Beautiful morning, blue sky, mild temperature. I leave without haste. The road is not long but there will be a climb. Shortly after leaving the village, I pass the site of the Cugui nuraghe of which I was told yesterday, a granite summit covered with vegetation. The road starts to rise slowly. I arrive at a very bare granite plateau, probably because of the fires. A few ruins here and there, probably stables linked to the past mining activity.
After crossing the Gennamari pass (a mining area belonging to Arbus) I find myself in front of a beautiful landscape, a long valley and the beginning of a scary descent. And it is very scary. My brakes start to whistle and scrape on the rims, and I’m forced to do the whole descent in tension, without enjoying the incredible sight.
I get to the bottom, and shortly after I enter Fluminimaggiore. At the entrance Mirco stops me, a man who has come to know my coming and offers me hospitality for the night. I cycle along the main street, decorated with some murals, and arrive at the Town Hall. The back of the beautiful municipal building overlooks the Rio Mannu river, which in the last flood has brought down part of the road that runs next to it. I cross a bridge and I arrive at a small public space and at the closed ethnographic museum, though outside I can admire some tools of the peasant activity of the past and the headquarters of the Zurru Licheri mill.
I visit the village by bike, many climbs, more murals, some houses still in ladiri bricks, some in schistose stone, many modern ones. I stop at the square of the church of Sant’Antioco, next to which there is a stone statue of a madonna with child. From here one can admire the position of the village, at the foot of a high mountain ridge parallel to the river, and the slopes of Mount Linas all around the other side.
In the late afternoon I stop in a bar to work. Here Alberto reaches me, a contact that someone gave me for Fluminimaggiore. With great surprise I realise I know him, a former colleague at the faculty of geology I have not seen for more than twenty years! Alberto tells me some historical facts of Fluminimaggiore, especially related to mining activities of the past.
After a night spent at Mirco’s, the next day, on the road to Buggerru, I stop at Portixeddu, a hamlet of Fluminimaggiore. The few houses overlook the sea, at the end of the long beach where the Rio Mannu flows. Before leaving, I stop on a promontory of schist rocks, dominating in this area, I descend in a small cove with a tiny beach, and improvise for a while on the ukulele, surrounded by the sound of the sea.
Improvisation on a theme.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
The great absentees. Slowly during this trip I realised that it would be impossible to see in a day everything that a municipal area offers. Using only the bicycle even less. Sometimes I was driven to see places at a certain distance from the town (Su Gologone in Oliena, San Basilio in Ollolai, S’Urbale in Teti, Sa Crabarissa in Austis, Biru e’ Concas in Sorgono, Capo San Marco in Cabras, Marceddì in Terralba, Montevecchio in Guspini, Perd’e Pibera in Gonnosfanadiga … and many others). But many times I gave up on seeing important places in the various municipalities. This is particularly true for these last two stages.
The territory of Arbus extends to the Gulf of Oristano, and has hamlets (Sant’Antonio di Santadi, Ingurtosu) and beaches (Scivu, Piscinas, Torre dei Corsari) that deserve to be visited. The great absentees of Fluminimaggiore are certainly the Temple of Antas, about ten kilometers, but not on the way to my next stop, and the beautiful caves of Su Mannau. Fortunately, in the past I have visited all these latter places, and I feel less guilty for not having visited them this time!