After a linear journey of a few kilometers across the great Campidano plain, I arrive in the village welcomed by the Councilor for Culture Guido, who offers me a coffee and takes me to visit the village.
The San Leonardo parish church, with a white and rectangular façade, whose octagonal bell tower stands out against the blue sky. The portal with the decorated architrave is impressive, inside there are several chapels containing important works of art, wooden altars and paintings, such as that of the Madonna delle Anime by the Neapolitan artist Tonelli, and precious marbles that adorn every part of the church.
Walking through Serramanna I understand why the village belongs to the National Association of Rammed Earth Cities: many buildings are built entirely with mud bricks, some even with two floors, noble buildings as well as humbler houses.
Serramanna has 13 neighborhoods, the eighteenth-century bixinaus, and a recent project has affixed ceramic plaques to identify them. We pass the abandoned barracks, then the church of Sant’Angelo and arrive at Piazza Caduti sul Lavoro where there is a beautiful monument by the local sculptor Pino Pinna, all in red Fordongianus trachyte, and various murals.
In the municipal park there is the first book exchange house in Sardinia, the “Little Free Library“. Opposite, on the wall of the sports field, there are a series of modern murals created by the F.R.A.D.E.S. group, born with the intention of commemorating the boys from Serramanna who died prematurely, through cultural, entertainment and social activities in an annual event.
Continuing through the village we come across other murals, including those by the Serramanna artist Luciano Lixi, we arrive at the loggias of the old market and then at the building of the former Monte Granatico, where a series of very original nativity scenes are on display.
The day ends with an event organised by the Associazione Culture e Tradizioni Popolari: here the Giuseppe Verdi brass and wind band awaits me for a musical collaboration. My ukulele accompanies their notes, in a group, in a duo with a very young flautist, and the evening ends in joy with pancakes, local sweets and a good wine.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Three characters from Serramanna:
Vico Mossa, who died in 2003, was an important architect but not only, photographer and writer, he left an immense archive of precious testimonies that make us understand the evolution of architectural styles, of the evolution of rural and village life in Sardinia, archive that was recently donated by the heirs to the Municipality of Serramanna.
In his “I cabilli” (1964) he describes Serramanna as a hardworking and happy villager, “partly animal partly a bit of a braggart, but at the same time dominated by an inexplicable fear, like an atavic nightmare: fear for events that never happened, messed up by invisible “cabilli”, islanders or foreigners in general, distant, imaginary people; also fear of people very close to them, of whom those good honest and obsequious people of the established order had nothing to fear: fear of the mayor they elected themselves, of the municipal guard, perpetually inactive, sitting on one of the benches in the square, of the barracelli and of bored carabinieri, of the tax agent… fear, in short, of authority, even if impersonated by the auctioneer or the gravedigger.”
Franco Putzolu, born in Serramanna in 1936, is considered one of the greatest Sardinian and Italian cartoonists, active over fifteen thousand tables. He published his first cartoons in 1953 for the magazine “Illustrated Football and Cycling”, collaborating with numerous Italian magazines, he created numerous carousels among which we remember the characters Mammut Babbut and Figliut. In 1965 he was hired by the Unione Sarda newspaper, with which he collaborated for thirty years.
After studying and working for many years in the design and advertising sector, in 2012 Fabio Putzolu decided to combine his experience in design with his passion for bikes and found FABIKE Design in Prague (where he lived at the time), together with two foreign partners, with the aim of creating high-end bicycles with a spirit of great technical innovation and absolutely recognizable design. And in 2019 Fabio returned to Sardinia and founded The Byk Hub with the aim of creating a place for bicycle enthusiasts at 360 degrees.