In the coming days I expect very short routes. But since the weather is getting worse, that’s okay. I cycle on the straight road for 5 minutes and arrive in Giba.
I head to the Town Hall where the Mayor Andrea is waiting for me. He tells me a bit about the village’s history and facts. First of all the historical importance of the two main villages, Villarios, a village a few kilometers on a hill, which was once the main municipality that included the hamlet of Giba (now the roles have been reversed!) And Porto Botte, in the Gulf of Palmas.
Piscinas, Masainas and Sant’Anna Arresi were once fractions of Giba, then became independent Municipalities. Also Villarios as Tratalias was moved after the construction of the Mante Pranu dam, but nothing remains of the old town, completely demolished in the sixties.
In the afternoon we go to see the municipal territory. We go to Porto Botte, a very long beach, where fishermen moor fishing boats in the Gulf of Palmas, and with a lagoon behind them that is important for the presence of various species of fauna.
A group of Poles recently moved to Villarios has opened a kitesurfing business here (as in San Giovanni Suergiu) and I discover that the wind and sea depth conditions here are ideal for this type of sport.
We cross the fields, here all dedicated to the cultivation of artichokes or Carignano vines (quality wine produced by the Giba Winery), and we arrive at the point where once stood the old Villarios, where now remains only an ancient well-preserved wash house. Then we enter the modern Villarios. The location is excellent, from the upper area, on the square of the new church, we can admire the view to the islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro.
Before returning to the village we stop to admire a spring next to which there is a gigantic and impressive olive tree. We conclude the tour with a curiosity: an animal enthusiast has put on an open space, called Parco degli Angeli, which welcomes species of exotic animals. From the net I come across a lama and a zebra, but in the distance I also see a dromedary and ostriches. How curious to see these animals for the first time here in Sardinia!
Back in town I take a walk through the streets, passing by the church of San Pietro and going around to return to the Locanda Rosella. It starts to rain and does not stop anymore. So my evening ends here, but with an amazing dinner!
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Woman entrepreneur 1. Stefania owns and runs the Locanda Rosella, a historic restaurant on the main street, where I am a guest today, meals and overnight. Upon arrival Stefania warmly welcomes me and makes me feel immediately at home. I put my things in the room and I’m ready for lunch. Exceptional quality, seafood appetizers, spaghetti clams and bottarga, fried octopus, all fresh, ‘zero km’, and in quantity, congratulations to the chef Manuel! Served impeccably by Francesco, son of Stefania … family management, for some time.
Stefania tells me that her grandparents started cooking and selling food. When they decided to register the activity as a restaurant, the grandfather chose the name Rosella, which was not a family member’s name, leaving a halo of mystery on the origin of this choice. Since then, this is a point of reference for the whole area, open all year, unlike many similar activities open only in the tourist season.
The dinner is equally phenomenal, with appetizers of stuffed vegetables, and a double portion of ravioli, one with artichokes, and one with asparagus, both strictly with local products. I must admit that after these two meals I am full and I go to bed satisfied!
The next morning before leaving, Stefania takes a ladder and makes me leave the mark of my passage, with the black marker, a little man in a bike that erupts musical notes (the same that I draw in the notebooks of school children when they ask me for autographs). All the walls of the reception are in fact full of writings, greetings, messages, drawings of the passage of the guests of the inn. Also for me as for many others it was a pleasure to meet so much professionalism and humanity!