“The wind, still not reaching its full strength, had an inviting voice, like a music that excites the dance or the march: and it must have been something ancestral again, that desire to mingle and fight with the elements, which pushed me towards the beach >>. (from ‘Il paese del vento’ by Grazia Deledda, Nobel Prize for Literature 1926).
Sardinia is a land of silence and wind that travels vast expanses empty from human presence in the past and even today, able, in particular places, to give strong emotions. The open space, where the gaze tends towards infinity, arrives sooner or later towards the sea. The view from the highest places, in the days when the wind clears the air, pushes to the borders of the island: the Mediterranean. It pushes us to borders of landscapes that are also mountains, valleys, rivers, beyond which, we know there is the sea.
From up here, where the gaze seems to govern the spaces, man has tried to leave his trace, his presence, enclosed between the air and the wind. Sometimes difficult places, but not unreachable, sometimes unusual places, where the stones welcome the wind and together they talk and tell us how to observe the landscapes.
- Sos Nurattolos (Alà dei Sardi – Sassari)
Almost at the top of the tip of Senalonga, in the midst of pink granite boulders, at 1000 meters above sea level, lies the Nuraghic site of Sos Nurattolos. A sacred fountain with a fence, a meeting hut, a “megaron” temple and a village of huts, datable between 1200 and 900 BC, are the monuments of a nuragic site in the mountains, in the apparent nothing of rocks and shrubs that rush to the valley. From here a distance of the eyes at a distance on the surrounding high plateau, towards the Buddusò mountains and towards the Valley of the country of Alà dei Sardi. Perhaps it was not by chance that this place was chosen to erect a sacred area.
- Castle of Burgos (Burgos – Sassari)
Scenically isolated, perched on the granite of the Goceano, overlooking the high Tirso valley with the small village at its feet, the manor evokes the charm of the fortifications linked to the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages that in Sardinia was the Giudicati, the four kingdoms in which the island was divided. A different and original island age. And it was from the Judge of Torres, Gonario II, between 1129 and 1132, that the construction of the Castello del Goceano was desired.Between the triple walls with the loopholes and the large central tower that can be admired today, an important part of the island’s history took place. The castle, given its position, was first contested among the Sardinian judges, then between those of Torres and the Pisans and finally between the Arborea and the Aragonese.
Here, between history and legend, is told of Prunisinda, wife of Judge Constantine of Torres who, around 1195 was first held prisoner of the castle by the Marquis Guglielmo I of Massa and then kidnapped by his armies, to finally find death in Santa Igia . Here, it is said that Adelasia de Lacon Gunale, last queen of the Kingdom of Torres, after being abandoned by her husband Enzo di Svevia, illegitimate son of Frederick II, voluntarily exiled in the castle, having no heirs, decided, feeling death approaching, to give his kingdom to the church, thus making the judged of Torres stop.But the castle, by virtue of its position, did not cease to have a key role in the territory until the turn of the seventeenth century, and today it is the evocation of fascinated times of ladies and knights.
- Monte Santo (Siligo Sassari)
At the center of the Meilogu, the heart of the Logudoro, a basalt table can be seen. Its shape makes it characteristic and recognizable, in the eyes of a child it looks like a volcano: it is Monte Santo.
On its top is the 11th century medieval church dedicated to Sant’Elia (biblical prophet) and to the prophet Enoch disciple of Elijah, who is believed to be Saint in Logudoro. In 1065 the first Benedictine community arrived in Sardinia from Cassino and perhaps, the silence of this mountain, broken only by the wind, made it an ideal place for contemplation and prayer, for the search for oneself and for God, as well as he asked for the rule ‘ Ora et Labora’ of San Benedetto.
From the plateau the view sweeps over the Campo di Ozieri up to Monte Limbara and the area of the Sassarese, arriving, in the clear days to allow you to stretch your gaze up to the peninsula of Stintino, up to the sea.
- The Malaspina Castle, the Colle di Sant’Antonio and the Colle di Bonaria (Osilo- Sassari).
There are three peaks that make up Mount Tuffudesu. The village of Osilo is perched on the northernmost peak, perched under the castle. It was built here in the 13th century, by the will of the Malaspina family of the Lunigiana family, who offered the inhabitants of the village of Ogosile located downstream, protection from the risks at the top of the hill. The lords of Tuscany, thus reorganized the village according to the aristocratic architectures, in which each row of houses constituted a line of defense of the residence of the lord. The Castle became the fulcrum of all the surrounding territory and, all the activities of the villagers fell under the control exercised by the manor on the top of the hill, representing the very essence of power.
On the hill of the middle of the Tuffudesu, there is the church of Sant’Antonio and on the highest peak the church of the eighteenth century dedicated to the virgin of Bonaria which gives its name to the hill.
From the three hills the view sweeps over the internal valleys of Logudoro, but it reaches as far as the North coast and Castelsardo, embracing the Gulf of Asinara as far as Stintino and the view does not stop reaching as far as Alghero and the west coast. This look up to the borders was the same with which the inhabitants of these lands, in the Middle Ages, governed their landscapes, their pastures and their lands, their ways and their … seas.
- Monte d’Accoddi (Sassari)
A unique prehistoric monument in the Mediterranean. It takes the name “mountain of stones” because it appeared before the excavations, like a small hill of stones that stood out on the surrounding plain.
It is a stepped altar which is the result of the masonry stratification of the peoples who inhabited the Nurra from the Neolithic to the early ages of metals. This place was a meeting point between the inhabitants of the surrounding villages; a place where winds from the north, east and west, from 4000 BC, became a sacred place for the people of Nurra, who built several temples higher and higher over several centuries, until the last, the most recent one, providing it with an access ramp, almost as if it wanted to stretch upwards, towards the air. Around the monument stands a menhir of 4 meters and other stones of particular shapes: a perforated slab acts as a table for sacrifices and a large stone worked spherical shape, perhaps linked to the heavenly cult. Around the monument stands a village of huts of the culture of Ozieri, the culture of the late Neolithic of Sardinia (dated between 4000 and 3200 BC) and several necropolis to domus de Janas. Here were found many small marble idols representing stylized female figures, in marble and limestone: the figurines representing the so-called Mother Goddess.
- Monte Forte in Nurra (Sassari
A rocky relief of schistose quartzites and Mediterranean maquis, 30 km from the inhabited center of Sassari, rises in the Nurra, historical and agricultural plain region of the North-Western part of Sardinia.
At the Archaeological Museum of Sassari there is an interesting epigraph, from the Castle of Monteforte, reminiscent of the Judge Mariano II of Arborea and the castellan Betini Nazari de Lanfranchi, restorers of the fortress in 1259 or 1274. The tombstone was found at the end of the XIXth century century in Monteforte, the top of 464 meters above sea level overlooking the entire Nurra ensuring a 360 ° panorama. This point of observation and control was used in the Middle Ages judical or by the Giudici of Torres or the Doria to build the castle. Today this is an isolated and remote place immersed in the Mediterranean, inhabited by wild boar and flying over birds of prey that preserves on its top the remains of the medieval castle of Monte Forte, which was composed of a small court, the two or three factory building environments and a curved wall. This was the castle, while further down the valley, about a mile, stood the village, of which the remains are still visible. The locality is also known to the inhabitants as Rocca della Bagassa (fortress of the prostitute), a mysterious toponym that perhaps throws some suspicion, after centuries, on the wife of the castellan Betini Nazari de Lanfranchi, but more we can not know and the view that offers us a similar place, which extends to the Anglona, the Stintino peninsula, Alghero and Logudoro can not help but wipe away any suspicion about its beauty.
- Torre Falcone in Stintino
Here perhaps the border, the natural limes of the island. The sea, the western sea, the more open, less protected, beaten by the mistral, the “sea outside” as it is called by fishermen and inhabitants of the area.
A Spanish-Aragonese tower is the bulwark of the border, of control of the coast that was fundamental for the Castilian lords who occupied the island for about three centuries. From here the view sweeps across the entire Sardinian western peninsula, embracing the inland sea and the sea outside, that is the Gulf of Asinara and the Sea of Sardinia, in addition to the Gallura east coast and on clear days the tops of Corsica. From here imposing cliffs, dug and modeled, descend on the sea, rarely calm because always beaten by the winds.
Here the border of the island that looks to the west, here the look reaches the sea, moved by the wind and salty air, here comes the sunset on the sea and the air seems to become infinite.