A few days ago I entered the so-called Bassa Marmilla. I am slowly moving away from the Giara di Gesturi (which I will get closer to in about ten days) to go towards the Campidano plain.
Not even two kilometers separate Turri from Ussaramanna. I arrive easily and I am welcomed by the Deputy Mayor Enzo who brings me greetings from the Mayor Marco who could not be here today. Once parked the bike in the Town Hall, we begin the walk through the streets of the village.
Ussaramanna is part of the National Association of Raw Earth Towns. I can admire many houses with exposed raw earth bricks, the ladiri, as I’ve already seen many times during this trip. Many buildings are old manor houses, with beautiful wooden portals topped by stone arches.
Some of these houses are opened during the Flavors of Autumn event (not to be confused with the homonymous event that involves some municipalities in southern Sardinia), and the loggias in the external courtyards become artisan shops. One of these houses is the old Casa Zedda, acquired by the municipality and now the seat of the Library. Another is the Domu Accalai which houses the Interpretation Center of the Historical Cultural Heritage and the Economy of the Territory.
In the center is the former church of Santa Maria del Carmine, which was deconsecrated and later became Monte Granatico. Nearby there is a new mural, in a contemporary style, recently created by the artist Gisella Mura. Not far away there are also more classical and agricultural-themed murals made by the local artist Dante Atzori.
We arrive at the parish church of San Quirico Martire, with its sober facade, probably erected at the end of the sixteenth century and then renovated and enlarged, whose interior is embellished with precious marbles, especially those of the altar and holy water stoup.
On the outskirts of the town we visit the Nuraghe San Pietro, so called because once there was the church of the same name which has now disappeared. The central tower is imposing while of the four side towers only traces remain (who knows if digging something huge will come out!). What makes it distinguishable from many other nuraghi is a cross planted on top of the tower!
Taking the car we head to the countryside around the village. The first stop is the country church of San Lorenzo Martire, built in the fourteenth century, and the only remaining structure of the ancient village of Ussaredda, which has now disappeared. In this church there were two important panels made by the Master of Oliena and today kept in the National Picture Gallery of Cagliari.
Here, in August, the feast of San Lorenzo also takes place. The procession arrives on foot from the village, accompanied by songs and music from the launeddas. The Wood of Continuity is being planted around the church. Enzo explains this wonderful project: every time there is a new birth or an inhabitant turns ninety, a tree is planted.
The whole territory is rich in centuries-old olive trees, there are thousands, and even here as in other municipalities each tree has an owner who often does not coincide with the owner of the land.
It is almost time for lunch and we drive towards the border with the territory of Siddi, close to the homonymous Giara. We arrive in the Monti locality and Enzo leaves me at the Su Sensu restaurant where the owner Eugenio, which refreshes me with excellent food.
Waiting for Enzo to come back to pick me up, I take a walk in a magnificent wooded area, equipped with picnic tables, where various groups of people eat in the shade of the oaks. I arrive almost at the border with Siddi where there is a recently built horse riding school, but not yet in operation.
When Enzo comes to pick me up, we return to the village and visit an important production facility, the Frantoio Podda, a modern oil mill that produces excellent extra virgin olive oil, the Terra dei Nuraghi. I visit the various production areas and at the end of the tour I am given a small tank of oil!
But there are many other productive realities in the area. Enzo takes me to see some fields where the cultivation of dry melons is carried out. Other lands are destined for the vineyards of the Cantina Lilliu.
Finally, before returning to the village, we skirt the old Ussaramanna-Turri station, on the Ales-Villamar railway line. The conversion of the building into a support point for cyclists, a hostel with an adjoining workshop, is in the works, since the entire railway track will become a beautiful cycle path, a section of which I traveled a few days ago from Curcuris to Gonnosnò.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
During the walk in the village, Enzo talks to me about an elderly woman who wrote poetry, not as you might expect by hand on a notebook, but on the computer, despite her advanced age.
Clotilde Serpi wrote poems on the computer up to the age of one hundred, both in Italian and in Sardinian, which have been published in several books. A story that reminds me a little of that of my grandmother Fanny, who at the age of 100 managed to see her book of her poems published.
The thing that struck me, however, is that Mrs. Clotilde unfortunately, as a twist of fate, died the day after her 100th birthday, in 2018. I leave you with two of her poems:
Sardigna Bella (in Sardinian)
Beautiful Sardigna, dear Sardigna
In your land there is the Gennargentu
And the Limbara mountains.
For your beauty you are appreciated,
illuminated by the sun and the moon
And the blue seas all around you
Here people from all over the world come on holiday
As they love you and want to stay
For the healthy air and the good food,
And I always bring you in my heart
And never stop to admire you.
For the mighty honorable lords of the earth
May the mighty lords of the earth all step forward
With great bold courage they shake hands
Let them end the war which is ruin, death and pain
And destroys what God the Creator did.
May them remove the world from this evil
And let be peace universal.
Your honorable who are powerful
Send in the blue sky
A flock of white doves
To announce to the people:
That today peace is for the whole world”.