Travel with kids: Sardinia beyond the Coast – The murales from Orgosolo, the walls that speak

I have chosen Sardinia (Orgosolo in particular) to start my narrative journey into my origin country hoping you will love it as much as I do. In a series of travel features I will tell you everything I love about Italy above and beyond the negative aspects that might put a shadow into a fascinating culture. And I will also uncover lots of things that might not be on the typical tourists’ map. In fact I will focus on those less well known quirky little secrets about Italy. I hope you enjoy following me in my discovery journey.

Sardinia is well known for its white sandy beaches, perennial sunshine, great food and very hospitable Italian islanders.

But I have actually discovered that there’s a lot more behind the beautiful coastal landscapes.

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The finger points at Orgosolo and says ‘You are here’. The message above says ‘You love Sardinia by respecting its beauty and nature’

The Sardinian countryside is very varied and completely different from the well known coast.

The mountains are high green and sunny anytime of the year with rare exceptions. You sometimes wonder how it can be so green with such small amount of rain.

Even the water collected from the mountain rustic fountains is so light and fresh. This water might be the secret to the famous longevity on the island. It is not uncommon for people to live beyond 108 years of age.

Longevity in Sardinia derives from a combination of factors: slow pace, no stress lifestyle, great harmony with the territory and its resources, good healthcare system (a lot of pubic money in Italy is spent for health and Italians are quintessentially hypochondriacs).

Sardinian people love to make things from scratch not just food but also furniture, tools and accessories from the materials found on the island.

Artisans are still working hard and export their products all over the world from their small shops.

Examples of artifacts made on the Island are the Rasoie (knives in Sardinian) from Pattada and Arbus, the cushions and decorated  linens, products made with Sughero (cork in Italian) as well as the famous Pecorino cheese.

I will let my 51 images of Orgosolo murales speak for themselves. 

Watch out for my next features where I will look at Mamoiada, the hometown of the Mammuttones (Carnival Pastoral caricatures), Pattada (the Sardinian capital of rasoie), Olbia, San Sperate village in South Sardinia, famous for another type of murals, Arbus, the dunes from Piscinas and the miners’ village, and Cagliari. I took my son along to all these places and he enjoyed the trip enormously. Children are curious and are like sponges. They love learning if you provide them with the right stimuli.

 

The murales from Orgosolo, the walls that speak

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Lots of the murales reflect the struggle of the people from social oppression to the new economy.

In continental Italy when you mention Orgosolo people immediately think of bandits who kept hostages in the mountains of Barbagia who used to cut the ears of their victims to be sent to their families for a ransom. At some point, it was even named “village of the murderers” due to its high crime rate. The little town is a  lot more than that and is very artistic apart from being one of the places in Sardinia where the pecorino cheese is amazing. In my recent trip there I was totally impressed by its murals – murales which cover all the village walls. It seems an exaggeration to say all but it is a fact. Most murales are of political nature and reflect different aspects of Sardinia’s political struggles, as well as looking at international issues.  This tradition started at the end of the 1960’s and early 1970’s when student protest was questioning decades of social oppression and injustice. The descriptions under my images hopefully help explain the background behind each painting  – and yes, some are real masterpieces.

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During the 80s Italy’s “Economic Miracle”, the murales reflected scenes of everyday village life in Sardinia

 

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An anti-war mural shows Charlie Chaplin as a soldier who says “Another War? No thanks”.

 

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Picasso-style women

 

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Picasso Guernica style murales

 

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Picasso Guernica style murales

 

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Sardinian village life scene

 

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Mural showing a cinema poster on the Vittorio de Seta’s movie ‘Banditi a Orgosolo’ (1961) – ‘Bandits in Orgosolo’ – (see full film below) that focuses on the past way of life in central Sardinia and on the phenomenon of banditry in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Picasso-style mural

 

 

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Hamlet parody with a local shepherd who says (in Sardinian) ‘To watch or not to watch – is this the problem?’ And the flag says ‘Shepherds – workers – united against the farmers and the government of the masters.

 

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Local women – it says ‘Old Wisdom’

 

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“If I had known what life in a mine was, I would have spent 100 years running away rather than give in to that job’

 

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Shepherd’s life

 

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Fertilizers not Bullets

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Giuseppe Garibaldi on Garibaldi Road

 

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Che Guevara – ‘No to War!’

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Ghandi, symbol of non violence

 

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French Revolution Symbols

 

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French Revolution Robespierre with the Sardinian flag in the background and underneath ‘Feudal rights’

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Prayer to God

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A Berlusconi Mural was inevitable! He says ‘I take care of it’.

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New York, 11th September 2011 Controversial Mural

 

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Remembering Tienamen

 

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United Women for the emancipation and liberation and real equality in the family and in the working world. My husband and my son enjoy the sightseeing around Orgosolo.

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Parody of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa: ‘The Mona Lisa smiles enigmatically beyond any limit and time … but her beauty is not appreciated by those who have an empty stomach’ – it reminds Feurbach’s Philosophy

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‘We don’t want weapons any longer. We won’t make any weapons any more’

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Pablo Neruda and his Postman in the movie starring the latest Massimo Troisi

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