Today too, I pedal in company. Alberto and I take the bikes, and we join Massimiliano. We go to the bar to have a coffee and we start our cycling. We go along a country road that will take us to Sinnai without passing through busy roads. In front of us the peak mountains of Serpeddì. Finally I have the feeling of radically changing area of Sardinia. I’m finishing crossing the Campidano. The last plains and the hills begin. We arrive at the Ferruccio Deiana vineyards, and shortly after we cross the motorway 387. From here on the path becomes harder, a country road that descends and then rises dramatically to overcome the hills around Sinnai. But the climbs are not the only obstacles. Today the greatest danger is dogs. We meet loads and we have to stop several times to face them. We arrive in Sinnai safe and Alberto and Massimiliano leave me.
This morning I am invited to the inauguration of a space for dogs that the Municipality of Sinnai has just opened. Here Federica and Gianluigi from the Chess Art Association welcome me. During the inauguration of the space the city administration welcomes me and gives me a book on the archeology of the Sinnai territory. My parents and my sister join me from Soleminis, just around the corner, to greet me. From here on, I will move further and further away from Cagliari and the opportunities to see family members will be increasingly rare.
I settle in the nice bnb Corti Floria, then we take the car and go to lunch at Giovanna’s house, where Gianluca, Gianluigi’s twin brother, and Stefano, a Sardinian writer who has just published a book called Sandahlia, join us. Giovanna welcomes us in a beautiful Campidanese house, together with her dog Kalì. The courtyard is full of fruit trees, a porch with old tools with a very personal taste. A place definitely for creatives. The lunch is delicious, roasted sheep meat and ‘cordula’.
In the afternoon we go to the countryside not far from the famous pinewood of Sinnai, on which this time I will not climb, to visit a beautiful domus de janas, which is full of water, they say that this source has always been considered sacred by the ancients. Back in the village we visit the church of Santa Barbara. We manage to convince the priest to let us get on the bell tower, and after a climb up steep and narrow stairs we get to the top, from where we enjoy the view of the village and the entire southern Campidano to the mountains on the other side that I have recently crossed, Cagliari and all the Gulf of the Angels.
The last stop is the Archaeological Museum. I remember having already been there, I thought I came to see a show, but then my friend Ornella, who joined me, reminds me that I had played here! The museum contains archaeological finds from the Nuragic era, remains of the old church of Santa Barbara, and a mosaic of a Roman villa, all coming from the vast territory that includes the hamlets of Solanas, San Gregorio, and all the Sette Fratelli massif. Upstairs is the picture gallery with paintings both ancient and contemporary, including some by Sardinian authors: Fois, Corriga, Atza, Sini.
The night ends with my presentation-concert at the Giovanna’s ‘S’Offelleria’ bar, organised by the Chess Art association of the twins Gianluigi and Gianluca, together with Federica. For this occasion I am joined by the dear drummer friend Pierpaolo Frailis, with whom we duet on my old compositions that he knows well and, new ones written on this trip.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
At the new dog park, inaugurated this morning, I am introduced to a character with a long white beard, dressed in Sardinian black velvet dress. He introduces himself as Cosimo Lai, ‘shepherd, cyclist, poet and now also an actor’. As soon as Cosimo tells me his story, I understand I’m in front of an extraordinary character. He looks at my bike loaded with luggage and tells me ‘that’s how you get fast on a bike’. And he tells me about when he was doing every day forty kilometers on a loaded bicycle to go to work. He was a shepherd. One day a gentleman seeing him cycling told him ‘buy a serious bike and go racing!’, and so Cosimo did, becoming in 1961 regional road cycling champion. He left all the other cycists twenty minutes away, he who had gone from Sinnai to Ozieri, the place where the race started, by bike!
Cosimo is also a poet improviser. In the evening at S’offelleria I meet him after my concert, and he stops me to sing me some short verses improvised for my stop in Sinnai. Then he tells me that he has recently become an actor. He is in fact interpreting himself in the new film by director Mereu. I look at his long white beard and I think that one day I will be able to tell my adventures to those who want to listen to them.