Lunar landscapes and megalithic architecture; enchanted beaches and rocky contours; volcanic massifs; stone-built houses and ancient castles; woodlands and a network of small rivers as well as a large resevoir. Oristano Province is rich in natural scenery as might have been laid down by the “10th”Muse – to say nothing of its archaeological sites and townships.
Open air film sets which have excited the fantasies of directors such as Michael Curtiz, Antonello Grimaldi, Salvatore Mereu, Gianfranco Cabiddu e Davide Manuli. From the cliffs of Capo Mannu and Santa Caterina di Pittinuri to the sandy vastnesses of Torregrande and Arborea and Sinis, Su Pallosu cove and the sparkling Is Arutas quartz beach. Not to mention the Mediterranean bushland and the ancient forests of Montiferru and Mount Arci as well as the ever-changing water of the Tirso valley.
Mountains and the sea, stupendous foreshortenings and wide, spell-binding panoramas along 135 km of coastline. There are marshes and ploughland, towns and villages, farms and riding-schools covering an area of 3,040 square km (population 169,000) in western Sardinia. N.P. Oristano Province is careful to preserve the magic of its ancient traditions. Its displays of horsemanship (the Sartiglia in Oristano during the winter and the Ardia at Sedilo in early summer) are as famous as the Corsa degli Scalzi (the barefoot race at Cabras) and the province's carnivaltime masks. There are other equestrian events and races – for example the Carrela 'e Nanti at Santu Lussurgiu and theCursas a Sa Pudda as well as the Cursa de Sa Loriga at San Vero Milis, which richly demonstrate the area's authentic and uninterrupted links with centuries old traditions.
The region is also rich in more “official” history, the memory of the reigns of the Judge-Sovereigns Mariano IV and Eleonora d'Arborea being particularly significant. Then there are the churches and wayside sanctuaries, the coastal towers, the ancient obsidian mines, the nuraghic sites while modernity is enhanced by the artistic events held at the Sound Park at Riola Sardo.
Its towns and cities. From Oristano, of Byzantine origins, which grew up next to the earlier Phoenician settlement of Othoca with its cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to the Tower of Mariano at Bosa, a town nestling along the banks of Temo river, its medievalquarter hugging the slopes of the Serravalle Hill crowned by the ancient Malaspina Castle. Throughout its length and breadth, the province is full of spectacular surprises. The dreaming miles of an often secretive-feeling countryside could belong to another age, an earlier world, while its built-up corners are alive with an evocative scenery one associates with a Mediterranean people.
Oristano province intends to encourage the creation of films and advertising by making available to the interested people its offices and logistic services on the territory. For info and details:
Sardinia Film Commission: +39 070/6064764
THE PROVINCE OF ORISTANO
Sardinia's strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean offers favourable climatic conditions that make the territory of Oristano Province particularly interesting and suitable for outdoor shooting, on the plains and in the coastal area, but also on the volcanic ranges of Mount Arci and Montiferru. Mild temperatures and low rainfall, with long daylight hours, during most of the year; the possibility of making the most of the rare snowy landscapes next to deserts and lagoons, and then the beaches and the “Mexican” atmosphere of the village of San Salvatore di Sinis form a favourable combination, almost a multiform set designed for the Seventh Art.
HOW TO GET THERE
Oristano Province can be reached by land, along the 131 – the main road of the Island – (and the 131 bis).
- "Mario Mameli" Cagliari-Elmas: http://www.sogaer.it (92 km from Oristano, an hour and twenty minutes on the 131)
- Alghero-Fertilia: http://www.aeroportodialghero.it/home.asp (140 km along the 131 bis and the 131 up to Oristano)
- Olbia-Costa Smeralda http://www.geasar.it/ita/aeroporto; Information Office: 0789.563444 -
e-mail: email@example.com (182 km on the 131 DCN or 172 km on the 199, then the 597, to access the 131 up to Oristano)
Oristano Province can also be reached from the ports of:
Cagliari (in the South-East) and Ernesto Campanelli.
Porto Torres (North-West)
Arbatax / Tortolì (on the East coast)
There are also (connecting the main sea and airport routes) rail, bus and coach services.
For sea links from / to Sardinia, the main shipping companies are:
Tirrenia (www.tirrenia.it) and Grimaldi Lines (www.grimaldi-lines.com)
The notably holiday ethos of seaside resorts, along with the charm of its landscapes, the historical and economic importance of towns and villages means that Oristano Province has a wide availability (and variety) of accommodations, in hotels (around sixty, for a total of more than 3500 beds) campsites, hostels, residential hotels and B&Bs.
As for the catering, the numerous trad-mod restaurants and farm holidays in the territory offer, in addition to the rigour of the international cuisine, the deliciousness of the local cooking – which are sustained by catering agreements and services.
The road network within Oristano Province includes 1575 km of state, provincial and municipal roads.
An ideal itinerary may start from Bosa going in the direction of Tresnuraghes along the south bank of the Temo river, up to its mouth and the river port of Bosa Marina, a small tourist village built around the 17th century church of Santa Maria del Mare, with its distinctive red domes. A stone pier connects the mainland to the Isola Rossa, dominated by an ancient Spanish tower. If you go on southwards you can reach Turas beach, then if you cross the Nigolosi valley you arrive at Porto Alabe (in the territory of Tresnuraghes).
Among the most evocative and “panoramic” routes is the stretch, almost 46 kilometre long, connecting Bosa to Alghero, with its views of one of the most important habitats at both a Sardinian and national level.
A first stretch of the road curves inland, and then overlooks the Drucche Abba beach (a path leads to the deserted Cala Rapina in half an hour). Then discover the pink and gray tuff cliffs by theArgentina Tower, among islets and pebbly coves and the Tentizzos beach, made of red trachyte pebbles, which stretches among smooth rocks. A staircase further north leads to the sandy Cala Cumpultittu, and then to Porto Managu coastline. Opposite you will find the homonymous islet.
Rough and wild the nature of Capo Marargiu, with its jagged promontory of trachytic tuffs and red trachytic rocks. The road continues north in the territory of Villanova Monteleone, in the direction of Alghero. Here your eyes open upon panoramic views, with spectacular sunsets and perspectives at/on/towards the infinity, between the sky and the sea along the coasts of Cuglieri and Tresnuraghes up to the Island of Mal di Ventre (Cabras, Oristano province) and, on clear days, up to Capo Caccia (Alghero, Sassari province) to the north.
The views from the late 19th century Macomer-Bosarailway-line, is also interesting and noteworthy. Thanks to the tourist project “Green Train for Sardinia” it is possible to ride through and visit territories rich in vegetation and uncontaminated corners of the inland on board ancient carriages hauled by steam locomotives, perhaps sharing the emotions evoked by the British author D.H. Lawrence, in his book “Sea and Sardinia” (1921).
If you follow the profile of Sardinia's west coast, some of the most famous resorts offer an overview of the possible landscapes, which are extremely varied and lively, between stretches of sand and inaccessible cliffs, from Cuglieri to Narbolia, to San Vero Milis, up to the Sinis Peninsula and the Gulf of Oristano.
To the north of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri is the evocative rocky inlet of Su Riu e Sa Ide, which culminates in an underwater cave, between snow-white platforms and the beach of the maritime village, protected by a small bay with a rocky floor and a slipway for small boats.
A famous beach is that of S'Archittu with its natural arc of sandy shore amid reefs and rocky spots of indescribable beauty.
Betweeen S'Archittu and Is Arenas beach there is the small inlet of Torre del Pozzo, also known as “la Balena” (the Whale) for this strange effect: on the promontory of calcareous rock where the tower rises, on rough sea days, water jets resembling the blowing of whales spring from the cavity the shape of a well. With lovely natural pools and wonderful depths.
Is Arenas – formerly Sa Praia Manna – is exposed to the mistral wind and for 6 km the beach is fringed by a pinewood between Torre del Pozzo and Torre di Scab'e Sali (in Narbolia). The boundary between the beach and the pinewood is defined first by Is Benas pond and the coastal Torre di Scala 'e Sali, then by Su Crastu Biancu cliff of and finally by Sa Rocca Tunda, a beach with very fine sand, protected from winds by Punta Su Pallosu.
Then the small Su Pallosu cove, also sheltered from the winds, from which you can sail for the Island of Mal di Ventre. Four miles from Capo Mannu, the Island of Mal di Ventre or “Maluentu” (bad wind) is uninhabited but is home to birds, rabbits and turtles, and offers the visitor stunning beaches, from Cala Valdaro to Cala dei Pastori, del Pontile and del Nuraghe, Cala del Relitto, Cala Tramatzu, Cala Maestra and the small beaches to the southwest.
If you follow the coastline you will find Sa Mesa Longabeach, between Capo Mannu cliffs and Su Pallosu, with coarse ochre sand and an outcropping reef.
The spectacle offered by nature is great in Capo Mannu, a rocky promontory marked by its coastal tower and small lonely beaches with the power of the sea sculpting waves which are famous among surfers coming from Europe and from all over the world.
In Mandriola (San Vero Milis), famous for its salt marshes and pink flamingos, you can find Cala Saline, a shallow-water beach with landingplaces for small boats (and the possibility to sail for the Island of Mal di Ventre).
Very fine sand on the Putzu Idu beach, with shallow waters while the maritime village of S'AneaScoada with its little coves, marks the transition to the rockier coast, with Su Tingiosu cliffs. Quartz grains and white seabeds in Portu Suedda, on the Sinis peninsula, in Cabras there is Mar Ermi and in the protected area of Sinis Is Arutas, the beach of sea-polished “rice grains” is of particular interest.
The wild and uncontaminated Maimoni beach, at the border of the Seu naturalistic oasis, with its Mediterranean maquis and then the Funtana Meiga and San Giovanni di Sinis beach, with its fishing village and the ancient early Christian church.
The Capo San Marco lighthouse marks the beginning of the Gulf of Oristano, between the archaeological area of Tharros and the Spanish tower, then the huge sandy expanse of Torregrande, with the village and its coastal tower, much frequented in summer and finally, at the centre of the Gulf, the Aba Rossa, with slightly rough sand, but crystal clear waters.
Examples of Baroque and medieval echoes in the city of Eleanor: on the central-west coast of Sardinia, Oristano, with its architectural treasures and memories of an illustrious and glorious past rises in the plain of Campidano, with the mystery and propitiatory power of the rites linked to the equestrian tournament of the Sartiglia. Its sequences of the vestition and Su Componidori’s androgynous mask, the knights’ race towards the fateful star, Sa Pippia 'e Maju and the spectacular acrobatics continue according to strict, centuries-old rules and traditions, which are still able to seduce the imagination.
Entry into Oristano was throught the Torre di Mariano (or Port'a Ponti), which was beyond the massive walls (the “twin” Tower of San Filippo or Port'a Mari was destroyed in the early 20th century), which preserves magnificent traces of late 13th century architecture. Even more ancient was the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (1130), that although destroyed in a siege and rebuilt at the time of Mariano II some original parts survive. The building took its exquisitely baroque forms in the 18th century.
Traces of history in the Portixedda Tower and in Eleanor's Statue between ancient churches and palaces, the Archiepiscopal Seminary and the Casa de la Ciudad between the rococo church and the Carmine cloister, the Churches of San Martino and San Sebastiano outside the walls and the Basilica del Remedio in Donigala Fenugheduarea, the baroque Church of Sant'Efisio in the quarter of Su Brugu and the 13th century Oratorio delle Anime (Oratory of All Souls) in Massama. There are also Franco-gothic traces/elements in the 15th century Church of Santa Chiara. Palazzo degli Scolopi and Palazzo d'Arcais, Palazzo Falchi in Corso Umberto (formerly Via Dritta) and other significant buildings show the different faces of the city, up to the 20th century Palazzo Bastogi in the rationalist style.
The town centre and the peculiar aspect of outlying areas, such as Donigala Fenughedu, with their strings of low houses looking over agricultural landscapes; the sea with the Torregrande beach and the village of the same name; the rites and shapes of the sacred; the celebration of Sa Sartiglia that changes the appearance of the city by reconstructing the ancient tracks for the equestrian tournament; streets, façades, monuments, the Gulf and the marshes near the town centre. The Tharros ruins and the picturesque village of Santa Giusta with its Romanesque Basilica, also offer visions of the past and the present.
Images of a timeless Sardinia, able to seduce and excite, still rare and therefore more interesting in the framing of a movie camera. Ancient sanctuaries and contemporary architecture for a journey through the centuries; ancestral memories, among rituals, sounds, voices and colours of the Island.
Nestling between the sea and the mountains in the valley of Temo river, Bosa combines the charm of a still wild nature with the feudal architecture of Sa Costa, between the two stairways of “s'iscala 'e sa rosa” and “s'iscala 'e s'ainu” leading up to the Castle of Serravalle, little streets covered with rounded cobbles connected by trachyte steps, with the 19th century façades of the palaces in Corso Vittorio Emanuele (formerly Sa Piatta, from platha), sign of the advent of a new, monied aristocracy.
Interesting views reveal the subsequent stratifications, the evolution of taste and building techniques: among old houses and churches – from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to the palatine chapel dedicated to Our Lady de Sos Regnos Altos, with 14th century frescos and the Romanesque Church of Saint Peter Extra Muros, along the banks of the Temo. Amid the signs of modernity it is possible to breathe the atmospheres of an ancient 16th-17th century village: breathtaking views – which suddenly reveal themselves on the road between Bosa and Alghero, as well as along the hairpin bends leading to Montresta and to other neighboring villages, the coastal towers, sa funtana manna and the old tanneries offer a variety of possible locations.
The ancient castle of the Malaspina family, the Torre Argentina and the Torre di Bosa, the historic centre and the prehistoric remains – domus de janas and nuraghes – a counterpoint to the wonders of the Isola Rossa (now joined to the mainland) and Turas and S'Abba Drukke beaches, Cumpoltittu, Cala Managu and Capo Marrargiu, Bosa Marina, the little coves at the Torre Argentina, per non parlare di depths and reefs.
Mediterranean maquis and agropastoral traditions, ancient rituals and festivals – among them there is also the famous Carnival and of course the Festival of Our Lady of Regnos Altos – have the flavour and magic of a past that is renewed, archaic forms that build on the present with a contemporary sensitiveness to recreate highly imaginative but also deeply realistic atmospheres, full of charm and poetry.
Between Barigadu and Guilcer, you will find the Lake Omodeo, Italy's largest man-made lake, with the picturesque Romanesque Church of San Pietro di Zuri, rescued from waters, demolished and rebuilt according to the original 13th century facies, with gothic insertions like the octagonal apse, together with the omonymous village in the area of "Murreddu", on the upland of Ghilarza beside the charming view of a petrified forest and then nuraghes and submerged dry stone walls, almost seems to guard old and new enigmas; the early 20th century old trachyte dam – interesting and spectacular – was replaced by that of Busachi, on Tirso. The lake shores, in an area rich in springs and mines, are very diverse, including sandy stretches, hills and rocky faces in a landscape dominated by basaltic uplands and rugged mountains.
Precious habitats for the flora and fauna - wetlands of internationally recognized importance - ponds/marshes characterize the coastal area of the Province of Oristano between Capo Mannu and Marceddì, with a total surface of 6000 hectares. Peculiar landscapes, poised between the earth and the water inhabited by rare bird species: the ponds/marshes – which also have a useful economic function such as fish breeding – represent a peculiarity of the territory. Practicable lagoons, sheets of standing waters referring to remote swamps, fairy-tale or nightmare spaces, difficult to cross: interesting and mysterious places, full of atmosphere and on the thresholds of the unknown. Beside the ponds of Cabras and Mare 'e Pauli, Mistras, Pauli Maiori, S'Ena Arrubia and San Giovanni, Marceddì and Corru S'Ittiri, that of Sale Porcus also has the good fortune and the secret of disappearing by evaporation in the summer and reappearing in the autumn.
SAN SALVATORE DI SINIS that is A WESTERN FILM LOCATION
Mexican visions for a spaghetti western location (almost only a memory now): almost a mirage amid the traditional architectures of cumbessias, religious shelter for the faithful during the novena, the traces of the Mexican village set in the 60s. From “Django Kills Softly” by Max Hunter (in the world Massimo Pupillo) to the painful epic deeds of “God will forgive my pistol” by Mario Gariazzo and Leopoldo Savona which marked the end of the dream for Arborea Film, without forgetting the cult film “Gerter Colt”, the ruins of a film adventure rise among the houses in làdiri (mud brick) and the 17th century church.
Not devoid of a subtle atmosphere, expanded in the legend – apparently unfounded but picturesque, not less than the impressive architectures that recalled a village of Central America - which assumes here the set for at least a film by Sergio Leone.
Another Sardinia, which refers to Veneto or maybe to Friuli, in the cultivated expanses and plots divided by eucalyptus trees and other “exotic” essences: where Palude Sassu used to extend the reclamations that started in 1919 have established a thriving agricultural economy. For a sort of reverse migration mainly the farmers coming from Northern Italy were those who sharecropped those reclaimed lands to grow tobacco, tomato, rice and maize/corn or to raise cattle between Terralba and Marrubiu.
So among the neat and geometric perspectives, such as among the 20th century architectures of Arborea (formerly Mussolinia) inaugurated in 1928 by the king, you will breathe the signs of progress in the splendour of the Fascist ventennio: no Campidanese houses, but houses and churches with “Tyrolese” roofs, model farms leading for an avant-garde agricultural economy. Another world, or perhaps the positive aspect of a successful symbiosis.
In a film perspective the photography of an era, of an architectural style, a drawing with a clear and recognizable landscape, an anthropic mark on the nature. Between the past and the future. Almost a journey through time and history.
The view that the eye – and therefore the lens – meets from the location of Badde Urbara, on the volcanic massif of Montiferru, in the territory of Santulussurgiu is really amazing: reachable by taking the road leading to San Leonardo di Siete Fuentes, once you pass through the small village, you reach the pass (not by chancechosen as headquarters for TV antennas, and surrounded by a natural park inhabited by mouflons) overlooking the Gulf of Oristano up to Alghero. And the slopes of Montiferru in its harsher and “wilder” side.
On the northern side of Montiferru, Cuglieri (Gurulis Nova, near the Phoenician Cornus) offers the view of forests and springs, up to beaches and cliffs such as S'Archittu. Fascinating the landscape of Scano Montiferro, among the hills of San Giorgio and Santa Croce and the promontory of Monte Ruinas. Among the panoramic spots, the many towers that dot the central-east coast of Sardinia, from Bosa – with the 16th century Torre Argentina and the Torre di Bosa, on the homonymous Marina – to Tresnuraghes (Foghe Tower, built in basaltic rocks and Ischia Ruja Tower), Cuglieri (Su Puttu Tower, Pittinuri Tower, on the promontory of Santa Caterina and Capo Nieddu Tower).
In San Vero Milis Sa Mora Tower and Capo Mannu Tower, dominating the promontory (in addition to the half-ruined Saline Tower, near Putzu Idu and the 17th century Scala de Sali Tower) stand out. Cabras, instead, boasts, in addition to the homonymous Cabras Tower, at the Peschiera Pontis (Pontis fish pond), the Old Capo San Marco Tower and San Giovanni di Sinis Tower, overlooking the ancient Punic-Roman town of Tharros; finally the Sevo or Mosca Tower, on a promontory near the WWF oasis of Turre 'e Seu.
In Oristano, in addition to the Mariano and Portixedda town Towers, the Torre Grande (which gives its name to the sea resort) rises on the beach; and in Terralba, near the old and charming fishing village on a large lagoon with a view up to Capo Frasca, the Old Marceddì Tower.
You should not forget the Fordongianus spa, dating back to Emperor Trajan (1st - 2nd century AD), first core of the village on a trachytic platform in a wide bight of Tirso river, with the ancient Roman bridge.
The dam on Lake Omodeo, the largest man-made lake in Italy (once in Europe) at the border between the Barigadu and the Guilcier region: built between 1918 and 1924, the dam of Santa Chiara, designed by Angelo Omodeo, offers spectacular views (not to mention the ancient fossil forest, dating back to the Miocene, submerged by the waters of the lake and visible for short periods). Among the panoramic spots of the Province of Oristano, you should remember the Belvedere of Pau, which opens amid the woods offering a broad view on charming landscapes, at the slopes of Monte Arci. Spectacular is the Isola Rossa at Bosa and the Isola di Mal di Ventre – and the Scoglio del Catalano - in front of the Sinis Peninsula (between Is Arenas and the Gulf of Oristano) in a game of mirrors between the sea and the mainland, reflections of sky and stunning sunsets that thicken in the multi-faceted lagoon landscape of the wide pond area.
VILLAS AND ANCIENT DWELLINGS
There are many buildings – houses and palaces, villas, and then churches, shrines and cumbessias: from the renowned Shrine of Santu Antine in Sedilo to the sculptures of the Park of Sounds in Riola Sardo, up to Piazza Gramsci in Ales designed by Giò Pomodoro. Among the important buildings you should remember the Castle of the Malaspina family in Bosa (also an important panoramic spot on the town), the Castle of Cuglieri (Casteddu Etzu) and the Castle of Laconi in addition to the Aymerich Palace with the omonymous park. It is interesting the 16th century “Aragonese house” in Fordongianus as well as the ancient villages of Busachi, Bidonì, Baratili San Pietro, Baressa, Gonnostramatza and Allai, with the old bridge, and the historic palaces of Oristano.
ON THE SEA FLOOR
Crystal clear waters and wonderful floors, suitable for scuba diving - like in Sa Mesa Longa, on the stretch of beach between the cliffs of Capo Mannu and Su Pallosu, with astonishing views such as the sunken town of Tharros, in the territory of Cabras. In particular, the marine areas between the Sinis Peninsula and the Isola di Mal di Ventre Island (within a marine protected area) allow you to dive among varied floors, where you can discover the richness of life beneath the surface among fish, shellfish and a lively explosion of colour of corals, madrepores, sponges, polychaete worms. In the Secca di Mezzo the barracudas live and in clear waters you can often watch the evolutions of dolphins and the routes of sea turtles. The Promontory of Capo Mannu is one of the most important spots for surfers from all over the world.
The Province of Oristano boasts a very long tradition of horse breeding, that is why you can find here spectacular equestrian tournaments and races, from Sartiglia of Oristano (with the acrobatic pairs of horses in a challenge made of speed, skill and harmony) to S'Ardia of Sedilo, and Sa Carrela 'e Nanti of Santu Lussurgiu. There are many farms, riding schools and stables, with the possibility to find saddle-horses and steeplechasers in particular belonging to the fiery race of the Anglo-Arab-Sardinian (and expert horsemen): horse riding is a passion and a widespread art practiced at various levels – even with significant results - in the Province of Oristano.
The Province of Oristano houses important remains of the past, essential documents of the evolution of the material culture from prehistoric times - with the remains of the Neolithic and the Nuraghic civilization - up to the the 20th century rationalist architecture: among the archaeological sites to indicate (with the arcane magic of places suspended between remote events and science fiction hypotheses) we cannot omit the sacred area and the Well of Santa Cristina in Paulilatino and the Nuraghe Losa in Abbasanta.
Fascinating and evocative is the renowned well temple, an interesting example of the Nuraghic architecture, in the place near Paulilatino which is named after the ancient Church of Santa Cristina: the mystery of an ancient cult of waters appears from the hypogean structures, held in a double fence (the external with an elliptical shape, the other with its peculiar “lock” design) with the staircase leading to the room with tholos roof where water flows from a perennial water table, lit from the top by a sunbeam or by a moon reflection. Around the sacred well, the site includes a number of other buildings, like the hut of the meetings, the village and the nuraghe of Santa Cristina, the huts scattered among olive trees and other Nuraghic towers.
The Nuraghe Losa, imposing and majestic, dominates the landscape from the basaltic upland of Abbasanta: the complex is formed by an older corpus, with the central keep, then it is surrounded by the trilobate bastion protected by a rampart and by a further wall; within the walls you will recognize the remains of round huts. Refined building techniques and its compact and organized structure which helped in preserving it from the challenge of centuries make Nuraghe Losa one of the most important proofs of the ancient inhabitants of the Island.
Megalithic architectures, echoes of remote Mediterranean civilizations and cultures but also interesting “photographs” of the geological stratifications and the archaeological heritage of the territory: in the Province of Oristano there is also the PARC (PaleoARcheoCentro) of Genoni, with a strong inclination on cultural tourism, intriguing starting and reference point for a visionary route among paleontological finds, Prehistory and Ichnusa landscapes, among the structures of the former Convent and the changing landscapes of the Giara.
FILM AND ARTISTS IN THE PROVINCE OF ORISTANO
Film memories of the Province of Oristano: in an ideal filmography non può mancare“Il richiamo della terra” (1928) by Giovannino Bissi - story of a young boy, the son of a landowner from Ghilarza, torn between the carefree life in the capital and the nostalgia for his Island, evoked from the countryside between Abbasanta and Ghilarza and the Tirso basin, with glimpses of rural life.
If in “La Grazia” (1929) by Aldo De Benedetti the interiors by illustrator and set designer Melkiorre Melis from Bosa, taken from Biasi's sketches, provide a “visual” though fantastic link to the Sardinia described by Grazia Deledda, “Faddjia- La Legge della Vendetta” (1949) by Roberto Bianchi Montero, instead, reproduces a photograph of the Island, and more precisely one of Riola, among houses in làdiri (mud brick), fountains and courtyards, rural landscapes, in a portrait of the village in the postwar period, scenery for a 19th century melodrama set in the Oristano area.
Images of the Basilica of Santa Giusta - to remember the “Porziuncula” interiors with the “simplicity” of the Romanesque in an excursus over the Tyrrhenian Sea of the Hollywood on the Tiber in “Francesco d'Assisi” (1961) by Michael Curtiz.
For “Django Kills Softly” (1966) starring George Eastman (Luigi Montefiori) and Liana Orfei Max Hunter (in the world Massimo Pupillo) chose the “western” location of San Salvatore di Sinis and for the exterior shots he chose sets near the spectacular village (now semidestroyed and returned to its original facies).
Sequences of the Ardia of Sedilo for “A question of honour” (1966) by Luigi Zampa, starring Ugo Tognazzi, Bernard Blier and Nicoletta Machiavelli: a folklore note next to the Mamuthones for a surreal and satirical tragicomedy – much discussed at the time.
Views of the coast and the countryside between Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Oristano for the science fiction “Star Pilot” (1966) by Piero Francisci between alien abductions and experiments to save the human civilization.
Western from a female point of view with “Garter Colt” (1967) by Gian Rocco, shot in the village of San Salvatore di Sinis, and return to the Island for Nicoletta Machiavelli, “pop” icon of the Italian cinema of the 60s interpreting a skillful pistolera (the actress will interpret herself in “Scarabea” - in 1968 in Orgosolo).
San Salvatore offered the sets for a new “spaghetti western” epic with “God will forgive my pistol” (1966/69) by Mario Gariazzo and Leopoldo Savona - product of Arborea Film, which aimed at making this village the preferential location for Far West stories.
The “marine” charm of Bosa, the coast and the beautiful bays divided by the Torre Argentina in the story of Attila's life in “The Technique and the Rite” (1971) by Miklos Jancsò, who found in Sardinia the sets for a vivid metaphor of the dictatorship.
Oristano (and Cagliari) but especially Cabras pond and the Sinis Peninsula for “Sa Jana” (1980) by Massimo Pupillo, among the charm of “Baroni in laguna” by Giuseppe Fiori, with Cabras fishermen's struggles and a love story against the background of a Sardinia between the Middle Ages and modernity.
Ghilarza and in particular the religious shelter of San Serafino became the set for “Disamistade” (1988) brought to the screen by Gianfranco Cabiddu making his debut, starring Joaquin De Almeida, Laura Del Sol, Massimo Dapporto and Maria Carta, for a portrait between anthropology and the story of the chronicles of hate and revenge in the Sardinia of the 50s.
“An impossible crime” (2001) by Antonello Grimaldi - from “Procedure” by Salvatore Mannuzzu - hides the clue to the mystery among alleys, churches and villas in Bosa; and in “Sonetàula” (2008) the Sassari director reconstructs the atmospheres of an ancient Nuoro told in the pages of the omonymous novel by Giuseppe Fiori reinventing “his” town amid views of Bosa and Oristano (as well as Tempio and Alghero), in the portrait of a virtual Island.
“Star” cast for “Beket” (2008) – starring Fabrizio Gifuni, Paolo Rossi and Roberto “Freak” Antoni next to Luciano Curreli, Jerome Duranteau and Luciano Maludrottu – and “The Legend of Kaspar Hauser” (2012) starring Vincent Gallo, Claudia Gerini, Gifuni, Silvia Calderoni and Elisa Sednaoui by David Manuli who found in the lunar landscapes of Cabras and the Province of Oristano the ideal locations for surreal films and modern, visionary, dreamlike plots. The unfinished “Eleonora d'Arborea” inspired by the work of Camillo Bellieni, starring Caterina Murino directed by Claver Salizzato (between the Aragonese Tower of Ghilarza and Piazza Eleonora in Oristano) perhaps will be – as intended by the actress – a prelude to a more successful film on the Giudicessa (female judge). “Marine” images of the Province of Oristano emerge from notes and paths in the memory of “Per Sofia” (2010) by the young director Ilaria Paganelli.
A metatheatrical story (for images), “Sympathy for the Lobster” (2007) by Sabina Guzzanti reconstructs in the form of a “mockumentary” the adventure of the artists of the historic RaiTre programme “Avanzi” - starring Cinzia Leone, Francesca Reggiani, Pierfrancesco Loche, Antonello Fassari, Stefano Masciarelli and Franza Di Rosa in addition to the islander Gianni Usai - gathered in Su Pallosu, until the production of a show (at the Roman amphitheatre in Cagliari) to bring to light the tragedy of the Island's fishermen.
A breeding ground for the big (and small) screen, such as actor Tiberio Murgia (from his debut in “Big Deal on Madonna Street” and “The Great War” by Mario Monicelli to “Holy Money” by Maxime Alexandre), the versatile comic/singer Benito Urgu and the histrionic actor (and drummer) Pier Francesco “Checco” Loche, the Province of Oristano is also land of emergent young people and well-known directors and documentarians.
From Antonello Carboni – author of several documentaries, presented (and award-winning) in Italy and worldwide, to the videomaker, producer and director (especially of commercials and TV programmes) Maurizio Abis (www.bibigula.it) to the versatile Oristano writer, screenwriter and director Filippo Martinez (he was also the director of “Sgarbi newspapers”).
Among the film professionals there is also the editor and author Ivo Vacca and Sirio Sechi (Belgian artist of Sardinian origin, born in Oristano, he lives in Narbolia) author of short films – between fiction and animation, commercials and video art – including “Fattuzzu” (filmed in Bonarcado), “Fadyska” (in Milis) and “Anatomia” (with the students of ITIS “Antonio Gramsci” of Ales).
Peter Marcias, the most “European” among young Sardinian directors, was also born in Oristano. He is an author of short films, commercials, documentaries (“Ma la Spagna non era cattolica?”, “Liliana Cavani – Una donna nel cinema”) and feature films: (“Un attimo sospesi” and “I bambini della sua vita” starring Piera Degli Esposti). An ironic and disenchanted look at the traditions of the Island in “S'Iscravamentu Show” by Oristano director Simone Cireddu, author of original and “surprising” short films like “Vecchiaia” and “Morbo”.
A strong emotional and visionary tie with the territory of the Province of Oristano, between Montiferru and Sinis, emerges from the works of Paolo Zucca, director of short films like the multi-award winning “L'arbitro” (Jury Prize at the Clermont-Ferrand, David di Donatello award, already at the Los Angeles Film Festival), promos (for the Montiferru Barigadu Sinis GAL and the Marmilla GAL) and commercials. Coming soon the first clapperboard of the first feature film by the Oristano artist (joined on the set by another young talent, Paolo Garau), on the same subject of “L'arbitro”, starring Stefano Accorsi. What about the locations? “Almost all the film will be set in the Montiferru: in addition to Bonarcado, Paulilatino, Santulussurgiu and Seneghe”.