Today I am on the basalt plateau at the base of the Margine mountain chain and the route is all flat. I enter Noragugume and arrive in the central square around which the centre develops. The Mayor Federico welcomes me to the village and tells me some facts about this small community.
Here in the square is the parish church of San Giacomo Apostolo, probably built in the seventeenth century but then completely rebuilt in 1960. Also in the square there is the church of the Beata Vergine or Madonna d’Itria, with a Catalan-Gothic layout and a beautiful side loggia.
Not far from here is the small church of Santa Croce, built during the Middle Ages and showing elements in both red trachyte and basalt. The historic centre is very small, full of ancient houses with Aragonese elements, doors, windows, and nineteenth-century buildings with decorated balconies.
After a good lunch at the Sa Trebbia bar I am joined by the local TV new team who, for the second time in the trip (the first was in Cardedu), is dedicating a news feature to my trip. There is no one in the square, a surreal silence and fierce heat reigns.
Later, I set off on my bike to visit a couple of archaeological sites. I leave the village and throw myself downhill into the valley below the plateau, passing an old disused quarry and arriving at some fields where I can find the beautiful menhir Sa Pedra ‘e Taleri. I see it from the road as it is on private property and I don’t feel like entering. I still manage to admire its height against yellow fields and an African sky.
I go up the hill and take the road to Sedilo. From here I turn off onto a country road to reach the Nuraghe Tolinu, also beyond a fence that I do not cross. It is enough for me to admire its power from the outside, under the suggestive light of the sunset, before returning to the village in the central square, always very quiet, and holing up in the municipal housing made available to me by the Mayor.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
The first letters of the name of the village, Nor, perhaps suggest the ancient presence of a nuragic settlement. Even the name Noragugume, like other names of Sardinian towns, gives rise to doubts about where to put the accent. In this case it is called Noragùgume.
The doubt about the accents had already occurred to me also in Ulàssai which contrasts with Ussassài. Nùoro with the accent on u should always be remembered to the foreigners. Then there is a bit of confusion even among Sardinians on Atzàra and Àrzana. Semèstene. Tìana. Osìni, but Ùsini. Sèdini. Èrula. Bonnànaro. Bessùde. Bànari. Putifìgari. Sàgama. Sennariolo. Bòttidda. Simàxis. Siapiccìa. Àllai. Sìmala. The other hundreds of names are pretty obvious to me but if they aren’t for you just ask!