372/377: Settimo San Pietro
Ante scriptum: data loss was something that hadn’t happened to me yet on the trip. Yes, the GoPro had given me some problems and some short videos had been lost; in some cases I hadn’t really started recording. But from this day I lost, in retrospect, all the photo backup, having only managed to save four low resolution photos, as, fortunately, posted in the weekly roundup on social media!
It takes me a little time to cover the few kilometers that connect Soleminis to Settimo San Pietro, a downhill road surrounded by green fields. The sounds of the city draw near.
And despite its proximity, Settimo San Pietro, in its historic center, maintains all the characteristics of an authentic village, noble stone houses, such as Casa Dessy, but also in ladiri, the raw earth bricks typical of the Campidano area. The village, famous fir its bread with several shops that produce it, and the Antico Molino, the old mill still in operation, is cut in two by a now buried river.
After an aperitif and lunch with my friend Emilio, I arrive at the parish church of San Pietro Apostolo, with a beautiful bell tower and a square in front that overlooks the last stretch of the Campidano, with Cagliari at its end. Here I meet Piercarlo, a new contact who some friends passed me on, who takes me on a bike ride around the village and its territory.
We arrive at the Cuccuru ‘e nuraxi hill where there are important archaeological remains, the remains of an imposing nuragic complex, a covered sacred well, a necropolis. Not far away is an important closed modern structure, the Ark of Time, a center for exhibitions, didactic, training and excavation laboratory activities.
We arrive at the small country church of San Pietro, not far from the domus de janas S’acqua ‘e is dolus which I visited, unaware that it was in the territory of Settimo San Pietro, on the distant day of Sinnai.
From another hill, Genna Arcana, the whole territory is dominated. In the distance, the country church of San Giovanni, with nearby the remains of a Roman villa, where, however, we do not go. The sun goes down, the view of Cagliari at sunset galvanizes me, the finish line is getting closer!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
Three rock encounters. Emilio Capalbo joins me for lunch. His Manual of pop-rock harmony will be released very soon, a fascinating and original work that occupies a large part of our conversation. Emilio is a classical organist, composer and rock keyboardist. His band, Dorian Gray from Cagliari, boasts a record: it was the first Western rock band (apart from Wham !, who aren’t really rock) to tour China, in the early 1990s.
While we visit the village and the various sites scattered throughout the area by bicycle, Piercarlo Carella tells me about his experience as a singer in two Cagliari formations, the Motivi per Litigare and the Musica ex machina. His true vocation, however, was drawing, and today he works as an illustrator. In his works the rock metal influence is evident and some characters are designed taking as models the skeletons of dead animals that Piercarlo finds in the surrounding countryside.
Cristiano Sanna Martini, talented drummer and songwriter who hosts me for the night, represented a bridge between rock and Sardinian music. From Elora, a band born in the midst of the grunge storm that came from America, to Tancaruja, who reinterpreted sounds and music of the Sardinian tradition in a modern key, mixing it with elements of Mediterranean origin, Cristiano’s powerful drumming has matured in the rock, pop, progressives of Cagliari in the 90s. His compositional vein, on the other hand, is well represented in the latest project, Signor Palomar.
It may be a coincidence but on the shelf of his home library I notice the extraordinary Boghes e sonos by journalist Giacomo Serreli, which collects ‘forty years of extra-cultured music in Sardinia. From beat to pop, from jazz to ethnorock’. I will meet Giacomo again at the Cagliari Town Hall in a few days.