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Discovering eastern Sardinia and Gennargentu

Sardinia never stops to amaze me, and although it is the third time I go there I have to say I’m always fascinated by this ancient and mysterious land.

Traveling through its roads you can see slide in front of you remote and majestic landscapes, I wish I had more time to spend there and also the possibility to travel there more often. This time it was time for eastern Sardinia and the Gennargentu park, a really wonderful place.

After spending few days with my girlfriend relaxing near San Teodoro beach, after a quick visit to La Maddalena and Caprera islands we headed south-east to Gennargentu park.

Photo gallery: Discovering eastern Sardinia and Gennargentu

From San Teodoro, by car, we went to Orosei, then Dorgali along roads through mountains and the fantastic Gennargentu park, we reached Baunei, and finally Arbatax.

The biggest surprise was a small church in the middle of the highlands near Baunei, a church used just in some special occasions along the year. It is named Church of San Pietro al Golgo, by car was not difficult to reach the place, even if it comes after several kilometers of dirt road. Upon our arrival just some donkey running undisturbed in a primitive and desolate scenario, really unforgettable.

The plateau of Golgo is the most interesting archaeological and historical context in the area of Baunei: protected by several Nuraghi guarding every natural access to the plateau this place is the main location in the karst plateau to convey and store rainwater.
The plateau is known primarily for its chasm named “Su Sterru” (280 m. probably the deepest in Europe) a place where the elderly were killed among laughter and rituals (hence the term sardonic laugh). Gestures and rituals also own the macabre Mamuthones and their masks.

The Church of San Pietro al Golgo was built in the second half of the seventeenth century in late Gothic style. Like all old churches located in this area, is really clear the existence of a form of religious syncretism nuragico-christian; just in front of the fence of the Church is clearly visible an anthropomorphic sculpture that has no other analogues in Sardinia.

On the way back to Olbia we discovered more of Gennargentu park: an enviable peace, pigs and wild horses, goats and silence. Crossing Mamoiada we were guests for lunch of some shepherds who had just sheared the sheep herd.

Definitely a long but beautiful ride on a near abandoned winding road dozens of kilometers long.

Before leaving this forgotten corner of serenity and beauty we could not miss to stop in Orgosolo and see its really interesting modern murals.

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