The Marghine and the first day of August welcome me with a torrid heat. Fortunately, today I travel a few kilometers downhill that take me from Macomer to Birori, passing next to the remains of the Nuraghe Orosai.
In front of the Town Hall, I receive a warm welcome from the mayor Silvia, the deputy Erica, the councilors Stefano, Mariangela and Antonello. And immediately we begin an archeological tour.
We just need to walk a short distance from the Town Hall to reach a garden where there are the remains of the tomb of the giants Palattu and those of the homonymous nuraghe. If some other village boasts of being the only one to have a ‘city’ nuraghe, well, here are the remains of two nuraghi!
In fact, not far from here, in the inhabited centre, there are the remains of the Nurattolu protonuraghe. We then continue to visit two stone fountains, the Funtana Idda and the Funtana Maggiore, surrounded by a small park which in this period was affected by the great heat.
We then take the car to go and visit the surrounding area. Stefano tells me that Birori was originally down the plain, and that was abandoned to move higher, a part in the current inhabited area, another part where Borore now stands.
We enter this archeologically rich territory, in the middle of the arid fields, separated by dry stone walls. We stop at the tomb of the giants Noazza III, then at the Sorolo nuraghe, surrounded by hemp crops, and arrive at the beautiful dolmen Sarbogadas.
We continue along narrow country roads and arrive at the remains of a Roman bridge, on the border with Bortigali, near which there is a pond, in an area used for nature trails. Looking further you can see other nuraghi, and returning to the village we pass next to the nuraghe Miuddu.
In the evening, we go to the church of Santo Stefano, just outside the village. Above the church portal, the date 1677 is engraved on the red trachyte but it is believed that the church was built on an older pre-existing one. Within the single nave, the golden statue of the saint surrounded by four angels and ancient paintings is ready. In fact, the three-day celebrations will begin in just two days!
From outside the church I can see the whole plain of Abbasanta, very vast, which I partially traveled last year in November, and which, making a sort of Marghine-Goceano-plain of Ottana ring route, in this month one of the hottest points of the island, I will reach again, until I intersect my own itinerary to go further south, towards the end of my journey.
On returning to the village we take a tour of the historic centre, where many low basalt stone houses remain. We stop at Aunt Barbarina’s house, who offers us a drink and then opens the Madeddu-Masala house museum, inside which there are well-preserved furnishings, objects and clothes of the past.
Despite the proximity to the city of Macomer and the 131 highway, in this ancient house it seems to be ages away from the modern world, in a village where industries have now closed, where also the station of the Sardinian Railways which joined Nuoro and Macomer closed, and where the spirits of the nuragics hover.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
We have dinner outdoors, in the pizzeria just behind the 131 highway. The mayor Silvia tells me of her love for dogs and cats. I find out that the Municipality of Birori, by Silvia’s will, had allocated the sum of four thousand euros to sterilise dogs, to try to stem the stray phenomenon.
After a case of cat poisoning, Silvia even made herself available to pay out of her own pocket for the purchase of repellents to be donated to those who were annoyed by the presence of felines.
And it is just as we are talking about animal friends that flames appear on the other side of the 131 highway. Ever higher. It’s a fire. The agitation among the administrators begins, the phone calls to the Fire Brigade. Fortunately, the flames are soon put out. But the tension does not end.
Back home with Stefano, another fire broke out right in the woods below his house. The flames seem close. I pack my bags and take them out in case the fire gets too close to the house. But even this one is turned off after some work by the Fire Brigade teams.
Not long ago, in Montresta, I had first experienced fires, without seeing the flames. Tonight, however, I was able to feel a sort of fear that was ready to turn into terror. I am afraid that this month and in this area I will experience the feeling of anger towards this horrible phenomenon.