T erritory of Meilogu , a predominantly volcanic area that with its characteristic conical hills make their appearance very unique in a context of a geologically ancient land. In this area the soils are among the most fertile and the whole area is rich in pastures. In our itinerary we have analyzed a large area and we have taken as a reference point from which to start, Bonorva, a small and fascinating village of about 600 inhabitants. Before making the itinerary I asked myself, What to see in Bonorva and especially the surrounding areas? Many answers, many fascinating places, a lot of nature and a lot of emotions, told in this article made available to everyone.
What to see in Bonorva
SA PEDRA MENDALZA
What to see in Bonorva and surroundings? Here, we begin this fantastic day of excursion from nature, in an area near Bonorva and more precisely in the municipality of Giave . Explosions, volcanic eruptions, valleys rich in magma which, over the course of millions of years, formed the basis of a land called Sardinia. The Meilogu is the weave of extinct volcanoes and some visual evidence such as the Pedra Mendalza , precisely in the municipality of Giave, prove it. We are simply talking about a formation produced by the solidification of the magma of a volcanic chimney, which resurfaced following the erosion of the volcanic cone. During our visit to this huge rock crust we tried to imagine what the area was like millions of years ago, it is very difficult also because in front of us we had what remains of the consolidated lava just inside the mouth of a volcano, while the earth that was around, slowly, is been carried away by the elements. Its shape and the particularity of the rock is extraordinary and highlighted also by the surrounding environment made up of wild fig trees and pinnettas , ancient Sardinian pastoral residences.
Another testimony of volcanic activity is the huge crater on Mount Annaru which is still intact among the many that were certainly present in the area. Surely the motivation is due to the fact that the formation is relatively recent, it is in fact 200 thousand years ago. We have walked the edge of the crater but you can also go down to the actual eruptive vent where the vegetation becomes much thicker.
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"Rebeccu, Rebecchesi, don't move from the thirty houses". Is it a curse? Yes, what to see around Bonorva then? Surely this village became a ghost after a curse, at least this is what the legend tells us. In fact, it is said that King Beccu expelled his daughter Donoria because she was considered a wicked witch, it was probably true. Upon leaving the village Donoria in fact hurled his cursed curse as revenge and screaming that the village would never drive more than 30 houses, and so it was. The village is a ghost, with 30 houses and zero residents (also highlighted by the latest ISTAT statistics).
Visiting the streets we were able to meet someone but they are above all people who live in Bonorva and who have their second home in Rebeccu . Most of the houses present are houses for sale, many to be renovated and others totally in a state of ruin. We have been able to hear some stories from the locals, one above all is their belief that in the distant past this village which had about 400 inhabitants promised to dominate the whole Meilogu. But now you can hear nothing but the silence among the narrow cobbled streets of the village and every now and then…. the echo of Donoria's words.
CHURCH OF SAN LORENZO
A few minutes by car from Rebeccu we find the church of San Lorenzo di Rebeccu , a rural church that shows its great simplicity in its aesthetics and architecture. The gate was closed but 2 gentlemen who live nearby suggested us to climb easily because the only person who looked after the church had stopped doing it long ago , in short, that gate will remain closed forever. After 2 minutes through a path made of weeds and mud we finally arrived at the church, small, simple, with few decorations but at the same time fascinating. It was the main church of Rebeccu but was abandoned between the end of 1200 and the beginning of 1300 while the small village disappeared soon after. The cause? Wars and plagues (as described in Rebeccu's file, legend has it that everything was caused by the curse of Donoria, daughter of King Beccu). Are you in the area? It deserves a thought. This and much more to see in the nearby areas of Bonorva.
CHURCH OF SAN NICOLA DI TRULLAS
The cousin of San Lorenzo di Rebeccu. Why am I saying this ?! Because from the moment you see the image of this small church (think even from the freeway) you immediately notice the similarity with the church that was once the main place of worship of the inhabitants of Rebeccu. Same stone and therefore probably the same quarry and mountain. The architecture, the style and even the grandeur are also very similar. San Nicola di Trullas , belonging to the municipality of Semestene , was originally a Roman villa, on which a Camaldolese monastery was built in the Middle Ages and a village around it.
In summary, what to see in Bonorva and surroundings? This site also represents one of the most interesting buildings in the Sardinian Romanesque panorama. Simple and pure architecture, when we visited the church it was unfortunately closed and therefore it was not possible to access inside. It was a pity since inside you can admire some frescoes dating back to the beginning of the 13th century. This church is also shrouded in mystery and charm , in fact it was part of a huge Romanesque city called Truddas which you think was located in the valley where we now find Semestene. Coincidence? I don't think so, in fact numerous Romanesque testimonies have been observed throughout the territory, including Semestene.
A very small and charming village in Sardinia that with its 140 inhabitants has managed to steal our hearts. Only its geographical position makes everyone fall in love a little, it is in fact positioned in a valley between the plateaus of Campeda and Meilogu. Think when the land around the village is covered with greenery (October / November), a spectacle of nature . The town is easy to visit and includes very few streets, many of which are narrow, pebbly and therefore typical of Sardinia. A country rich in history since prehistoric times, it was colonized by the Romans and numerous remains and ruins can still be seen today.
One of the beauties that struck our eyes was the magnificent one church of San Giorgio and its imperious grandeur, not only, the staircase was quite fascinating. The church dates back to the 22nd century and was subsequently renovated, we admired its Renaissance architecture mixed with Gothic. It has the charm and beauty of having a large square-barreled bell tower with a spire. Really sensational. It was wonderful to walk through the streets of the town and meet some locals while sipping their "Ichnusa" on their way back from the fields. Think that the local economy is mainly based on agriculture such as the cultivation of cereals, vegetables, vines and olive trees. Another strong point are the murals, especially the one positioned in the square and at the entrance to the village. What to see in Bonorva and surroundings? Surely Semestene that beyond so much beauty and history contains an indescribable charm created by the classic tomb silence of the small village to the joy that can give you the admiration of the spectacular landscape. To visit.
A collection of our experiences on the island!
📝 Esperti della Sardegna
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Here is who has chosen us to organize their holiday to discover the less touristy Sardinia !