I repeat myself, as in almost every page of the last period: the pedaling from Zeddiani to Baratili is short! And the climate does not change, a bit of sun but scattered clouds that sometimes get denser, giving this unusual Sardinian autumn more of an English tone rather than Mediterranean. I cross a bridge over a river and shortly after I enter in Baratili. A gentleman on a bike meets me. It is Tony, my contact here, with the tiny Michele, 2 years old, his son, who is sitting quietly in the seat mounted on the bike.
We arrive in the town where the librarian Cristina and the Mayor Alberto welcome me warmly. Shortly after we start our tour in the village, all by bike, me, Tony and Alberto! First time on this trip that my cycling philosophy is embraced by my guides! We are followed by Giulia, our photographer for the rest of the day. We cycle across the center, in the tiny streets, houses always built in ladiri bricks. The Mayor makes me notice many unfinished houses and points out that making the village visually more attractive is a problem they are trying to address. We arrive at a beautiful building, the former wash house, well renovated and with a well-kept conference space. Then we head to the countryside and arrive at the river Mare Foghe, already seen yesterday in Zeddiani. Here too the stretch is very wide. There is the plan to open a walkway and cycle path along the entire bank up to the Cabras pond. I am told the story of the ponds of Cabras and its last owner Don Efisio Carta, of how the activities were managed, of the fishermen of fraud and of some sad news stories.
We return to the center and enter the beautiful and central church of San Salvatore, led by Don Stefano who shows us the interior, containing a beautiful wooden altar, and then brings us above the bell tower, where I ring a bell on a seventeenth-century bell hear the sound before being stopped for fear that citizens may think someone is dead.
In the afternoon Tony takes me to his cellar, a museum of objects of all kinds of the past, as well as full of vats from which we taste different types of vernaccia wine, all very good. Then we visit the historic vernaccia cellars of Silvio Carta. Although Silvio still drives his Mercedes at the age of 90, today he is not here. His son Elio welcomes us, who is at the helm of the company. For the occasion, a vintage bottle of vernaccia from 1968 is opened … I do not want to think about its price, but the taste is incredible, 50 years of aging in the barrels, which are all lined up in the shed, some of them older than 100 years.
The evening ends with the presentation of my project and a beautiful musical evening with the folk group Santu Pedru. Organ, launeddas, bass ukulele and costumed Sardinian dance, pizza and drinks. After all the vernaccia drunk in the afternoon I accept only Coca Cola …
Inspired by the melancholy of the river.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Massimiliano and Monica manage the Nuova Via club. When I go there to get a coffee they welcome me warmly, and I immediately notice the Roman accent. They heard about my project and could not wait to meet me. I tell them details about it, but I’m more interested in knowing their story. Both are from Rome and have always lived there until something in the way of living a city of two million inhabitants has started not to make sense anymore. Work, stress, traffic, hours lost in the ring road, noise, haste, a home mortgage, little money, a looming layoff for Massimiliano, little quality time spent together, and then slowly the idea of a life change that insinuates in their mind. To live with little money, it is worth doing so without stress and in a beautiful and magical place. Monica’s dad is originally from Mogoro, so why not Sardinia?
After loosing their jobs and selling the house in Rome, they decide to spend some time in Narbolia to start an agricultural activity, the dream of living with nothing among nature, with a slow, eco-sustainable and certainly healthier lifestyle. Massimiliano and Monica are looking for a land, they study opportunities, when, almost by chance, the guys who run this club propose to buy it. Conscious of knowing absolutely nothing in the sector, the answer is “Yeah, why not!”.
And here they are, just for a few months, in a nice environment, from which they removed the slot machines (and life killers) to put an old pinball machine, a video game of motorcycles with a bike on which to sit to play, and darts. And then many social games, including the Sardinian version of the Monopoly, the ‘Tancas’ produced at Santu Lussurgiu, to which a group of boys are playing. Then an exhibition of products based on natural essential oils (Monica gives me one to fight the itching of mosquito bites, my legs have been slaughtered by them for a few days !!), some shelves with books and a bulletin board where is also hanging the poster of my project … in short, it seems to me that Baratili has earned a good activity with the advent of these two Romans, who tease each other affectionately, Massimiliano: “Aho, since we are here I’m really happy … I look at Monica, I almost felt like I didn’t really know her in Rome, how little we saw each other … hello, I’m Massimo, nice to meet you … “and Monica responds with the romanaccio accent” ah silly you! “and they exchange a tender kiss behind the counter. Welcome to Sardinia guys !!!