360/377: Ortacesus


Courtyard at the Wheat Museum

No much time left for my arrival. The days are getting shorter, mental fatigue is at its peak and the musical inspiration is silent, a frightening silence.

At the church of San Pietro, in the centre of Ortacesus, I meet Mr. Pino, who takes me to the Museo del Grano, the wheat museum in a beautiful old house with a large courtyard overlooked by all the rooms. Here I follow the exhibitions that tell the story of wheat, its types and processing. There are also rooms with mole, looms, one dedicated to the master of launeddas Dionigi Burranca, a native of Samatzai who lived here for a long time. Outside, a beautiful display of tools and plows.

Detail at the Wheat Museum

Deputy Mayor Katiuscia joins me by bicycle and we cycle to what remains of the church of San Bartolomeo, which has collapsed but is covered by a wooden structure and with the altar area still intact.

San Bartolomeo church

Then we go out of town, crossing the fields, at times interrupted by unusual and harsh granite outcrops, the corongius, until we reach the Punic and Roman necropolis of Mitza de Siddi. Here there are hundreds of burials of various types, some of which can be visited

Mitza de Siddi burial site inside

Upon returning, we skirt the village sports complex, the Trexenta livestock center, and in addition to the cow farms, behind a fence, more unusual animals strike my attention: ostriches.





It was the distant day 80 of 377, in Giba, when beyond a net some unusual animals struck me: a zebra, a dromedary, a llama, and even some ostriches, at the Parco degli Angeli. Today here in Ortacesus I find many ostriches  at the Di Penta farm, which also offers meals based on the meat of this animal.

Curiously, ostriches in Sardinia were imported from Germany and the first breeding, owned by the elementary teacher Peppino Meloni, was located in Tortolì in the 1910s. At the time, the demand for ostrich feathers, for ornamentation of clothes, was very high and the breeding reached the number of 175 ostriches. An ostrichdrome was also established where animals were instructed to pull carts and carriages.

The cartoonist Bepi Vigna is the author of a book and the show The man who dreamed of ostriches, inspired by Meloni’s life.