339/377: Nurri


Dry stone wall

Leaving from Serri it is 6 degrees and it rains. After the long summer break it seems to me that I returned to that May 13 in Pattada, with the same climatic conditions and the same discomfort.

I descend quickly towards the valley that separates the Giara di Serri from the Sarcidano hills. Somewhere here in the middle of the fields is the old village of Biora, but I am busy braving the grey, cold and rain.

I go up slowly towards Nurri and once I enter the village I take refuge in a bar to wait for the rain to stop, without any certainty it will. I take this opportunity to arrange the material of recent days, curiously observed by the customers of the bar.

There is something in the air that makes me feel more in a mountain village in Barbagia than in a hilly one in Sarcidano. After all, behind the town the territory descends towards the Lower Flumendosa Lake, the southern gate that leads to the Barbagia of Seulo.

Dome in the parish church of San Michele Arcangelo

It finally stops raining and the sky clears up. I get back on my bike to take a tour of the village. At the headquarters of the Pro Loco, a sign informs me that this ancient building called Sa Trappa (the trap door) in the past was used for the temporary confinement of prisoners in transit to another prison destination.

I arrive at the parish church of San Michele Arcangelo, built in the sixteenth century but then almost entirely renovated in the eighteenth century, while maintaining the Greek cross plan, with the majestic dome in the center. The all-stone bell tower remains detached from the main building and has beautiful ornaments in the entrance door.

Historic centre

From here I cycle along a path that crosses a small green area. It is the Sardanaj park where the remains of the Sardajara nuraghe are located, the first inhabited nucleus of Nurri.

The Santa Rosa da Viterbo church with the Capuchin friars monastery

I pedal to the church of Santa Rosa da Viterbo, next to the convent of the Capuchin friars. And then I visit two important water sources, the Funtana Noa, initially a supply point for livestock, then converted to civic use, and the Su Cannoni spring, historically a meeting place for the Nurresi people.

Funtana Noa

I could continue pedalling to visit some rural churches, some nuraghe, get to the lake, or to the little train station of the Green Train. But the sky is covering. Better to move on to Orroli where I will stay overnight.

View of Nurri






Sculpture (by or in memory of?) Licio Ligios

In a small square there is a metal sculpture with a plate indicating the name Licio Ligas, who only after doing a little research do I discover to be a poet and artist from Nurri, who later moved and worked in Quartu Sant’Elena.

Among his poems I find this, The Dreamer, which is well suited to the spirit of my journey:

The dreamer

One day I will take you by the hand, dreams of glory!
I who turn my mind among the stars,
Searching in the labyrinth of the great universe,
I am sure, I will find that wise Ariadne’s thread
That will not make me get lost in the meanders of the earth
Despite being full of pitfalls, as history knows;
One day I will take you by the hand, dreams of glory!

Days after my visit to Nurri I find myself at a feast in Suelli, invited to lunch at the table of the mayors of the area. I met many of them during my day in their countries. Next to me the Mayor of Nurri.

Mayor: why didn’t you come to us?
Me: I actually came some time ago
Mayor: and you didn’t tell us?
Me: yes, I sent an email a month earlier, but I never received an answer
Mayor: nooo, what are you talking about, email?? You should have called!
Me: it doesn’t matter, I still visited the village.
Mayor: but what have you seen alone?? You have to come back and we will welcome you properly.
Me: okay!