Leaving Barrali, I cycle along a stretch of the dangerous state road 128 before arriving unharmed at the gates of Senorbì, the main town of Trexenta, where Franco and Roberta are waiting for me and will host me for the day.
Franco is a longtime friend, from Cagliari but with Neapolitan origins, who has settled here for a few years. During the morning we visit the town, starting from the main square overlooked by the parish church of Santa Barbara, of which I am struck by the beautiful facade, with the light sandstone blocks typical of this area, and the high bell tower with the small dome covered with majolica.
Nearby I am surprised to find some guys playing “sa murra” the Sardinian forbidden game! We walk along the historic Casa Lonis which houses the municipal library and arrive at the Domu Nosta archaeological museum, in an old Campidanese house that has been superbly restored.
The museum houses finds from the nearby archaeological sites of Monte Luna and Su Nuraxi in the hamlet of Sisini and of particular importance are the Roman epigraph of Marcus Arrecinus Heliusa found in Bau Tellas and a copy of the famous mother goddess found in Turriga, on the border between Senorbì, Selegas and Ortacesus.
We take the car to visit the surrounding area. On a hill called Monte Luna there is a Punic acropolis which unfortunately cannot be visited. Opposite, however, is the important necropolis, containing more than 120 well tombs, many of which have been desecrated. We visit the site where many tombs are cordoned off due to the continuous risk of collapses.
In the afternoon we continue the tour, skirting the famous Cantina Sociale della Trexenta (wine production), the old theatre, the abandoned villa of Colonel Salvatore Mascia and the train station on the Cagliari-Isili line.
On a hill just outside the village, inside a park, is the Romanesque country church of Santa Maria della Neve, also known as Mariedda di Segolaj, from the name of an ancient medieval village that has now disappeared.
After trying in vain to access the remains of a nuraghe, on leaving the town in the direction of Ortacesus, we head to Sisini, one of the two hamlets of Senorbì (the other is Arixi) where the parish church of the Madonna della Difesa stands. There are many empty, abandoned houses, but also some noble palaces in good condition, including the ancient manor house Villa Aresu.
Back home Franco organised a surprise: friends Lello and Marcello arrive from Cagliari, with whom we formed the band Golem back in the late eighties and early nineties. We spend the after dinner in joy and, with the musical instruments out, we dust off our old hits!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
From the website www.senprbisardegna.it:
“The nuraghe of Simieri is an important historical testimony of the passage of man in these territories, which knows how to attract history lovers and onlookers who want to spend a day here completely immersed in the beauty of the landscape that it has to offer.
But a legend very well known by all the inhabitants of Senorbì was also born about this nuraghe; a legend that tells what were the origins of this charming town in Sardinia.
Tradition has it that where Senorbì stands today there was a lush forest full of impenetrable vegetation, populated only by wild boars: one day a population found it and decided to cut down all the trees, uproot the weeds and kill all the wild boars.
In just one day the secular forest disappeared and at sunset all the wild boars were exterminated: the next day the town was immediately built and named Sirboni (wild boar in Sardinian) in memory of the wild boars that first populated this land; only later the name became Senorbì as it is still universally known today.
The people were divided into neighbourhoods based on different social classes: where the town stands today were the huts of the poor while the royal court and the nobility lived on the Simieri hill; one day the king fell madly in love with a beautiful woman from the village of Segolay, but this love was never reciprocated.
In anger, the Sovereign destroyed his palace and killed the entire court and the population, sowing only death and destruction: taken by remorse, he could only kill himself; from that moment on, the hill was shrouded in silence while subsequently the town was able to flourish again. “