo project was born in 2009.
Gian Luca and a group of friends all trained outside Sardinia decide to return and create a reality that transforms crisis into opportunities, to propose solutions instead of complaining, to resist with resilience, the “ability to cope positively with traumatic events, to positively reorganise one’s life in the face of difficulties, to rebuild oneself while remaining sensitive to the positive opportunities that life offers, without alienating one’s identity”.
The ProPositivo manifesto reads “Through a methodological approach based on the encounter and synergy between the world of social science and that of public art, the goal is to create a dynamic and multilingual environment, capable of connecting logic and creativity, school and entrepreneurship, institutions and civil society, public and private, environment and urban planning”.
Macomer therefore as a place of ‘resistance’ to modern processes and crises that seem to annihilate the smallest realities, and young people with the desire to systematise the most virtuous realities in the economic, social and cultural fields. Well done guys!