28/377: Boroneddu


Work by Sabrina Oppo

I leave from Tadasuni late. Boroneddu is just over a kilometer away so I’ll take it easy. Even today it is not worth putting on the technical cycling clothing.

Boroneddu, like the last two villages, has less than 200 inhabitants, and when I turn at the roundabout entering the village I immediately notice the beautiful paving stone basalt.

Basalt stone

I arrive at Corsalcaffè where Nanni waits for me, a contact they gave me in Tadasuni. Nanni is originally from here but he lives in Ghilarza, where he created an association of hunter field target, a discipline (English!) that I did not know, shooting with rifles. He came here to meet me and be my guide.

After the introductions and a coffee, we move through the narrow streets of the historic center, very well cared for, with basalt stone houses. A beautiful mural frescoes the square. We go to the Town Hall where I visit the boardroom with a beautiful picture of the local artist Sabrina Oppo, representing many chairs of different heights with on the background many significant elements of the village.

Abandoned historic house

Unfortunately, even here in Boroneddu, as in Tadasuni, I discover that one of the museums that I wanted to visit, the Museum of Sardinian fairy tales created by artist Maria Lai, is now closed. So we continue in the outskirts of the village, where there are several abandoned houses, private allotments surrounded by walls of basalt stones, some of which have important signs, probably stones from some dismantled nuraghe.

Bell at the San Salvatore church

After lunch, together with Chiara, the five years old daughter of Nanni, we head towards the lake, and we go to visit the church of San Salvatore. Not far away there’s a small modern amphitheater, with incredible acoustics: in the center circle, one’s voice is strangely amplified.

When Nanni brings me back to the bar, I decide to take the bike and go back alone to the amphitheater, where I play the ukulele for a while, with birdsong around, and a magnificent view of the countryside and the LakeOmodeo.

Solitary performance

I spend the evening at Corsalcaffè to eat peanuts and drink beer offered by the house, and to work on some backlog.



Recorded at the church of San Salvatore. Chiara, 5 years old, at the church bell, 12 hits … played in perfect time, which I then looped. I played the Bontempi toy guitar live and then overdubbed the bass ukulele.



Anna, 69, will host me for the night. It only happened once since I started, in Atzara, that I arrived in a village without having found accommodation yet. When I arrive in Boroneddu I explain to Nanni that I have to find a place for the night and Nanni decides to take me to Anna.

On arriving outside the house, I notice a car with German writing. Many plants and jars outside the door, all well cared for. We knock and Anna welcomes us. A beautiful, old but well-renovated house. Many paintings on the walls, objects here and there, disordered order, or ordered disorder, I do not know, but I like it a lot.

Anna shows me the whole house, inside and out. The various rooms, with basalt in sight, the kitchen with a beautiful fireplace and access to the outside. With pride she shows me a half-ruined wing that she is finishing with her own hands, emptying it from the soil and basalt boulders to obtain an outer space. Then the garden, all cleaned up by her. A pitchfork with half-bent teeth, which she used to pull out stones and roots. Fruit trees and wood stacked in the corner.

Anna lived 42 years in Germany, and only a few years ago she returned to live in Boroneddu. She tells me of a son born in Germany who still lives there, of a finished marriage and of her choice to return to Sardinia to take over the family home, which has been renovated with great taste, with her hands and with great expense.

She shows me some pictures, painted by her, and then the cushions, embroidered and sewn by her. And many other little creative jobs. She shows interest in my project, she looks at me while I try to solve some ugly sections of my itinerary on the map.

The next morning, as I prepare the bike and I’m ready to leave, Anna gives me a fruit juice to take me on a trip, lights a candle and puts it on the fireplace telling me “this is the candle of November, when my daughter died, unfortunately we do not know exactly what day so I keep it on for the whole month “.

She gives me some more details on this sad story, always calm and leaves me saying “you have to be strong, I am, for this I dedicated myself to this house, to painting, to sewing, and I keep going on like this”.

I leave Boroneddu with these words that resonate in my head. Thanks Anna, and not just for the hospitality.