Pauli Arbarei

330/377: Pauli Arbarei


Pauli Arbarei
Portal of the Sant’Agostino church

Today is a lonely day, one I have wanted for a long time. The fatigue, especially mental, is such that I welcome the fact that some Municipalities do not respond to my call and that I’m unable to find contacts.

In the silence of the flat lands yellowed by a hot summer, I slide away from Siddi to get, via an internal road, to Pauli Arbarei, literally “lush swamp”, even if you don’t see many trees anymore.

I pedal through the narrow streets of the town center, made up of stone and ladiri (mud bricks) houses. Along the main street, I arrive at the church of Sant’Agostino, raised above the road, and I stop to admire the entrance portal with the two side columns in stone. A little further on there is another church, the parish church of San Vincenzo. Too bad that both are closed and cannot see what treasures they keep inside.

Pauli Arbarei
The “villa”

I pedal without haste. I pass a small urban amphitheater, a playground, a large villa that seems to have nothing to do in such a small village, perhaps uninhabited but well maintained. I return to the centre, where the beautiful building of the former Monte Granatico houses the Ethnographic Museum of Woman, unfortunately closed.

The sky is covering up. The forecasts do not bode well. I take refuge in the village bar. I take this opportunity to write and sort out a few things and figure out where I will sleep tonight. I do a little research on what else there may be to know about this municipality, and I stumble upon an interesting story.




Once again I enter on tiptoe in the field of Sardinian archeology. I read about the findings of giant human bones right in the countryside outside Pauli Arbarei. And of a gentleman who guarantees to have seen them. The sculptor Luigi Muscas.

I ask about him at the bar. They tell me that he lives in the village and they show me where he lives. I get back on the saddle, ready to steal all the secrets of this story. I arrive at the house with a large courtyard. I knock on the door. Nobody answers. I go further to see if I can see anyone but nothing. I knock again. Nothing.

Back at the bar, I content myself with watching a video on YouTube that tells this story, which sound a bit like another “fantarcheological” hoax. Luigi says that as a child he went to play with his friends in the hills outside the village, and that here were the remains of an ancient village. Entering a hole he found himself in front of a giant skeleton, mummified, with still ligaments and fragments of skin.

Pauli Arbarei
Fields on the hills behind the village

He tells his grandfather about the discovery, who tells him that in past they too, plowing the earth, found several giant bones. And it is said that further skeletons were found in the Sant’Anastasia excavations in Sardara. But these discoveries did not last long. According to Luigi, the bones were hidden and taken away by the personnel assigned to the excavations and since then nothing has been heard of.

It is late, the sky is black, rain is threatening, the right atmosphere for a mystery of this magnitude. I managed to book a  b&b in Tuili where I will be welcomed tomorrow. I set off, pedalling at full speed to avoid the first drops of water.

PS. The next day, at the end of our visits, I ask Matteo, president of the Tuili Pro Loco, to take me to see the land where the skeletons were found. We leave the village and in a very short time we arrive at the top of the hills, on which earthy slopes I can see the remains of the rocks coming from the top, square rocks that look like slabs. We stop. I step away from the car and into the ground to take a closer look. I am expecting to glimpse a giant bone between one stone and another.