The morning is sparkling. The wind has dropped and the sky is clear. But it’s cold. I leave without any rush, pedaling a bit inside the village Rosas and then throwing myself downhill to the valley that will take me back to the provincial road. I cycle through the village of Acquacadda, and today too I nearly have an accident because of dangerous drivers. I arrive late in the village, I stop in the square in front of the Town Hall which contains interesting murals, a big one in the style of Orgosolo, which refers to the story of Salvatore Cadeddu, a lawyer from Cagliari escaped to Nuxis to escape a conviction, but then captured and hanged. Shortly after I am joined by the Mayor Andrea and the vice Mayor Michele. They work hard to find ma an accommodation, and soon after I am placed at Anna Paola’s home, sister of the Mayor.
Daniela invites me to lunch and then takes me to see the Sa Turri spring, which is in the upper part of the village. The water is conveyed in a gully delimited by stone walls, reminds me very much of the embankment of Olzai, and the river descends to the lower part of the country where it has been covered. Shortly after Sandro joins us and together we go to the Byzantine church of Sant’Elia, at the base of the mountains behind Nuxis. It seems that once here there were many walnut trees (hence the name of the village) and Sandro tells me that once they used to have many games during religious feasts, including shooting a living cock!
Then we go to the place called Tattinu (where the fugitive Salvatore Cadeddu was hidden) to admire an archaeological site that has one of the most beautiful sacred wells I have seen on this trip, with a staircase that goes down to the water.
Back to the village, I change my companion. Giuseppe, takes me to visit the mines of Sa Marchesa, where Roberto, geologist, guides me through the site. Outside there is an exposition of rocks from the whole Sardinian geological sequence, from the Paleozoic of Sulcis Iglesiente to the most recent eras, then a beautiful outcrop where you can admire the mineralizations that were sought here. Inside the structure an incredible display of minerals and fossils, both from the area and from all over the world. Also, beautiful rooms and laboratories for educational activities. We end with a visit to a beautiful cave, rich in concretions and even containing remains of prehistoric human activities and at the exit a spectacular sunset on the Narcao plain awaits us.
Giuseppe takes me back to the village, where he shows me his sculptures, made of wood and stone (one of his stone sculptures depicting a miner is in the square of Sa Marchesa). Giuseppe has also made several murals in the village, one in the square adjacent to the museum of ancient crafts, where we enter. The museum is guarded by Salvatore, who makes us a good coffee and shows us objects, photos, old looms and artifacts of other times. On the looms there are still works in progress but Salvatore tells us that he has little time to finish them, and complains that now there are no young people who take up this art. Stories already heard during this tour. Will the Sardinian craftsmanship disappear?
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
How many people and names on this trip! They materialise in a short time and immediately are part of the adventure. Who are those named today? Shortly after my arrival in Nuxis, while I talk to the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor on the street in front of the Town Hall a car stops. It is Simone, a biker advised of my arrival by Claudia from Portoscuso, who once again (after Carloforte) has activated the network of Sardinian bikers (and she had been alerted by Gigi from Gonnesa … and so on …) Simone immediately calls Sandro, an expert in the area who takes me around in the afternoon. Sandro arrives. A car passes by, the girl inside greets us. It is Daniela, whom I met a few days ago in Perdaxius and who was passing by chance. She takes the opportunity to invite me to lunch and take me around in the afternoon. When I finish with Daniela and Sandro, Giuseppe, Simone’s brother, joins me. At the end of the day I’m exhausted but the evening is not over: we all meet, Simone, Giuseppe, and partners (new names to remember!!) for a pizza where we are joined by Claudia and her friend Stefania coming from Iglesias! In short, the network of connections of my project increases exponentially, and what was a village where I had no expectation and knowledge becomes for a moment the center of the world!