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Perdasdefogu > Sant'Antonio di Jerzu

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Punto di partenza
Punto d'arrivo
Punto acqua
Struttura ricettiva
Punto interesse

A stage of medium length and moderate gradients, running parallel to the provincial road for the first half. We approach the beautiful Tacchi d'Ogliastra.

Special Notes

Stage to be avoided in the middle summer months.

Water points absent from the third km onwards, carry ample supplies.

Along the way, you will encounter some barbed wire or iron gates, which you must open (and always close again!).

when to go
March - November
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We leave Perdasdefogu on an asphalt road and soon take a dirt track that leads gently up and down towards the east. When we reach a sheepfold, we first descend (about 150 m drop) gently to the left along a dirt track until we reach a clearing with an archaeological site and three restored pinnettos (which can be used as a shelter or bivouac in an emergency), with a beautiful view of the valley below. From there we continue on a path with a slightly steeper incline until we reach the valley floor and cross a small stream, near which we have to pass a small cattle gate.

We continue uphill (about 150 m height difference) until we bypass the provincial road and cross a wind farm on a dirt track used for the maintenance of the large blades we pass under. After about 3 km, at the height of Monte Codi (on our right, marked by the presence of a radar), we turn north, still staying on the side of the provincial road; after a short while we pass a monument by Maria Lai, “La cattura dell’ala del vento” (“The Capture of the Wing of the Wind”), dedicated to renewable energy sources (a large cuboid in which the faces of the winds appear, inspired by American Indian deities). We continue in this way for several kilometres in gentle ups and downs. Then we turn right onto a slightly sloping path, cross a small stream, change to a dirt road and go around the hill Pitzu Sant'Antonio to finally reach the beautiful hamlet of Sant’Antonio di Jerzu.

What to know

On the night of the dead, the thousand-year-old ritual of is animeddas - the feast of souls - is practised in Sardinia. Some trace this tradition (reminiscent of the more famous Anglo-Saxon festival of Halloween) back to prehistoric times.

The tradition says that on this day of the year, the gates of purgatory are opened and the souls of the living can contact and communicate with those of the dead. The Janas are the spirits who act as intermediaries between the two worlds. Each village has different names and traditions, but what they have in common is the presence of children dressed in rags who parade through the village reciting nursery rhymes and asking for gifts for the souls: Sweets, chocolate, biscuits and fruit.

The famous writer Grazia Deledda also tells of this tradition and in particular of the “sweets made of sultanas, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts mixed with sapa through a kind of porridge”.

In the nearby area of Gairo and Ulassai, one of the many Sardinian carnivals takes place: Su Maimulu.

Traditionally, it begins on 17 January. Some trace the name back to Maimone, an ancient Phoenician rain deity who over time (with the rise of Christianity) became a sort of bogeyman, a demonic being - but interpretations are varied. The only certainty is that Su Maimulu today means mask.

S'urtzu Ballabeni and Is Omadoris are the classic pair of the Sardinian carnival, in which a demonic figure representing wild nature (S'urtzu Ballabeni) is held in check and killed by Is Omadoris. S'urtzu Ballabeni can be translated as “the fiend dances well”, who is forced to dance in a surreal atmosphere by the ringing of the cowbells he carries on his back. The death of S'urtzu Ballabeni signifies the end of winter and is followed by the rebirth of S'urtzu, for a new cycle of seasons.

Tradition dictates that the whole community participates in the festival: There was a character called Marti Perra (a giant wild cat) who would go in search of those who worked on Shrove Tuesday - the custom has been forgotten over the years, but it proves the social importance of such an event.

The live experience of the Sardinian carnival goes beyond the many explanations: you get a sense of a deep mystery that you do not have to study to understand.

Among the Nuragic peoples, the Iliensi were native to centraland southern Sardinia and were pushed inland by the arrival of the Carthaginians.

According to legend, they were the descendants of Troy, also known as Ilio, and the oldest people on the island. Some archaeologists associate the Iliensi with the legendary people of the Shardana, an ancient seafaring people made famous by Egyptian inscriptions from the time of Ramses II.

What to see

​​Nearby Ulassai is home to the Stazione dell'arte, a contemporary art museum where the works of Ulassai artist Maria Lai (1919-2013) - author of La cattura dell'ala del vento, a sculpture we can admire on our way to Sant’Antonio di Jerzu - have been collected. Inside the former railway station (where a cogwheel-driven coal train ran from 1892 to 1956) are the works of the most important Sardinian artist (who is one of the most important on the national scene).

Maria Lai developed her artistic sense in her childhood, when she discovered drawing. She attended the Liceo artistico in Rome and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice; from the 1950s she began to approach poor and conceptual art. In the following years, she returned to her homeland, also thanks to the encounter with the Sardinian writer Giuseppe Dessì. The link between her artistic expression and Sardinia was expressed in particular through the tradition of weaving, which became a way for Maria Lai to process her origins in absolute compositional freedom. This tension culminated in her most important work, Legarsi alla montagna (Tying oneself to the mountain), the first work of relational art: the artist united the entire community of Ulassese and involved them in the creation of the work through a blue ribbon: the houses of the village were physically connected by 27 kilometres of ribbon. An artistic gesture that succeeded in bringing together a fragmented and divided community, if only for a short time.

Lai’s works, which managed to combine local traditions with global codes, can now be seen in the world's most important art galleries.

For more information on opening hours and tickets, visit LINK.

One of the most famous ghost towns in Sardinia is certainly Gairo Vecchio, one of the most evocative corners of Ogliastra. The name (Gairo) refers to the flowing earth: the town was indeed marked by numerous landslides and mudslides caused by cloudbursts, culminating in the 1951 flood. The terrible event prompted the municipality to relocate the inhabited centre, which was then divided into three areas: Gairo Sant’Elena, Gairo Taquisara and Gairo Cardedu.

The abandoned village is characterised by its colourful ruins of buildings that transport the visitor to another time, especially on rainy and foggy days.

From the limestone peaks above the village of Ulassai, in the Santa Barbara area, cascade the imposing Lequarci waterfalls. The vertical, smooth wall of the classic Ogliastra slope becomes a springboard for the waters of the Rio Lequarci, which plunge seventy metres over the plateau of Baulassa and Martalaussai, offering a spectacle of rare beauty.

On the slopes of the waterfall is a small Byzantine-Romanesque church that further embellishes the panorama, while downstream are spectacular pools. You should not miss this!

what to eat

Of the many Cannonau wines one can taste in Sardinia, Jerzu's is certainly one of the best.

Cannonau, an indigenous grape variety that is the symbol of Sardinian viticulture, produces a wine that is characterised by its ruby red colour and strong structure. Until a few years ago, it was believed that the grape variety was imported from the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century, but grape seeds have been found that date back to the 1st millennium BC.

There are numerous sub-denominations of Cannonau DOC - that of Jerzu, which includes the Ogliastra communes of Jerzu, Ulassai, Gairo, Osini, Tertenia and Cardedu, is the one that produces the most, although it is the smallest area.

where to sleep

Agriturismo Rifugio d'Ogliastra, in Sant’Antonio Jerzu. Tel. +39320 606 3728

How to Reach

The starting point is accessible by car.

The starting point can be reached by bus, starting from the city of Cagliari.

Here is the LINK to check the timetable.

The starting point is NOT accessible by train.

“During our visit to the Stazione dell'arte, we are enraptured by the works of Maria Lai, her velvet cards with mysterious embroidered texts”

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