58/377: San Gavino Monreale



I cycle the 11 kilometers of straight road easily, all in slight descent. In front of me stands the smokestack of the foundry and even more behind, the castle of Monreale on a hill, territory of Sardara municipality.

At the entrance of the village I am greeted by Diego Cotza from AVIS (Association of Italian Blood Volunteers, not the car rentals!), by bike. We immediately head to the Piazza del Comune, outside which the train that will do the tour of the murals is about to leave. It is only a few days since I learned of this aspect of the village, and I must admit that I will not be disappointed. We take a coffee on the fly and we ride our bikes behind the train, which in addition to visitors also carries some of the authors of the murals.


The tour, organized by the association Non Solo Murales, touches an impressive number of murals, one street is entirely covered, by Sergio Putzu, and then the famous murals by Giorgio Casu, the modern version of Eleonora D’Arborea, the Don Quixote, and then the mural dedicated to Gigi Riva, the flock of sheep, the dolphins, the square dedicated to musicians, David Bowie, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and many others, too many to be named here, all in different styles.


Along a peripheral area I can see the hospital of San Gavino. Diego tells me that now they come to give birth from almost all the villages in the district. The new born therefore always have San Gavino as a place of birth, regardless of the place of origin of the family, but when they grow up they always wants to specify their origin in the case they are not from San Gavino! Returning to the Piazza del Comune, which also overlooks the beautiful church of Santa Chiara, we are greeted by the Mayor Carlo and some municipal administrators.


In the afternoon we continue the bike ride around the village. Many houses here are still made in ladiri, the brick of raw clay and straw, although there are now many modern houses. Then we visit the construction of carnival floats in the old barracks. The dimensions of the various components is impressive. I see how the supporting structures are realized, covered with wire mesh, on which the paper mache is then placed. They have just begun to put the paper on a large-sized little monster head.


In the evening I am invited to the concert of the boys of the brass band of Santu Engiu (Sardinian name of San Gavino). In the middle of the show, I’m invited on stage, I quickly tell my story, everyone wants to hear the ukulele, which I play acoustically … in the massive municipal theater! At the end of the evening the Mayor Carlo gives me a nice package of local saffron … I must have played well …

Tomorrow morning I will take the train from the local train station, which makes San Gavino an important communication hub in Campidano. I will stop for four days for the Christmas holidays.



Joy and colors of the murals.




In 2013 Skizzo (Simone Farci), a young boy from San Gavino, dies. Friends, with a gap to fill, organise an event in his honor, food and music (Skizzo’s passions). A year later he was dedicated a beautiful mural made by Giorgio Casu, helped by about twenty boys, in the main street of the village. Since then, the country has not stopped investing in this art and every year murals are commissioned to famous foreign street artists. A breath of freshness in the art of murals in Sardinia!

At the end of my short performance at the Teatro Comunale Diego takes a chance to say a few words “I wanted to host Sebastiano because I have a small daughter, to whom I want to teach and convey the concept of hospitality, not in words but with real facts, and I thought this was a nice opportunity “. Pills of wisdom, thanks Diego!