The weather seems fine but the forecasts announce rain so I get dressed with the waterproof equipment anyway. A few miles in a country road, skirting the beautiful hills, and shortly after the sky is threateningly covered. I hasten to avoid the rain and arrive in Piscinas still dry.
The Mayor Mariano and the Councilors Eleonora and Loredana are waiting for me. Piscinas is a small well-kept village, I notice it from the first walk to the main church of the Madonna delle Nevi. Outside, on the square there is a nice stone mosaic depicting St. George against the dragon. Inside the church, ancient but with many modernised elements, there is a beautiful wooden statue, very old, of the Madonna delle Nevi.
Immediately afterwards we drive towards the Villino Bice dei Salazar, a family of nobles who came from Spain around 1500 and remained here as landowners. Stefano, the president of the Pro Loco which is based here, tells me all about this place, purchased by the Town Hall, which contains furniture and original objects of the last Salazar branch who lived here. Art Nouveau architecture that hides traces of the ancient inside. It seems that the structure of the house could once be a church. In fact, next to the villa there is a building that was a monastery.
Before lunch we take a walk to the river, near which is located Sa Cracchera, a thermal bath built in ancient times from a spring that was once hot. Piscinas could derive its name from the presence of ‘pools’ of thermal waters that formed in some areas. Then I take possession of my accommodation today, a beautiful property just outside the village, Sa Corti de Sa Perda, just in front of the green fields and hills. All the bikes parked under the canopy make me feel welcome!
In the afternoon, the street warden Rosalba takes us by car to take a tour of the countryside. The sun came out, the scattered clouds make the landscape postcard-like. The fields are very green. We follow a road that winds between two hills, although calling them hills is reductive. We pass near the old cemetery, fenced and covered with vegetation, and we arrive at the place called Su Rai, a beautiful valley, with the remains of what was a small village. Most of the houses are in ruins, but a couple are still used by breeders for their livestock. Next to a spring stand out two centuries-old olive trees, which I photograph for my friend Giorgio Spiga from Marrubiu who is preparing tourist cycle routes that touch the historic Sardinian trees.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
They take me to Giba for dinner (broken rule!). We enter the pizzeria Su Nuraghe. Two girls welcome us, they look at me for a while and ask me ‘are you the one around Sardinia? We follow you on FaceBook! Tomorrow you’re here in Giba, right? Come here as well, you’re our guest!’ I must say that unfortunately I am already settled here for both food and lodging. ‘Then come for the aperitif!’. It will be done!
Piscinas is a relatively young municipality. Born in 1988, it turned 30. Before, it was part of the Municipality of Giba (in an old paper I read Gibba, but it is the same since people doubles, if not triples the consonants anyway!) On the way back from the pizzeria, two kilometers that separate the two villages, they show me the large perimeter wall of the cemetery, once unique, now divided into two, two separate entrances, one for Giba, one for Piscinas (I also see a third!) It seems that inside, however, they are all communicating. Luckily nobody has thought of erecting walls inside, maybe to prevent the deaths in Piscinas pre-1988, and therefore now in the side of Giba, to change part.