The distance traveled today by bike is very short, a few kilometers, and today too I’m accompanied by a cyclist, Roberto, my relative of Oristano who has already come to see me twice since I am in the Oristanese area. We enter the village, the architecture is decidedly Campidanese, we can see some remains of basalt, memory of the Montiferru that continues to be seen in the distance.
We arrive at the library, where the librarian Licia and Gianni await me. I say goodbye to Roberto and start a walk of the village with my companions. The small church of San Teodoro has a facade full of variety of stones. I notice some blue stripes on the facade and on the sides, they are the remains of headstones that were attached to the outer walls. We move towards the archaeological museum, where many finds from the area are exposed.
Vice Mayor Daniela joins us at the beautiful church of Santa Sofia, with one of the highest bell towers in Sardinia. The exterior here too is made up of different varieties of stones, red and green trachyte and sandstone. We visit the interior and continue through the streets of the village. At San Vero Milis at the moment there are many small squares sewn in crochet, mainly attached to the trees (but I also find them on window bars), which give color and embellish the streets of the village. A non-destructive, ecological and artisanal form of street art. Finally we enter the civic museum to see a beautiful display of baskets and other objects made with the weaves of the reed.
In the afternoon I move to the coast. The municipality of San Vero Milis has 28 km of coastline. I cycle for about sixteen kilometers against the mistral, finally a bit of leg training! After forty days spent in the inland, in the mountains of the Barbagie, on the Omodeo Lake, on the basaltic plateau of Abbasanta, on Montiferru, and in the northern Campidano, I am excited to see the sea, as if it were the first time. I arrive at Putzu Idu and after passing through the shrubbery bushes finally the sea view opens up. It’s a new sensation. I arrive here after forty days. I conquered it with the fatigue of my legs! So I approach it by bike, pedalling on the hard sand, cycling along the entire length of the beach, over and over again! The sunset is spectacular.
I spend the night at Vice Mayor Daniela’s home, in Mandriola. When I wake up I open the window and I have the sea in front of me. The beginning of my journey now seems far away in time. Before leaving for Zeddiani I head to the lighthouse of Capo Mannu. The view on the coast is amazing. A path leads me to one of the well-restored Spanish towers. Below me the waves crash on the cliff. In the distance the white cliffs of the Sinis coast. I greet the sea, which I will probably see again in these days.
Inspired by the sea view.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
At the church of Santa Sofia Don Ignazio tells me the story of the Madonna of Spain, a statue of the fifteenth century that was found in 1937 on a beach nearby by a shepherd from Narbolia, half burnt, probably from the Balearic Islands, where the civil war was hitting Spain in the 30s. The shepherd kept it for a while in his garden, in a sort of private altar where he placed flowers every day. But the word spread in the village and the statue was confiscated by the Carabinieri, and after a few weeks brought first to Narbolia, then to San Vero Milis where it was donated to the parish.
An old faithful woman states that as a child she had been photographed next to the Madonna, shortly after the discovery at the house of the shepherd. Although she has looked for it everywhere, this picture has never been found. The parish decided to pull down the statue to give the lady the opportunity to have her picture with the Madonna … eighty years later!