I leave Joe’s house with heavy rain. I take the straight road that goes out of Santadi, I pass the famous Cantina Sociale, I pass the roundabout, and shortly after I’m in Villaperuccio. Joe followed me in the car and we say goodbye at the Town Hall.
The councillor Mario welcomes me. After having a coffee and leaving my luggage at the Da Delfina bnb, Mario immediately takes me to Montessu, the famous prenuragic burial site built in the mountains behind Villaperuccio. The guides Bruno and Laura, and Selvaggia the dog welcome me. The day is not the best for walking, so we drive by car to the outcrops of the Domus de Janas. It is an impressive site, which develops mainly on the two sides of a valley, but also all around. Bruno and Laura explain to me all the different types of burials, some that I had not yet found, like the one called the ‘sanctuary’ or the ‘oven’. The details of some are beautiful, with symbols, ocher colors, and various ornamentations. We walk a good part of the site, which dominates the entire valley below where the ancient town was located and from which the inhabitants brought the dead up here.
The councilor Roberto comes to pick me up, we have lunch and then he brings me around all afternoon. First in the village, where there are still some very old houses. He shows me the new church and not far away a little alley with a well, belonging to the house of a baron, now gone. Then not far from the center is Sa Perda de Luxia Arrabiosa, a huge menhir, and Roberto tells me an alternative legend to what I find online, the giant Lucia who was bringing the stone to Sant’Antioco for the construction of the bridge. Arrived here someone told her that the bridge had already been completed and then Lucia, angry, threw the stone on the ground.
Then we drive to the large water tank, visible from all the surrounding area. Here it was the first settlement of the village, of which nothing remains. Spread here and there some ruins in ladiri bricks, and in the fields there are some menhirs of considerable size. Here too, as I have now noticed throughout this area, there are many centenary olive trees.
The next stop is the beautiful country church of Is Grazias. Inside a beautiful wooden statue of the Madonna, while on the outside, in addition to very old houses, there are many animal shelters, especially pigs, that crumble among the remains of stones used as drinking troughs that have an ancient look! We conclude the tour by driving towards the lake of Monte Pranu, already visited in the Tratalias visit, but this time we reach the other side, a very harsh territory, which on this gray day gives a sense of desolation.
On the way back Roberto stops on a hill from where we can admire a beautiful view. On all these peaks there are traces of nuraghi, strategically positioned, even if there are no longer traces of many of them, while others are hidden by vegetation and waiting to be excavated. We go back and Roberto shows me the remains of a nuraghe, right inside the village. Only the base remains and is thought to have been abandoned during construction, perhaps because it was no longer useful.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Roberto calls me a few days later to ask me some questions about my project to be published in a magazine of Sulcis-Iglesiente. Among the various one is ‘what struck you most of the Sulcis?’
It’s true, I have not yet completed all the villages here, I miss a few, but I have already made a clear idea. And my answer is a little provocative. I did not know the Sulcis well, if not the most famous places, Sant’Antioco, Carbonia, Porto Pino and maybe that was it. After this ten days I realized the richness and diversity of this territory. The sea, with enchanting places, the mountain, with magical woods, the mines, the caves, the centenarian trees, the archeology, much known, other unknown, all to be excavated, sporting activities, kitesurfing, horse racing. I do not think I have passed such a territory so far, perhaps the Oristanese although I have no memories or knowledge of caves and mines. Well, how is it possible that such a territory could historically be one of the poorest in Sardinia or in Italy (or so it is said)? So what strikes me is the richness and diversity but also all the unrealized and the difficulty to establish itself as one of the flagship territory of the Mediterranean. Why isn’t this part of Sardinia a worldwide attraction that gives work to all its inhabitants? It has all the numbers to be. This is my provocation. Does it depend only on the lack of funds allocated at state or regional level (now it is clear to me that the municipalities alone cannot make it o their own)? Or from the will (or unwillingness) of the people? Or is it a Nuragic curse? Food for thought.