I arrive in Guamaggiore with Antonello, cyclist of the Mandas Bike group and owner of the La Forchetta restaurant in Mandas where I was a guest, who came down to do a few kilometers together. We enter the town by passing a wooden pedestrian bridge that joins two sides of the town, on each of which there is a church.
On one side, past a pine forest, is the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, built on a nuraghe. Next to it, a restored building will become a museum. Inside the church, there is a Nuragic well and two very ancient burials, impressive! The village elders say that this is where the cattle fair took place in ancient times. Today, where the slaughterhouse was once located, there are the oil mills of the Goymaior oil mill.
On the other side of the pedestrian bridge is the Romanesque church of San Pietro from 1214, the original nucleus of the ancient town where there was also another church that has now disappeared. This beautiful little church, restored several times, is located along the path of Santu Jacu, the Sardinian Santiago.
The mayor Antonio, but everyone here calls him Nello, together with the councilor Nicola, give me information on the origin of the name of the town, still uncertain : the original name Goimaior would mean “greater ford” or “main court”, the Sardinian Courmayeur!
They take me to a hill where the aqueduct is located and where once there was a nuraghe, which has disappeared. At the former Monte Granatico there is a plaque commemorating Antioco Vincenzo Melis, a playwright born here. The church of San Sebastiano is closed for security reasons, but in the nearby oratory of the Madonna del Rosario there is a beautiful retable from the sixteenth century, discovered by restoring the choir area.
Once out of the village, the plowed fields are planted with wheat, beans and legumes. There are also many vineyards, once belonging to the Trexenta cellars and now owned by Enrico Melis di Barrali who produces the Barru wine. The harvest is still done by hand, with the bags that are filled and loaded onto the donkeys.
After climbing to the top of a hill to visit the imposing five-lobed nuraghe Barru, we return to the village where Nicola shows me his chicken and rabbit farm.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
The famous Sardinian playwright Efisio Vincenzo Melis, was born in Guamaggiore. His most famous comedy, Ziu Paddori, was performed in Cagliari in 1919. With great irony he stages the contrasts between the city and the countryside, between modernity and tradition. Ziu Paddori, one of the most popular masks of Sardinian comedy, recalls an almost unknown Sardinia for someone like me who grew up in a city like Cagliari, an almost imaginary Sardinia.