Journeys through time

Trenino Verde

Journeys through time

"we will go by the secondary railway, wherever it goes" (D. H. Lawrence - Sea and Sardinia, 1921)

The only place you’ll find nuraghi is in Sardinia, and there are thousands of them. Compared to the Island’s territory, however, there are very few inhabitants and they are people of very few words with a rare sense of hospitality. They speak several variants of a language all of their own and their habits and customs are deeply rooted in their ancient and original cultures. Then there is the beauty of the places, which touches the soul. All this was enough to intrigue nineteenth-century European travellers, curious pioneers of unexplored worlds, thirsty for new experiences. They set out to explore and travelled around the Island with the only means available at the time, the steam train. Meanwhile, they wrote: you will find places, encounters and emotions in their travel notes, identical to those that, at a slow pace, you’ll experience yourself, along the same itineraries travelled by the forerunners of responsible tourism.

caprette sul Supramonte di Baunei

Climb aboard the carriages of the Trenino Verde (Little Green Train) and, from the windows, the primordial essence of Sarcidano, Ogliastra, Gallura and Planargia will pass before your eyes - untouched landscapes that have taken shape over time. Don't lose heart if your stay doesn’t coincide with the excursion programme of the ‘little train’ (from May to the end of the year), because the journey through time can also be enjoyed by car, motorbike, bicycle and on foot. Leave the sea behind you, explore the Island and not only will you find a warm and discreet welcome but also the tasty cuisine of the shepherds, roasts cooked to perfection and cheeses enhanced in culurgiones and seadas. You will smell the fragrance of freshly baked carasau bread, cannonau and vermentino wine and homemade liqueurs made from myrtle berries gathered in the woods.

Sestos (immagine costume ittirese)

You will meet the local people, who live a deep bond with the spirit of their Mother Earth with natural spontaneity and are guardians of the places and the arts handed down from generation to generation. Authentic ancestral and sacred tradition can be felt in the workshops of the master craftsmen who make knives and wooden masks, or those of the skilled embroiderers of fabrics made on the loom, ‘by hand’, with naturally finished and coloured sheep’s wool yarns; then there are the goldsmiths’ workshops, where you will find skilfully perfected filigree jewellery, brooches, wedding rings and coral drop earrings, accurately reflecting the originals worn by the ‘ancient people’ or reinterpreted with new artistic sensitivity.

cavalieri Ardia di Sedilo

Visit the small towns during the celebrations of pagan and religious festivals and feast days and you will witness touching processions and unbridled equestrian jousts, improvised poetry competitions and ancient game challenges; join in the ethnic dances, still danced together in the squares, and the rituals lost in the mists of time, while wearing disguises and masks. On these special occasions, you will see ancient costumes being worn, which are colourful and vary from village to village, and you can listen to the sounds and ancestral rhythms of the cantu a tenore (polyphonic folk singing) and the launeddas (woodwind instruments) that so impressed the first writer-travellers. They are all legacies of ancient worlds, still alive today, thanks to the tenacity of the people who live in these parts of Sardinia.

Trenino verde sul ponte san Gerolamo