|— Comune —|
|Comune di Oliena|
|• Total||165.37 km2 (63.85 sq mi)|
|Elevation||365 m (1,198 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||45/km2 ( 120/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Saint Ignatius of Loyola, San Lussorio|
|Saint day||31 July 21 August|
The territory of Oliena extends towards the north-eastern slope of the Supramonte as far as the eastern foot of mount Ortobene, embracing the valley crossed by Cedrino river which opens towards the plains of Galtellì and Orosei.
The inhabited centre lies about 380 m a.s.l. at the foot of a mountain which rises vertically with the well-known peaks Corrasi.
History and origins
Already belonging to the Giudicato of Torres, Oliena was one of the Curatorie of Posada. During the war between Aragona and Arborea, it was occupied by Eleonora D'Arborea's troops. The village, developed in the Medieval ages at the foot of a castle still today remembered in toponimy, belonged to Arborea until the fall of the Giudicato.
Lamarmora thinks the name "Oliena" dates back to the time of the first Oriental people, and comes from Helion (very high), because of the peaks at whose foot the village is situated.
Almost surely of Proto-Sardinian origin, judging from the numerous archaeological remains presents in the territory, the name Oliena is joined to a group of Troians who, after the fall of Troy, left in order to find safer lands. It is probable that some of them landed in Sardinia, giving birth to the people of Ilienses.
At the beginning of 1300 Oliena was under the Pisan Rule in the Giudicato of Gallura, in the Curatoria of Posada and Galtellì. At that time, the centre might have been substantial, judging from its income compared to the neighbouring villages. It owned a medieval castle, situated in the locality "Su Carmene" already gone to ruin when the Jesuits, in the 17th century, according to what the popular tradition says, removed the stones which it was built of, in order to build a convent and then, the church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola. In 1325 the village of Oliena and its territory were assigned to Berengario Carroz together with the village of Calogonis (Cologone), now disappeared.
In the 17th century the Jesuits inhabited Oliena giving impulse to different activities and starting the building of the College and the present parish church.
Some scholars link the name to the olive trees in this zone but this interpretation is groundless because of the fact that the largest cultivation of olive groves has taken place in recent years.
In fact the inhabitants were mostly given to stock-raising and the cultivated lands were few. The increasing of cultivation of olives started after the coming of the Jesuits]and later developed thanks to the incentives from the Spaniards and Savoias, who promised noble titles to who should have grafted some thousands of wild olive-trees.
- "... Oliena, as the papers say, but its real and poetic name is Ulìana, with the accent on the "i". It is a wonderful village standing at the foot of the most beautiful mountain that God has ever created, and produce a wine in which all the essences of our earth, the mirtle, the strawberry-tree, the cisto and the mastic tree".
That is what Salvatore Satta (a great Sardinian writer) wrote in his book "Il Giorno del Giudizio" (The Day of Judgment).
The parish church of Saint Ignatius (Santu Nascìu) stands in the college's square.
You can enter it by going up a double flight of a steps against the facade. In the large internal room there is a single nave with three chapels for each side the stately facade is vertically and horizontally divided into three parts by pilaster strips and cornices.
Ending in a curvilinear tympanum, the front has got window and portal along its own axis. Inside the church there is a triumphal arch which brings into the raised presbytery with a Neoclassic altar in the middle.
The other churches:
Santa Croce (Santa Rughe), situated in a wide space, the Oratory is the centre of the confraternity founded on 16 June 1580 but is building can be dated from the early 17th century;
It has got a very simple front view, animated by an undulating cornice of little crosses and culminating in vaulted bell tower with three openings. In the altar there is a beautiful ligneous Crucifix;
La Vergine del Carmelo (Su Carmene); N.S.di Bonaria (Bonaera); S.Francesco di Paola (Santu Vranciscu); N.S. d'Itria (Nostra Segnora); San Giuseppe (santu Gioseppe), Sant'Anna, N.S di Buon Cammino (N.S. de Bonuhamminu).
The country churches:
The territorial location of Oliena was definitely propitious for human settling down. There were two determinant factors in its expansion:
first the vast hilly areas almost level and suitable for agriculture; second place mountain, rich in spontaneous vegetation and waters, and good for wild animals presence.
These factors determined in the territory os Oliena an intense and continuous human presence from the Palaeolithic Era until today.
The archaeological finds permit reconstructing the alternating of differents people in these zones since the Palaeolithic Era.
The first proofs about the above-mentioned presences have been found inside the Grotta Corbeddu. The Nuragic civilization was very deep-rooted but above all articulated; they calculated 54 villages, 30 nuraghes, sepulchres, buildings with a likely sacred destination.
The Nuraghe Birìai arises between two rocky spurs, in a position that makes it able to dominate the whole Cedrino valley. The passage leading to a suspension door to the north formed a trapezoidal span surmounted by a powerful architrave with a window lintel.
The Nuraghe Otha'he stands on a rocky outcrop. It was surrounded along its perimeter by a wall curtain. In spite of the limestone being a rock hard to work, it was used in that a local one.
In the interior of the Nuraghe Susùne there is a tholos room that opened to the internal passage according to the transept scheme; it was provided with another trapezoidal light oriented to the west.
Other Nuraghes: Nuraghe Suvegliu.
The megalithic sepulchre of Catteddu Crìspu is formed by two hangings, one external with megalithic blocks, and the other internal the small hewns. The interior is encumbered by a large slab with three hollows carved on its ends.
The Domos de Gurpìa are a Domos de Janas excavated in a granitic erratic block inside which there was a penimetrical platform.
The Domos de Suvangiu are a Domos de Janas formed by three hypogea, the most interesting of which is bicellular. Inside it, in the second room is a cabinet for offers.
Other Domos de Janas: Domos de Jumpàdu; Domos de Frathale where in the floor sheltered by a rock geometric symbols difficult to interpret are carved.
The nuragic village of Tiscali
Tiscali is situated in the gigantic grotto that sheltered the village. Discovered at the end of 17th century and commonly considered to be a nuragic site, the inhabited centre of huts, built with small stones joined together by mud, was for a long time inhabited also in the Roman and Medieval ages.
The nuragic village of Sedda 'e sos Carros
This village is located in the Lanaitho Valley, a place that still today keeps the ambiental characteristics that made it preferred by the ancient populations of Sardinia for their settling. Recently it has been discovered a little temple in the middle of which there is a sacred spring with aries-headed (or moufflons) ornaments.
The archaeologist do not exclude that the spring situated in the interior of the village could ave been used also for the normal water victualling, but its religious and cultural character appears evident on account of the materials found in its neighbourhood there are many little bronze ships (some of large dimensions), water drawing vases and one bronze vase with a taurus-headed protome of valuable workmanship.
The spring, therefore, might have been utilized a little domestic temple by a small clan which lived in this isolated village.
The Mount Corrasi
The imposing calcareous whole, whose western slopes are covered with extensive reforestations of imposing woods of holm-oaks, creates a scenery rich in contrast, with steep rocky walls standing out on the low and gentle cultivated plains.
The Lanaitho Valley
Ancient valley run across by the Riu Sa Oche, overlooked by the high ridges of the Supramonte and, particularly south, by the Mount Tiscali.
There are several grottoes, the deepest of which open towards the western side of the valley such as Heli'hes artas and the well-known Grotta Corbeddu, hideout of a famous bandit and place of discovery of numerous fossil finds.
"Sa Oche" locality
This locality stands in the centre of the fruitful Lanaitho Valley.
Which has same as grotto opening the karst massif. And it is enclosed by the calcareous walls of the same massif.
Among the many archaeologic finds going from the Palaeolithic Era to the Roman Period, it must be segnalized a Tombs of Giants located near the grotto Sa oche.
"Sa Oche" Cave
Sa Oche, (=the voice) is grotto with a wide entrance inside of which there are three lakes. The terminal siphon is in communication with the near cave of Su Bentu.
Su Gologone Spring
In the rainy periods the spring of this zone have considerable increase of their waters: those of Su Gologone are extimated as being 400 l/sec., a real river of water.
Flora and fauna
The territory presents a great botanic richness. Particular and rarest species living in the most inaccessibles zones of the Mount Corrasi, are:
The fauna of the territory of Oliena is richly varied.
The most important species living in it are:
the Peregrin Falcon, the Royal Eagle (ave), the moufflon (mugrone), the wild boar (sirvone), the buzzard (astore lepporagliu), the Sardinian hare (leppore), the Sardinian fox (marìane), the Sardinian deer. Inside the caves lived the Speleomantes Supramontis, a geo-newt endemic of the zone. Once nest on the mountain the griffon-vulture (gurtugliu), today rarely sightible.
Agriculture and typical products
The position of the territory, favourable thanks to its healthiness abìnd the presence of plentiful spring-waters still today permits to practis a rich variety of cultures on the plains (olive-groves, orchards, vineyards, kitchen gardens), and to enjoy wide montaneous and hilly expanses of good pastures prevalently destined to sheep and cattle-breeding.
The typical products: Sardinian "Pecorino" cheese ( sheep's milk cheese); cheese cream; Sa Vrughe ( a kind of cheese); sausages; ham; bacon; tammati 'hin vrughe salìa ( tomatoes and salty kind of cheese).
The pasta: angelottos; ma'harrones de bocciu (gnocchi); maharrones de busa.
The sweets: Sevadas, 'hasadinas, marigosos, amarettos, guelfos, hidongiadu, pistoccos 'hin sa cappa, aranciada, ori'heddos, meli'heddas.
The bread: pane carasàu, paneddas.
The wine Nepente
The Nepente of Oliena is a vintage wine, appreciated and celebrated by Gabriele D'Annunzio (a well known italian writer) and obtained from an accurate selection of grapes Cannonau, cultivated in the municipality of Oliena.
It has red brown shining colour, becoming amaranth when aged. It exhances a fragrance with a persistent aroma, typical of this particular type of wine.
The Oliena traditional costume
The woman wedding dress it is composed of: the shawl, Su muncadore, of square shaped black tibet folded like a triangle and put on head rolling up its fore edge; the rich silk embroidery is called sa triccia . The edges of the shawl end with a long fringes sas 'himulas; the blouse, sa 'hammisa, is of a white-bluish cotton; the waist-coat, sa pala; the jacket, su gippone; the skirt, sa tunica; the apron, sa vranda; the shoes decorateds with a tassels, sas is'harpas.
The jewels: golden buttons to fast the blouse; a cloth neck lace with a golden pendant Su Sole; a red coral and gold neck lace, sa gutturada; a silver toothpick, s'isprugadentes.
The masculine costume is composed of: the cap, sa berritta, is a long hood made of a black cloth; the shirt is of a white cotton with a collar fasten by golden buttons, sos buttones; the jacket, Su gippone, made of red trimmed cloth is worn open. The shirt slevees go off jacket ones leaving the decorated leather belt,sa 'hintoglia, uncovered. It is used to hold the short skirt called su carcione de uresi of black coars wollen fabric. A under the skirt they go the trousers of cotton carciones de tela and inside the gaiters, miggias (sort of fabric boots) the legs of them; the black boots of leather, sas is'harpas; the waistcoat of black lambskin, sas peddes.
- Saint Anthony's feast - 17 January : are light the bonfires in the squares of the village; are prepared the traditional sweet su pistiddu.
- the Carnival -February.
- The rite of S'Iscravamentu - Good Friday: the Deposition of Christ;
- The rite of S'Incontru. On Easter Sunday, in the Santa Maria's Square, it is renewed the ancient rite of S'Incontru.
Introduced into Sardinia in 1400 by the Spaniards, the rite, every year, lives again with unchanged expressive strength. It recalls the meeting of Christ with the Virgin.
Starting from the churches of San Francesco and Santa Croce two processions, one prevalently formed by men taking the simulacrum of Christ, the other by women who take the Vergin, follow two different ways meeting each other in the main square of the village among sounds of bells and feast reports of a guns. Then, they go together to the parish church.
- Saint John's country feast - 24 June: celebrated in the country church of San Giovanni Battista
- The feast of San Lussorio - 21 August. It is the most important feast of the village lasting for some days. In the afternoon it starts the procession with the statue of the saint carried on shoulder by four young men wearing traditional costumes, walking down the streets of the village. Particularly evocative it represents the only opportunity for admiring the wonderful traditional costumes, worn in that day by a great number of people.
In the evening and for some days after, the festivities go on with dances and songs carried out also by groups coming from different villages of Sardinia.
- Monserrata's country feast - 8 September: celebrated in the country church of N.S. di Monserrat.
- Cortes Apertas - September: This enterprising arises with the intention of proposing a recoverly of the traditions and multifarious aspects of the Oliena culture.
Folk dances Oliena preserve intact the tradition of the characteristic dance of Sardinia: Su ballu tundu. The dancers placeds side by side, joints arm in arm (in different way depending on gender), form a compact circle and dancing under the accompaniment of the voice or barrel organ.
This are the differents olianeses variants of the ballu tundu: Su passu torràu; Su nugoresu; Su dennaru; S'arcìu; S'arcìu anti'hu; Su durdurinu.
Su tenore Typical of the central area of Sardinia the cantu a tenore, is a song "a cappella", singing by a group of four men with differents vocal keys, who in Oliena are called:
Sa vo'he: the voice of placement and direction; Su basciu: the voice of bass; Sa 'hontra: the voice of counterpoint; Sa mesuvo'he: the high voice.
People of Oliena
Monserrato Tolo (16th century) - aristocratic Olianese.
Padre Giovanni Antonio Solinas (1643–1683) - missionary. Dead martyr in Paraguay.
Raimondo Congiu (1762–1813) - famous Sardinian poet.
Antonio Puligheddu (1898–1957) - philanthropist doctor.
Giovanni Battista "Titino" Melis (1904–1976) - politician antifascist. Militant in Sardinian Action Party.
Pietro Serafino Monni (1906–1993) - politician. President of Sardinian Regional Council in 1974.
Pietrino Melis (1907–1969) - politician. Regional councillor responsible for Industry (1958–1963).
Antonio"Totoni" Catte (1912–1949) - magistrate antifascist and partisan.
Antonio Gardu (1913–1988) - politician. Regional councillor responsible for Transports (1955–1957).
Giuseppe "Peppino" Puligheddu (1914–1991) - politician. Regional councillor responsible for Agriculture (1965-1967]. Kidnapped in 1982, he was released 39 days later.
Sebastiano Putzu (1916–2006) - Freelance journalist and writer and Mayor of Oliena.
Giuseppe "Peppino" Catte (1916–1975) - politician. Militant in Italian Socialist Party, Regional councillor responsible for Agriculture and Forests (1967–1969; 1974–1975).
Mario Melis (1921–2003) - politician. Brother of Titino and Pietrino. Militant in Sardinian Action Party. Mayor of Oliena (1956; 1960; 1964–1968; 1976–1980); Regional councillor responsible for local Authoritys, Personnel and General Affairs (1973, Environment (1980–1982); Governor of Sardinia 1984-1989. Member of the Italian Senate in VII legislature and Deputy in IX legislature. Euro MP (1989–1994).
Giuseppe "Peppeddu" Palimodde (1925–1996) - Tourist entrepreneur. Founder of Hotel and Restaurant "Su Gologone".
Dolores Turchi (1935) - studenta of Sardinian popular traditions.
Mario Massaiu (1942–1994) - politician and student of Literature. He won a Grazia Deledda Prize.
Antonio Catte (1942) - politician. Militant in Italian Republican Party. Member of City Council (1971) and Mayor of Oliena. Regional councillor (1979); Regional councillor responsible for Environment (1982–1984); Regional councillor responsible for Agriculture (1989); Regional councillor responsible for Industry (1992–1994).
- All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
- Dolores Turchi, Sardegna mediterranea - 1999
- Gianfranca Salis, Ambiente e Archeologia - 1999
- Geol. Francesco Murgia, Lanaitho valley, Sa Ohe, Su Gologone - 1999
- Angelino Congiu, Flora and Fauna, 1999
- Oliena - 1999
- Michele Pintus, Franco Masala, Luciano Ramon, Oliena: territorio, ambiente, architettura.
- Pausania, De Rebus phoceens.
- G.Aleo, Successos generales, tome I, page 86.
- Luisa Lecca, Sebastiano Carai, Oliena. Storia, cultura, ambiente, tradizione, 2009