47/377: Santa Giusta



After having presented my project to the primary schools Sacro Cuore of Oristano and having given an interview to Link Oristano (my surname is misspelled with the final i … to return to the surname questions about the final y or i!) I head to Santa Giusta, escorted by the faithful Roberto, passing by a very busy road. Santa Giusta is next in Oristano, so close that I miss the entrance sign, to which I should attach my sticker 377 (which I will do tomorrow when I leave).


We enter the village, cycling along the beautiful Romanesque basilica, and we arrive at the Town Hall. Roberto leaves me and I cycle around, admiring the beautiful sculpture in the shape of an eel by the artist Salvatore Garau, right next to the Town Hall. I head to Marietta Dessanai’s home, which will host me for the day. Despite the surname, Marietta is not my relative, has Laconese origins and since we know each other (only on Facebook) we have not yet managed to find direct kinship relationships. Today I finally meet her in person after so many years!


In the afternoon I wander by bike, along the famous pond, beyond which you can see the harbor, passing over a dangerous footbridge over the water, through a pine forest and arrive at a junction that leads to the 131 motorway. Here are the remains of a beautiful Roman bridge, now almost completely covered by water, and a statue of Santa Giusta right on the edge of the pond.


Returning to the village, Marietta takes me to the Sardinian dance course. There are many people, the music is played by a cd, everyone dances following Ilaria’s instructions. When Marietta tells Ilaria about my project, I am introduced and I interrupt the dances with a tune played on the bass ukulele. Applause. After that I’m forced to try some dance steps, by Ilaria’s arms, who hums me the right-left rhythms and thanks to whom I can get a few steps right!

I conclude the day at dinner at Maria Grazia’s home, the one who invited me to speak in the schools of Oristano this morning. Maria Grazia is Satta by surname, from Gavoi, somehow related to the family of my paternal grandmother. We both struggle to understand how … and we use the most experienced family members of this intricate genealogical branch to discover a very distant kinship! Yummy food and wine, in the company of her family, Marco and Francesca and friends Massimo and Emanuela with their sons Francesco and Federico (oh my God, how many names to remember…I’m becoming ‘a human database’ to quote Maria Grazia!)



Inspired by the Sardinian dance lesson.




Another object of contention between two municipalities: the port, known as the port of Oristano, even if a part of it extends into the municipality of Santa Giusta. Who does it belong to? It depends on who you ask, inhabitants of Oristano or Santa Giusta.

Enrico, 40, currently does not have a permanent job and lives with his parents. He worked for a clinic and occasionally goes down to Cagliari for some part-time jobs. He kindly drives me to Oristano (re-encounter with the city …) to solve my mobile phone problems (help …). When we get back, Enrico asks me to see the bass ukulele. He connects it to an amplifier in the cellar, I play it for a while and he listens silently. Then he tells me that he too plays, the guitar. He takes out an electric, connects it in place of the ukulele, plays a rock background from the cd and starts playing on it … amazing, solos, melodies, excellent technique and inventiveness! I listen to him for some time before going back to my room to reflect on the talents scattered around the territory that are struggling to find their dimension of life, as well as a job.