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That Seemingly Empty Place

There are many lonely places in Sardinia; it is so sparsely inhabited that it is easy to find yourself utterly alone, surrounded only by the lively silence of the countryside. But the locals warn that, should you be tempted to pick up that old glass doorknob in an abandoned furriadroxu or to hop a fence to follow a short cut, someone is always watching you. There’s the everyday truth to it: small towns whose livelihood is based on agriculture and shepherding spend plenty of time in the countryside and notice any small change - a new car in town, two tiny moving dots on horizon, an unfamiliar voice in the bar. And there is the otherworldly connotation as well - Sardinia is a place of fairies and witches, good and bad.


Every morning I go to get bread. I pick out one small loaf of cifraxiu for me and Ivano. It is thick and crusty and rounded. And I buy one coccoi for my children. It is delicious too - hard crusted and soft crumbed. But they adore it for its sharp points and browned flourishes, because their coccoi, their daily bread, is shaped as three small hens huddled into the same nest.

The Perfect Union

Every year in the coldest weeks of the winter season, strange sculptures begin to appear in the fields all over the island. It is the moment for grafting.