This is a much rainier autumn than usual in Sardinia, I would dare say it’s similar to those I have lived for many years in England. Gray and rainy, with some scattered sunny days. Fortunately, today the road is short, an urban stretch of a kilometer that leads me almost without deviation to the Town Hall of Abbasanta.
Here I am well received by Councillor Paola, who immediately leads me for a walk, with umbrellas in hand, through the streets of the center of Abbasanta. The dominant stone is the basalt, widespread throughout the plateau (Abbasanta’s plateau in fact). I can see a more modern center compared to other villages, with many services and shops.
We walk along the Viale delle Rimembranze and next to the Gramsci Park (a strong presence felt here as well as in Ghilarza). Under the grey sky and a British drizzle we arrive at the church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, with a beautiful basalt bell tower.
Late in the morning we move by car to perhaps the most famous place of this town, the Nuraghe Losa. We pass next to the train station of the Ferrovie dello Stato (the first since I started the journey), through the craft area and next to the school of police, a huge complex, almost a small town.
We cross the 131 motorway. Again I feel like crossing a barrier, like an artificial river, this time with a large tributary, the 131 DCM, which flows here. It is clear that Abbasanta is in a strategic position and well connected to the rest of Sardinia, probably the most central point of the island.
At Nuraghe Losa I am guided by Pina and Patrizia. Finally, much information about a place where I stopped several times in the past, being right at the junction between the two motorways, but on which I did not know much. For example, it is a three-lobed nuraghe, with three large towers around the central one, all wrapped in a single complex.
Pina illustrates very well the various historical phases of the Nuragic civilization, which can be seen right here through the various additions to the complex, from the protective towers, to the great outer wall, even to a Roman cemetery in the surrounding lands, an unequivocal sign of the end of the Nuragic civilization.
In the afternoon I visit the META, the ethnographic museum, located in front of the church of Santa Caterina in a beautiful Aragonese house with a striking colonnade at the entrance. Here I get an idea of how people lived in old houses, through a series of objects, furniture and tools of the life of the past.
Inspired by Estrella, the white horse by the Nuraghe Losa.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Giusi is one of the first people who contacted me as soon as she learned about my project. I meet her at the Town Hall only on the morning of my departure from Abbasanta, for a short chat. Despite returning from Kenya the night before, after a few hours from her arrival Giusi went straight to her institutional duties as Vice Mayor, a meeting, the conferment of honorary citizenship to Father Maurizio Patriciello, the priest of the ‘land of fires’ in Campania.
A few days ago, hearing the news of the kidnapping of an Italian volunteer in Kenya, I wrote to her to make sure she was fine. Today, she tells me of how scared they were as soon as they heard the news, a kidnapping from a residence where she was supposed to be, before changing at the last minute. Then she describes the details of her mission.
After the death of her husband a few years ago, Giusi created in his memory a small school with two classes in Kenya, where she regularly goes to bring aid to children, in the form of basic necessities and food.
She tells me how much is still to be done, how food is the most needed thing, and how at the Nairobi airport, thanks to a friend’s illness, they managed to pass customs checks without having to ‘pay the toll’ to the guards, and with all the goods (50 kilos each) safe! Giusi is one of the many Sardinians who work to export a great deal of generosity abroad.