At this point of the journey the fatigue is such that I look forward to the days without contacts, hoping that the municipalities have not read my e-mail (as has happened in most cases) and that no one shows up at the last minute to drag me from place to place without stopping.
Today is one of these days. I take it easy. After a very short ride through the hills of Alta Marmilla, I arrive in Masullas, a village of just over a thousand inhabitants, who today seems to be all closed in despite being Saturday.
At the entrance, on the facade of a modern house, the now familiar face of one of the murals by Andrea Casciu from Siris welcomes me. I continue to one of the places that I have been interested in seeing for a long time, the GeoMuseo del Monte Arci.
Having studied geology, I know very well that this territory is included in the Monte Arci Geomineral Park and has very important peculiarities. The museum, named after Stefano Incani, is located in the beautiful seventeenth-century building, once a convent of San Francesco.
Here, a guide welcomes me to show me the various sections of the museum, containing incredible minerals, fossils and obsidian samples from the site of Conca ‘e Cannas, one of the largest prehistoric’ black gold ‘deposits in Sardinia. The room is also impressive, where an exhibition of minerals in the dark is then hit by polarised light that makes them glow with all different fluorescent colours.
Left the museum, I discover that here in Masullas there is a real museum complex, which also includes the Museum I Cavalieri delle Colline, with the history of the feudal aristocracy through works of art, weapons, costumes, documents and ancient books, and the Museum of Natural History of Aquilegia, which illustrates the chronology of the geological and biological events that led our planet to the evolution of living organisms and their environments. Unfortunately both museums are closed today.
I take this opportunity to take a tour of this village, where the houses are built in light sandstone from the surrounding quarries and dark basalts from Monte Arci, on which a part of the territory climbs (today I will not be able to see the beautiful Tarxi wood, or the famous rock Su Columbariu, or the obsidian park, or Sa Perda Sperrada, a stone block with a perfect split.
I arrive at Casa Salis, a noble building built in the eighteenth century, initially belonged to the Piedmontese Messina family, then passed to the Salis and finally today the seat of the Town Hall. The gate is closed and I just have to admire the beautiful stone portal.
Not far from here is the parish church of the Vergine delle Grazie, with a monumental Baroque facade in yellow sandstone and a high bell tower.
The evening light goes down, I have just the time to cycle through the hills and be able to see an important natural monument, recognised as such by the Sardinia Region. It is Su Carongiu de Fanari technically a “mega pillow lava”, that is a rock formation formed by the consolidation of lava under the sea.
As I observe the radial structures of the lava cushion, I mentally imagine this territory in the midst of tectonic upheavals, in great contrast to the silence that has accompanied me during this day.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
From Wikipedia: “Sa scomuniga de predi Antiogu arrettore de Masuddas is a satirical poem in verse written by anonymous and datable to around the middle of the 19th century. The poem is a long sermon made by Padri Antiogu, parish priest of Masullas, dedicated to the unknown thieves who stole his livestock. In these verses, Padri Antiogu, an expression of the peasant culture, officially excommunicates (using the Latin formulas, the only verses not in Sardinian) the evildoers and condemns the vices and sins of his community, from young to old.
To learn more and read the entire text, here are two links (in Italian):
Digging well into my past, I also have a small bond with Masullas. In 2003 I played with a group of musicians in the representation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata by the Croatian director Robert Raponja, put on and toured in the Cedac circuit by the Teatro di Sardegna.
The music was by Rossella Faa, an eclectic artist whose parents were from Masullas. She is a singer, musician, composer and actress, she has recorded records with important musicians. Hers (and Augusto Pirodda’s) is the Balentes’ song Cixiri that was populars nationwide some years ago.
Rossella sings in Campidanese Sardinian and Italian. Her performances tell hilarious, brilliant and moving stories of provincial women. “Malloreddus cun bagna“, “Cannacca Macca“, “Bella Bella” or “Ta Bellu Su Domminigu” sing the poetry of the little things of everyday life in southern Sardinia, Marmilla and Masullas.