72/377: San Giovanni Suergiu
Riiing. Riiing. Riiiiiiiing. The mobile phone rings while I pedal in a country road that joins Tratalias to San Giovanni Suergiu. I’m a little (very) late. I made the mistake of giving an exact time of arrival, while I have already experienced that for various reasons (departures delayed by those who host me, by those who want to show me the latest things, stray dogs, break for photographs, simple slowing down to enjoy the panoramas) I am not able to respect specific times. So Claudia from Acli Le Mani Amiche, Carla and Valentina of the Association Quadrifoglio 95 and Pietro Armas president of the Pro Loco, wait for 40 minutes, desperate, thinking that I may have had an accident.
I arrive in the central piazza, in front of the Town Hall, calmly, and I see them there, all in a group waiting for me! I apologize right away, and the long day begins! Precisely from this point, with the visit to the church of San Giovanni, recently built, with a beautiful mosaic by Filippo Figari on the façade. Patrizia the guide shows us the interior, and then in the sacristy some photos showing the very old church of the village, not far from here, of which unfortunately only the façade remains today.
Before lunch we visit a necropolis with some beautiful domus de janas, of shapes that I had not seen in this trip, at Is Loccis Santus. I discover that all around San Giovanni Suergiu many localities are named after the surnames of the historical owners of the area, Is Pusceddud, Is Pes, Is Loccis Diana. Later we will also pass by a place with name and surname: Chiccu Collu! The area is raised and the view you can enjoy is beautiful, a gorgeous day, the whole sea with the islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro.
In the afternoon we visit a beautiful archaeological site, the nuraghe Candelargiu. Unlike other sites that I have visited yet to be discovered, here excavation campaigns have already been organised, with the beautiful Proyecto Nuraghe in collaboration with the Universities of Cagliari and Seville. Some beautiful finds, including Carthaginian coins.
The visit continues through the countryside, once full of flourishing vineyards of Carignano, but they have almost all been abandoned, while the horse-racing activities resist well, with a racecourse and three associations. We arrive up to Punta Trettu, by the sea, with the fishermen’s moorings, and an area equipped for kitesurfing. It has turned very windy but the view on the ‘lagoon’ is fantastic. In reality this is the sea, between this territory and Sant’Antioco, but with very low depth. Once you could even walk to the island, but today a gully has been dredged to allow the passage of boats.
We return to San Giovanni passing from the village of Mazzacara and then from the beautiful Rosso Porpora, an old village, all renovated maintaining the look of the past, where now stands a widespread hotel. Late in the evening I’m invited to a rehearsal of the local Brass Band, directed by maestro Cocco. I play with them an arrangement of Ennio Morricone on the ukulele!
And after a good pizza I finally retire to sleep at the Agrifoglio farm, a unique place, producing almost everything, animal meat, sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, wool, milk, fruit, vegetables, which also offers trekking and educational activities. Time to sleep. ZZZzzzzzz….
Come out of nowhere to the rehearsal of the Brass Band.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
It’s time to talk about a character that I’ve been hearing about since I started this journey (and perhaps I’ve already mentioned it on some page of my blog): Janus River, the Polish cyclist of Russian origins who at eighty is going around the world. From relatively little he has been in Sardinia, visiting all the villages and asking for hospitality. And many say to me he was impetuous and not shy as myself. Janus has been around for 18 years, started since he retired, and plans to finish in 2028, at age 90. A prophecy revealed to him that he would live up to 100 years, and he promises to want to die by bike, seeing the world. Arrived in Sardinia, the mayors’ phones began to ring. Janus did not ask, he DEMANDED hospitality, not in any accommodation but sometimes in beautiful, special facilities. Like here in San Giovanni Suergiu. Janus claimed to be hosted at the Rosso Porpora village, then closed for the off season. It has bothered everyone, up to the owners, until exhaustion, and I think (if those who tell me remember well) that in the end he succeeded! Bravo Janus, I could take you as an example (in every term!)