35/377: Seneghe


Montiferru red oxen

Today’s journey is simple, a few kilometers, a slight downhill and a gentle uphill. I enjoy the panorama that opens up on the Gulf of Oristano. The days of the Barbagia are far away, those around Lake Omodeo too, and Montiferru is also about to end.

I arrive in Seneghe where Giovanna and Tore greet me. After a coffee, Tore takes me for drive in the countryside around. We go up, on a road that leads to the municipal forests of Su Monte, among the few in Sardinia where the population can request a lot from which to get themselves wood, in regulated quantities.

Woods at Su Monte

When we reach the top the view is incredible, all the Gulf of Oristano and the plain of Campidano, in addition to the side that faces eastwards on the plateau of Abbasanta and the mountains of Gennargentu.

Olive grove

At the top we find thickets of dense oaks, then little by little as we descend the vegetation changes, from the cork oaks to the famous olive groves, from which they produce an excellent olive oil renowned all over the world. Returning to the village, we cross a cattery of cows of a unique species, the famous red ox of Montiferru.

Ornamentations on trachyte

In the afternoon I take a walk in the village with Giovanna. The houses are very beautiful and well cared for, here too, as throughout the Montiferru, the dominant stone is the basalt but also the green trachyte, used above all for the edges of doors and windows.

There are many noble buildings with several floors, like real palaces. We arrive at the main church, the facade is very sober, almost like a temple, and with the Town Hall and the school it forms a nice triangular square.

Music instruments at Raimondo Usai’s workshop

On the way back we pass to the home of Raimondo Usai, a maker of musical instruments of all kinds, traditional Sardinian ones and above all an inventor of original instruments, as well as a producer of liqueurs and other natural products based on herbs.

With Raimondo we have known each other since the Tancaruja days, a group in which we both played, and I try some of his instruments and drink his delicious artemisia liqueur!

All ready at Casa Addis

The evening ends in the beautiful Casa Addis, headquarters of the Perda Sonadora Association, which organizes here a festival dedicated to poetry, Cabudanne de Sos Poetas.

Tonight they organised an event to present my project, and they invited singers of the Su Cuntrattu group and accordionist Nicola Piredda to play. After some individual pieces we decide to make an experiment and we all throw ourselves into an impromptu jam session in a very relaxed atmosphere.



Song built on the rhythm played by Mondo Usai with Su Tumbarineddu, a small artisanal shaker.




I get a message on Facebook ‘Hello Seb, I saw that you will be in Seneghe in a few days, and that there will be a meeting at Casa Addis: my grandfather’s house and my mother’s  too, whose surname is Addis in fact. Pity, I would have liked to welcome you to Seneghe. There will be other occasions. Big hug’.

I met Michele about 25 years ago, when I was in Bologna to visit a dear friend. Michele was studying at DAMS, he was playing a guitar and I did a little bit too so we got along well right away. Since then, we have both gone a long way, in music, me as a double bass player, he as an ethnomusicologist.

A fan of Sardinian music (he wrote on the songs of Montiferru and made many speeches at the Capudannos de Sos Poetas), he would have so much to object with the fact that now jazz is considered Sardinian music. Whenever our lives meet again (often in Cagliari, or in the summer in Tueredda where he runs a beach bar with his brothers), we always have a lot to tell each other.

Lately Michele, a good father and globetrotter, juggles between Sardinia and France where his daughter Sophie studies at the Ecole Nationale de Danse, a very prestigious position for only a select few.

Michele, like me, grew up in Cagliari, he has lived and traveled here and there, but the bond with his roots is always so strong as to feel guilty for not having been able to welcome me in his mother’s village.

Fortunately, there are social networks, and while I do a nice live on Facebook from Su Monte, showing the beautiful view you can enjoy from here, Michele takes advantage to send me live greetings. Hey Micky, I hope that Sophie is also watching and breathing in this sense of belonging!