276/377: Simaxis


River Tirso alluvial plain

Today I extend the route quite a bit to avoid one of the busiest and most dangerous roads in the Oristano area (so they told me). So, instead of heading to Simaxis passing through Solarussa, I first pass Pardu Nou and then I pedal on the embankment of the River Tirso, and I cross it on a small bridge that reaches Silì, a hamlet of Oristano. From here I take an internal country road that brings me back to the road to the airport of Fenosu, and from here straight to Simaxis, crossing cultivated wheat and rice fields, a resource of this area.

Arriving in the centre, I meet Marco, president of the Pro Loco, who offers me a coffee in the bar next to the Town Hall, inside which there are signs of the age of this building, some old architraves and stone ornaments. Marco recommends some things to see. And he tells me that Pope Symmachus was born here, from which the town seems to have taken its name. Another hypothesis is that of the ‘via grande’ (main road), ‘s’ia maxima‘, as the names of the nearby villages, Siamaggiore and Siamanna testify.

Remains of the old San Nicola di Mira church

After having said goodbye to Marco, I head towards San Vero Congius, a hamlet of Simaxis a few kilometers away. I cycle through the streets of the tiny village, passing by the square with the modern church of San Nicola di Mira. Then I head to the countryside where Marco suggested that I visit the church of San Teodoro. I locate it on Google Maps and start my cycle, reaching it a few minutes later. It is a small, cross-shaped church with a small dome above it. Not far away are the ruins of the old church of San Nicola di Mira which has now collapsed.

Bridge on the River Tirso

Upon returning, I pass a pitch for skaters and bicycles, decorated with graffiti and shoes tied on the cables of light, and take the road that leads me to the iron bridge that I have already visited in my day in Solarussa. The River Tirso should in fact be the border between the two municipalities. I return to the house where I will be staying tonight, found on Airbnb, and have a bite to eat, before taking a nap.

Square with the remains of the old prisons

In the evening I go out for a tour of the village. I pass the church of San Simmaco Papa, on the main street, from whose portal decorations for an upcoming or past feast start. I arrive at the Town Hall, next to which I notice the old structure that Marco had told me was an old prison. I go into some alleyway, where I notice some old single-storey houses. One of these has the door open and I can see the very old tile flooring. I arrive at the square in front of the Social Center, on the wall of which a beautiful mural by Manu Invisible was painted, entitled Bond representing a mother with a child.

Bond. Mural by Manu Invisible





During my trip I have often been attracted to some small hamlets, I think for example of Lollove, a hamlet of Nuoro from where I started, or of the small hamlets of Budoni, Padru, and many others.

San Vero Congius, in the middle of the countryside, hosts about one hundred inhabitants. Its name derives from the Latin Sanctus Theodorus, later contracted into Santu ‘Eru, and erroneously translated into Italian as San Vero.

These territories, near the alluvial plain of River Tirso, inspired Antonio Garau’s three-act comedy Sa Basciura (1950). The comedy is set in this small village near Oristano which, precisely because it is located in a “basciura” (lowland), continually suffers from the overflow of the nearby river, causing the local administrators to worry and the inhabitants to suffer.

Antonio Garau was born in Oristano in 1907 and where he died in 1988. He was the author of “thirteen comedies in Sardinian language that describe the way of life of Sardinian society and its changes over a period of about half a century. Several theatrical companies in Sardinia, made up of great enthusiasts of Antonio Garau’s comedy theater, continue today to offer the works of the comedian from Oristano with great success with the public. The Theater of Oristano is named after him” (from Wikipedia.)