With the historical cultural itinerary to be presented within the next paragraphs, the knowledge of the vast territory framing the city of Oristano can be enriched, among pretty country churches telling a centuries-old history, imposing nuraghi and ancient abandoned novenaries.
Zerfaliu, Villanova Truschedu, Bauladu and Solarussa are the municipalities crossed on the path to the discovery of the Campidano’s millennial history, the very territory where Oristano stands.
What we will see in this article a variant of an itinerary already presented in a previous article.. Indeed, the first itinerary is the starting point of a variant capable of deepening the knowledge of Sardinian novenaries, linked to man’s eternal need to confront himself with the transcendent.
The complete path measures approximately 40 km, almost all of which on comfortable dirt roads, alternating with rare but needed stretches of asphalt. The accumulated altitude difference is around 100 meters.
It is recommended to respect the highway code and be careful, especially in the asphalted sections and inside inhabited centers.
You will not meet any dogs during your journey, but you will pass through areas where farms are located, possibly with their grazing flocks.
The itinerary starts from the Church of the Maddalena, on the outskirts of Silì, and following a dirt road, you will immediately reach the left bank of the Tirso. Pedaling, you have to go up the river.
Coordinates: 39°54’57″N / 8°36’49″E
Leaving the building of the disused Simaxis railway station behind, after about 6 km, you will reach the “iron bridge”, on S.P. 15, dating back to the second half of the 19th century. Then, at the entrance to the town of Simaxis, take a dirt road leading to the first stage of the itinerary.
Coordinates: 39°55’40″N /8°40’2″E – Stazione ferroviaria dismessa
Coordinates: 39°55’58″N / 8°40’20″E – Ponte in ferro
Actually, this is not the current location of the town, which is on S.S. 388, but in the area where Simaxis was formerly located, along S.P. 9, as evidenced by the presence of two church buildings. The churches are dedicated to San Nicolao, bishop of Mira, and to San Teodoro respectively. They are both on the edge of the aforementioned S.P. 9, only a few tens of meters away from each other. In 2014, both churches were included in the list of assets declared of cultural interest.
Coordinates: 39°56’48″N / 8°42’29″E – chiesa di San Teodoro
Coordinates: 39°56’48″N / 8°42’28″E – chiesa di San Nicola o Nicolò
With a short 2 km-long asphalt stretch, you will reach the southern outskirts of Zerfaliu, where you will come across the church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the 13th century on the site of a Roman necropolis. The enlargement process underwent by this necropolis is evident: the difference between the two factories is so clear that it is easy to hypothesize the original size of the building. Several ancient tombstones are placed on the low wall delimiting the churchyard, testifying to the continuity of use as a cemetery area. Inside the town there is also the Pisan pointed arch with the bell gable, the last visible remnant of the original church, dating back to the 11th century.
Coordinates: 39°57’23″N / 8°42’27″E – San Giovanni
Coordinates: 39°57’30″N / 8°42’26″E – Arco Pisano
By crossing the town as you head North, you will reach the countryside of Solarussa where the archaeological area of Pidighi is located, to the north-east of the town, reachable by a dirt road; the site consists of a sacred spring, a large village and a nuraghe. The area has been partially excavated and documented by various publications, which have described its chronology and its probable considerable extension.
Coordinates: 39°59’57″N / 8°42’4″E – Villaggio
Coordinates: 39°59’57″N / 8°42’8″E – Fonte
After visiting Pidighi, it is possible to continue along the dirt road running along the boundary wall of the archaeological area until reaching the access to the Bauladu – Zinnuri municipal road (about 2 km). As you arrive here, turn right, and you will find an asphalt climb of about 800 meters, at the end of which you will arrive at the source of Zinnuri. Immersed in the greenery of the municipal park, the source offers a spectacle of rare beauty, and it is the ideal location for a break. The source is defined nuragic, perhaps due to the presence of a nuraghe (called Zinnuri) not far from the park area. However, it is rather difficult to attribute a certain dating to the source. Nevertheless, it is rather likely that ancient inhabitants of the area knew and used the water from this spring.
From the area of the Zinnuri park, go back on the municipal road you just traveled along, this time downhill, for about 2 km, until you find a dirt road climbing towards the hills on the right. Shortly before reaching the third stage of the itinerary, if you turn your gaze to your right, you will see the cavity of a domus de janas, evidence of ancient frequentation of the site. At the end of the climb you will reach the site of Santa Barbara de Turre, consisting of a nuraghe, a village and a necropolis, in which an inviolate burial of difficult dating has recently been discovered. A little further north of the site stands the pretty country church of Santa Vittoria, located on the top of a hill, from which you may admire a boundless panorama.
By traveling the road to Solarussa backwards in the direction of Siamaggiore, the return journey to Oristano begins, crossing the village of Siamaggiore and reaching the last stop of the itinerary in the Siamaggiore area. The small rural church of San Ciriaco (Santu Triagus in Sardinian language) is located barely over 1 km south of the town. In 2014, this building too was included in a historical-artistic report by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, accompanied by an essential bibliography.
Coordinates: 39°56’40″N / 8°38’8″E