Again today, I travel a few kilometers on the Abbasanta plain that separate Dualchi from Borore. The climate is starting to change with some clouds in the sky and I am happy about it, after a scorching summer hat began in early June and that seems to never end, with high temperatures aided by fires that have left heavy signs in this territory.
I arrive at the Town Hall where the Mayor Bastiana and the councilors Alessandra and Alessandro are waiting for me for an institutional greeting. I unload my bike and luggage at Alessandra’s home and we are ready to begin the discovery of this last village that I have to visit in the Marghine region.
The first stop is the beautiful tomb of the giants of Imbertighe, whose stele is one of the most well preserved I have seen so far, so much so that it has not only been chosen as one of the symbols of Borore, but is often represented in archeology books as template.
From here we move towards the rural church of San Gavino. We pass the Nuraghe Bighinzone, where the original nucleus of the village was located. Even some writings of the ‘700 reveal that the first inhabited center of Sardinia could have arisen here after the Universal Flood, thanks to Bissone, great-grandson of Jafet, son of Noah, and that the first tower erected took the name of Bissone tower, around which the village developed.
We then arrive at the church of San Gavino where the feast for the saint takes place annually. Here too, as in many towns in the area, the knights run in a small Ardia around the sanctuary, at the end of the feast. Not far away are a nuraghe and another beautiful tomb of the giants with an imposing stele.
Back in the village we visit the parish church of the Beata Vergine Assunta. The facade is wide, very white surrounded by dark basalt ashlars with two bell towers on either side. Its interior is rich in important artistic testimonies: a beautiful polychrome wooden Baroque altar in the chapel dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate, some paintings by Emilio Scherer depicting the four Evangelists and a representation of San Lussorio, the oldest pictorial representation of a traditional Sardinian dress.
Not far away we arrive at Cresia Ezza, the evocative ruins of an old church of which the basalt tower remains. Also in this vilage, like those of the entire Abbasanta plateau, the main building stone is dark basalt. It can be admired on the façade of many ancient houses, mixed with trachyte for the typical Aragonese-style decorations, and in the construction of arches and portals.
In the afternoon the tour continues to archaeological sites and churches. Duos Nuraghes, on the outskirts of the town, was a village of which the foundations of two nuraghi not far from each other remain (hence its name). In addition to the originality of this double presence, remains of cannonau seeds have been found on this site.
The sky has clouded over and it has started to rain, but we’re not discouraged and go to visit the Nuraghe Porcalzos. Here we are joined by Fabio Forma, a writer originally from Nuoro, but resident in Borore and an expert in Nuragic culture. With Fabio we approach this four-lobed nuraghe with a central tower. Everything has partially collapsed, but we manage to venture above the tower from which we can enjoy the view of the reopening sky and the rainbow.
We conclude the tour at the rural Sanctuary of San Lussorio, the patron saint of the village. The white church is surrounded by the typical muristenes used during the holidays and also here, as in San Gavino, a small Ardia takes place.
The next morning, before they come to pick me up from Nuoro for a masterclass that I will hold at the Nuoro Jazz seminars, the Mayor Bastiana is keen to dedicate me some time to show me a couple of things that I was unable to see yesterday, and to tell me a little more about her village. We walk to the sports area, and Bastiana tells me about Borore’s strategic position, one kilometer from the 131 motorway and with a railway station that keeps it connected to the rest of the island.
She also talks to me about important production activities such as that of Tola modular kitchens or Walter Pinna’s basalt artifacts. Then we walk among some modern murals made during the Macomer Resilience Festival, and some more traditional ones showing the harvesting and processing of wheat. Bastiana talks to me about the function of “granary” that Borore had, a village with an agricultural vocation.
We arrive at the Museum of Ritual Bread, closed for works, but which Bastiana opens for a few minutes to show me the fittings. Here there are examples of traditional breads and rituals of the various festivals, and not only of Borore, but also of many other villages. Here is also a collection of engravings by the artist Edimo Mura which I find beautiful. I discover this artist who has produced woodcuts, serigraphs, lithographs, is placed together with Carmelo Floris as one of the best Sardinian engravers.
Finally Bastiana and I say goodbye in the Town Hall, where I am proudly shown the council chamber and some important works, a wooden bas-relief, a replica of the woodcut “Homage to Borore” by Edimo Mura and a terracotta high-relief by the Nuorese sculptor Pietro Longu who represents one of the most illustrious citizens of Borore, Giovanni “Nino” Carrus.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Nino Carrus was an important Sardinian politician, who held numerous positions both at regional and national level. In 2005, to remember his figure through political and cultural activities, the Nino Carrus Association was born. Its president Fausto Mura, brother of the artist Edimo Mura, is one of my most fervent followers and who unfortunately could not be here with me today to be able to provide me with further news and points of view on the village, as he did in my day in Bortigali sponsored by his association.
One of the things that struck me most about the Nino Carrus Association is the attention to issues relating to local development, social awareness and territorial promotion, and in particular to small villages in inland areas and their depopulation. Having now visited hundreds of small villages and having noticed strengths and weaknesses, together with a whole series of problems, I am interested in understanding if something can be done to revive these small villages and their communities.
And the Association is too, so much so that this year the fifth edition of the Nino Carrus Prize is aimed at the creation of a paper entitled “How to create jobs in the villages of the inner areas of Sardinia. Proposals”. The proposals will make up the second volume of the publication “The Spring of the Villages”, whose first volume already published contained the works of the fourth edition of the award, which I can’t wait to read at the end of my trip.