19 Feb Osilo experience
Being a local guide, for me, it means to be dynamic and to always look for new experience to do. I had the chance to discover a hidden place where we can go back in time and live the real life on the Island. I decided to tell you all the details and maybe inspire you for the next journey to Sardinia.
Leaving the coastline, we started driving towards a hidden valley. On one side it was possible to see the limestone worked by the sea, and on the other side there were the basalt mountains. Twisting around we arrived in a small village called San Lorenzo. Of course, to welcome us there was a cute little church. Just behind the church, down the hill there was a building: the surviving watermill. The last watermill of San Lorenzo is today a witness of a rich past, when in the valley there were 36 watermills all along the stream. Pure water comes down from the hills and meet down the watermills’ valley.
Everything started around the 12th century, when monks arrived here and built up the mill industry, creating in Osilo the highest concentration of watermills in Sardinia. Because of it, this place was an important center till the industrial revolution. Thanks to Antonio Strinna, writer and composer born here, we were able to jump back in time.
To help our imagination we continued to another tiny, very well-preserved village where time seems stopped. There, in Santa Vittoria, the roads are still those of centuries ago. Among the narrow old streets there is the church, partially carved in the limestone mountain. The location is stunning. It just reminds us how the will and need can push human limits. In this fabulous area it is already time for a break. There is not a better place to try the “formagelle” special dough nests with pecorino cheese inside. These pastries can be found everywhere around Sardinia, but the ones of Osilo are particular since the nest is bigger and higher, so they are more cheesy.
What should you try in Osilo?
- Formagelle, with pecorino cheese and raisin
- Covazzedda de erda, a special sweet bread with lard and raisin
- Pecorino cheese, the one from Osilo has the “slow food” label
- Dry pork sausage, their recipe is very tasty
- Local bread
After charging our batteries we were ready to go back to discovery. So, we jumped on the bus and we started climbing to highest hills of Osilo. From around 700 metres from-the-sea-level the view is amazing. We can see the village sheltered down the Malaspina’s Castle. Here, a wealthy family from Tuscany, arrived around the 12th century and built the castle to control the area, and not only. For very clear reasons all the ten tiny towns moved from the valley to the hill close to the castle.
Walking around the historical town we were pleased by the simple beauty and then we dirty our hands: we made the famous pecorino cheese and the bread called “ammudigadu” so very soft. Walking around the streets we discovered that a woman from here work for very famous brands such as Fendi, Armani and others. Why is she so amazing? Because she not only follows the fashion rules, but also get inspiration from traditional folk Sardinian costumes. Just the best ambassador for our island in the fashion world.
Going back to history, we decided to practice some sport and walk uphill to the castle. To avoid any disappointment, you must imagine a checking tower with walls around. Here in Osilo inside the fortress there was a kitchen, a warehouse, an armory, a mill and even an oven for the bread, so we can say that soldiers here were completely autonomous and living in paradise.
What we loved the most from here? The view from the fortress is breathtaking. From here it is possible to see from east to west, till the high mountains of Corsica and of the inland part of Sardinia. Somebody said “controlling Osilo Castle means controlling Sardinia”.
So why you should come to Osilo?
- Breathtaking panoramas and sites
- Unique history
- Genuine products
The day we spent with our Osilo’s friends was an amazing discover and I am ready to show you all these interesting places and tell you all the history’s details. Are you with me?