Trekking Ulassai Sardinia

Ulassai, in Ogliastra on the oriental center of Sardinia, is the ideal base for sports and nature lovers and for those looking for peace and quiet near to the sea. Ulassai is considered to be one of the most beautiful places of Sardinia, a paradise for trekking as well as for climbing.

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Maria Lai’s Trail

Go into the world of art, discover the works of Maria Lai, the artist of these environs, deeply connected with the native tradition. But here the art lives well in the open air, in the shadow of the mountains, the wilderness and in the furthest corners of land that ask to be discovered and loved. Art and nature coexist harmoniously arranged in such peaceful surrounding area.
The trail takes its dialectal name countless in this area capers (Tappara = capers). As with other trails, hike starts in the center Ulassai, the square in front of city hall, where you can see a map of nearby hiking trails. The stairs, situated on the right side, leads to the parish church dedicated to Saint Antiochus. There is kept a priceless work of modern art – The Way of The Cross (Via Crucis).Is is 14 paintings painted by Maria Lai, depict the stations of the Passion. If you decide to visit please contact to the parish priest for a help. He provides you the complete information about the work.
The biggest attraction of the first stage of the journey is undoubtedly the oldest part of town with its old buildings and narrow streets. Following the chosen trial, you can get to the historic bathhouse (so-called Lavatoio): in 1988, stone basins, in which in the past women handwashed underwear, became a part of the open air museum, established by the efforts of prominent artists like Maria Lai, Costantina Nivoli, Guido Strazzy and Luigi Veronesi, who have left their indelible sign here. It is impossible not to mention the artistic Loom (Telaio) Nivoli or its Fontana Sonora, which, through constant rush of water in a simple way conveys women chats who came to wash underwear. To the right of Bath you find the source of refreshing water – one of the most scenic and impressive in the area. Twenty meters away, on the right, climb up the stairs. On the top of them starts a well- marked path .It leads you getting higher and higher… If you look to the right, You will see a huge rock. Nearby is a stone wall built without mortar. In the crack you can see the ruins of an ancient house: a beam of juniper wood, ruins of walls, roof tiles. Here, at the foot of the majestic rocks of an ascetic, an unusual form, once again appeal to you the mysterious spirit of the place.
According to legend, so old how old is this extraordinary region, two very young shepherdess goats, lived in modest hut have been warned against the danger by the robin with a golden bell suspended from his neck. They came out hearing his melodic, prolonged ringing… and a moment later a huge boulder broke away from the slopes of the mountains and fell straight to a modest hut. Those, who climb to the edge of the canyon, even today, can see the Cyclopean stone, and the shepherds tell him that when the wind blows, robin bell still hums … It takes just 5 to get at the gate of Sa Tappara – a spectacular canyon with vertical calcareous walls, a deep pass, which is a result of a slight, but consistent movement of the rocks. A narrow tunnel leads into the interior, where you see one of the newest and most beautiful complexes of climbing walls in Italy. You find there about 100 tracks with different degrees of difficulty.
Hiking through the canyon Sa Tappara takes an average of 15 minutes, but a sense of infinite majesty and immensity of what you have the opportunity to savor here, is worth all the hardships. Not to mention the stunning beauty of nature, which reveal in front of you while walking slowly through the pass, and at the outlet. On the right side unfolds a delightful view of the valley of the Pardue River, extending to the coast Cardedu. Going straight ahead, you get to the junction. Those, who go to the right, return to Ulassai. Turning to the left, enter the path of No 504, dedicated to Mary Lai. So if you want to stay in the chosen at the beginning trail, turn right and follow a straight path running highland region. After about 15 minutes it starts to converge downward. You pass through dense pine forest, among the boulders, which broke away from the mountain slopes and changed in rocky ridges, creating the beautiful rifts. This area, known as Marosini, is famous for its extraordinary echo. Marosini is an abbreviation used by local inhabitants, from the name of Maria di Osini- a woman who came to these environs to spin, and slumped from a cliff, wailing piteously, constantly begging for help. Echo repeated the words of travelers who passed there, by way of Ulassai to Osini. Trapped for eternity in Ogliastra calcareous cliffs, old woman, shows to human eyes once a year, on Midsummer Eve, when the rift dazzles and mysterious song comes out of its heart…
Going straight ahead, you find yourself at the junction. Those who follow the right trail encounter Sa Tappara or Robin and return to Ulassai. Going to the left, enter the well marked path which leads you near to a football field, situated at 900 meters above sea level. 80 meters further begins a paved road. We suggest at this point you pay particular attention to the distinctive signpost. After a 15 minutes hike you get to the well-known around town Leccorci, where – after heavy rain, and if you are lucky – you can admire the beautiful waterfall of the same name. Water flows down from the mountains, twinkling multitude of colors and brilliance, seems to stream from the heart of rocks. After a next 5 minutes walking on the left side of the road you see an impressive dinosaur – Maria Lai’s work, representing a stark contrast epochs (hourglass): a dissonance between past times (dinosaur) and today (steel). Years ago in this area was a garbage dump. Thanks to Mary Lai has changed it in the next station artistic and cultural trial, setting a rhythm of everyday life in Ulassai. Surely your attention attract by so called. Dell’Inquietudine Casa (House Anxiety) located on the right side of the road. There is an outlet of anger and anxiety of the modern artist, who constantly and with variable success looks for infinitude. These frantic quests often express by using stones, threads, special materials and colors … Sometimes it just words are enough as those, which, visitors can read on the wall. The most important ones are as follows: “Art is born of bitterness, but it makes existence cute.”
Journey ends with a descent to Ulassai, where we recommend you to acquaint with a many other works of Maria Lai – the tour is free. A distinguished artist found in her hometown a source of inspiration, a fertile ground for many important projects. Let us mention some of them: “Ritual Path” (“La strada del Rito”), depicts typical in local tradition, bread and fish. It was made of a colorful cast of cement, fixed to the wall along a nearby road, which is 7 km long and connects Ulassai with the district S. Barbara. Further work is “Le Capra cucite” (“Sewed goat”), depicting sewed goats and sheets, which flutter in the wind. They can be admired along the road No. 11, in the district of La Madonnina, in Ulassai. It is also worth mentioning the “Big Blackboard” (“Grande Lavagna”), “Walls of labyrinth” (“Muro del groviglio”), “Fable of the shepherd boy” (“Favola del Pastorello”), and most of all the monumental “The Game of geese in flight “(” Gioco del volo dell’Oca “). This work of undoubted educational motives, is dedicated to the discovering the world, playing and learning about life, art and the meaningful, mysterious contents, which it shall transmit to us.
It is worth noting that railway station in Ulassai and its surrounding areas were completely renovated, and for some time there is located the headquarters of the Foundation “Stazione d’arte” (which we highly recommend to visit). Foundation, dedicated to the person of Maria Lai and her work, not only exposes the most outstanding works of this great artist, but also one of the main centers for promotion of arts and culture in Sardinia and throughout Italy.
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Dettagli dell’escursione

• Punto di partenza: Ulassai
• Lunghezza percorso: 3 Km
• Tempo medio di percorrenza: 1 h e 30 m
• Difficoltà: E
• Dislivello: 231 m
• Punto di arrivo: Ulassai
• Segnaletica: Sentiero ben tracciato, presenti cartelli
• Periodo consigliato: Tutto l’anno.

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