67/377: Portoscuso



This morning I pedal in company. Gigi with some friends of the Adventure Bike Gonnesa accompany me to Portoscuso. We cycle along the coastal road. A slight climb that leads to a stretch of fantastic coastline that I did not know, all volcanic rocks overlooking the sea. The road winds a bit flat and then descends to Portoscuso, where we get straight to a marina bar for a coffee.


Here we meet Claudia, a friend of Gigi, who will give me a bit of guidance for the day. We pass by the beautiful square in front of the Town Hall and we head towards the old tuna works Su Pranu, where we await Demetrio to tell me a bit of history and show me the place. Here is where all the activity of tuna fishermen, the tonnarotti, took place. Still visible the shelters with some very old boats, the square with the well, piles of nets, the church of Sant’Antonio da Padova, the buildings where they produced the different products of tuna processing, the houses of the tonnarotti. In the main building there is also a beautiful photographic exhibition on the past of Portoscuso.


At lunch I’m taken to the home of Valerio and Alessandra, who will also host me for the night, giving me a room with an electric piano, I cannot wait to compose on it. But first a little bit of wandering. In the afternoon we return to the square in front of the tonnara for the Befana children’s show, opposite the church of Santa Maria d’Itria, which occasionally rings its bells. Next to it, in a tuna factory building, a nice nativity scene, with statues in Sardinian costume and a reconstruction of the houses of Portoscuso.


After a short walk we arrive at the beach of the Ghinghetta, a charming corner, right next to the Spanish Tower. The sea beats on the rocks and from here we are right in front of the island of San Pietro and the small Isola Piana. Finally, we take a walk to Capo Altano, a beautiful stretch of volcanic coast and we come up to the remains of a turret of war, from which we enjoy a stunning sunset, with colors that change every minute.




Melancholy at the piano



Valerio and Alessandra both work in Portovesme, the industrial area of Portoscuso. As it has already happened in other villages, there are places and situations which are more or less taboo, of which it is difficult to talk with the local population, as many are not proud of it, many want to be silent, forget. The banditry in Barbagia, the murder on the Omodeo Lake, the bomb factory in Domusnovas, and here what it is considered by many a havoc of the territory. But Valerio and Alessandra have no problem talking about it, on the contrary they believe that the industry has improved the working conditions of the population, first employed mainly in the mining sector. In addition, Portovesme has also ‘modernized’ with the construction of a wind turbine system. We cry out to the ‘aesthetic’ massacre but then we also want a greener world! These are all important points to think about, given the fact that Sardinia is still not able to live on tourism alone.

Elena and Irene, Valerio and Alessandra’s daughters, are still in high school. Elena studied the piano, Irene the guitar (I find that as a teacher she had a dear friend of mine … small world!), But both have let the grip on music. Elena spent a period in Russia with Interculture. The host family has just sent a video of best wishes for the Orthodox New Year that the Russians celebrate after our. So the family is now busy learning the Russian line for the video to send to return the wishes. I enjoy the moment while Alessandra and Valerio try to learn this difficult sentence. Finally they all face the phone and say the sentence at best while Elena films, in a hysterical giggle (theirs … but also mine!)