Sardinia: A Culture to Live!
- Theme: Canto a Tenore (Sardinian Pastoral Song);
- Place: Uri (Sardinia);
- When: December;
- Services offered during the itinerary:
- Multilingual travel guides (Italian, French, German and English;
- Target: Seniors aged 55+ interested in History, traditional styles of artistic expression and typical food;
- Difficulty: Easy;
- Particular offers/services during the itinerary:
- Lunch and Dinner in agritourisms ad typical household businesses;
- Demonstrations and practical sessions of Sardinian traditional Dance;
- Seminars about Sardinian ancient pastoral song, “Canto a Tenore”;
- Workshops on the preparation of typical food;
- Tasting sessions of local typicalfood, wines and liquors;
- Excursions at the discovery of the local site heritage;
- Practical sessions on the production of local typical handicrafts;
- Visits to local cultural and folk associations
Uri is a village located in Northern Sardinia within the province of Sassari, ca. 12 Km, far from the provincial capital. The village counts a total of 3,044 inhabitants.
The community insists on an area profoundly shaped by rural as well as traditional patterns of settlement and identity, deeply embedded in Sardinia’s multifaceted history and composite cultural/archeological background.
The local economy is strongly based on the rural sector, with a considerable diffusion of vine grape and olive cultivation. Vine grape and olive cultivation is connected to the existence of an established production of local wine and oil blends.
Among local agricultural products, particularly important and long established in time is the cultivation of artichoke, which makes up the most substantial portion of Uri’s agricultural industry and is renowned across the entire Sardinian territory. The embeddedness of artichoke production in local tradition as well as its importance in regional terms are testified by the yearly recurrence of an “Artichoke Fair” (Sagra del Carciofo” which gathers visitors from the whole of Sardinia in Uri on the second Monday of March.
In historical and archeological terms, Uri and its immediate surroundings are characterized by an important material and immaterial heritage, bearing the marks of the most ancient remaining vestiges of Sardinian human history- the so called “Nuragic Civilization” which thrived in the Island between the early Bronze Age in around 1800 BC to the II century- as well as of the period of Roman domination and of the Middle Ages.
The aforementioned heritage is visible in a series of relevant sites and archeological remains, a list of which is provided below:
- Nuragical Site “Santa Cadrina”. The site is composed of the remains of a Nuragical complex made up of a 3 tower Nuraghe bordered by a village, which can be made out by the remains of the foundations of the village’s huts. The site, dating back to the early bronze age, displays the remains of more recent additions dating back to the Roman age. The Nuragical site is the most prominent among the ca. 40 Nuraghes located in the surroundings of Uri.
- Giants’ Tomb “Sa Pedra Longa”. Located a few kilometers from Uri’s urban circuit, the site comprises a menhir which was originally part of a burial complex dating back to the medium Bronze Age (1700–1350 BC). The small dimensions of the menhir suggest the latter might date back to the early Bronze Age. On top of the menhir, the observer can still notice three holes, which are likely to have been functional to host small ceremonial stones.
- “Nostra Signora di Paulis” Abbey. The “Nostra Signora di Paulis” Abbey is located in Uri’s countryside, a few kilometers from Uri’s urban circuit. The Abbey was built along a Roman road, then renamed “The Road of Fathers” (S’istrada de sos Padres”). The Abbey was founded in 1205 by monks belonging to the Benedictine monastic order and remained active until the 15th century. After its abandonment, most of the Abbey fell in ruins, notwithstanding several attempts at restauration. Of the entire remarkable complex remain a well, part of the central right nave, the trachyte floor, the barrel ceiling in tufa, the base of the altar and the two chapels on the sides.
- “Santa Croce” church. The Church of Santa Croce is located within the very urban circuit of Uri. The Church is a relic of the medieval history of the village (whose site was inhabited since the early Bronze Age), having been built in the XII century. The Church was the parish worship place of the Village since the early XV century. In the XV century, the “Santa Croce Brotherhood”, a religious community, move its headquarters to the Church. The Church became the hosting place of Uri’s elementary school in 1840, being abandoned after the Second World War.
A number of cultural events and festivals take regularly place in Uri, as follows:
- The “Artichoke Fair” (Sagra del Carciofo), held each year on the second Sunday of the Month of March.
- The “Paulis Virgin Celebration” (Festa della Madonna di Paulis), held each year in the month of May in honour of the Virgin Mary. The event involves a religious parade followed by a public celebration.
- The “Saint Anthony Celebration”, held each year in July. The event involves a religious parade and a public celebration.
- The celebration of “Nostra Signora della Pazienza” dedicated to the “Pazienza Virgin”, patron of the village. The event involves a religious parade and a public celebration.
The village is deeply immersed in the cultural as well as traditional heritage of Sardinia, featuring an highly appreciated choir of “Canto a Tenore” (a form of Sardinian pastoral song recognized as an UNESCO intangible heritage) as well as an ensemble of Sardinian traditional dance.
Uri is home to several associations working in promoting the traditional and cultural heritage of the village:
- “Santa Rughe” Folk Group. The group is involved in performing and promoting the typical dances of Sardinian in general and of Uri in particular.
- “Uri” Folk Group. Association involved in valorizing local traditions, dances and costumes. It organizes and participates in several celebrations and initiatives organized in the village.
- “Coro di Uri”. Folkoric-Musical associations and “Canto a Tenore” choir involved in the discovery and valorization of the typical “Canto a Tenore” songs of Sardinia in general and Uri in particular. The Choir performs in several cultural, religious and traditional events in Uri and across the Sardinian territory.
- Cultural and Volunteering Association “Paulis”. Association involved in the promotion of the local cultural assets of the territory (songs, dances, artifacts, history etc.).
Sardinia: A Culture to Live!- Itinerary
Day 1- Sardinian Traditional Dance
Upon arrival to the destinations, Senior tourists will enjoy a first welcoming by the team of guides and organizers in a local agro-tourism business wherein they will acquire a first taste of local food as well as traditions of hospitality. After lunch, an official welcoming ceremony will be held, with annexed a presentation of the whole “Sardinia: A Culture to Live!” itinerary: its philosophy, context and activities. Senior customers will as well be introduced to “Forever Young”, the project in the COSME frame on which the itinerary is grounded. After the presentation, Senior customers will follow the team of organizers and guides to a local household restaurant for dinner. The closing event of the first day of the itinerary will be represented by a demonstration of Sardinian traditional dance held by the “Santa Rughe” folk group, a local folk association experienced in the performance of traditional dance pieces grounded in local historical traditions. The demonstration will be followed by a dancing evening wherein Senior customers will have the occasion to directly test themselves in Sardinian traditional dance. After the event, participants will be led to the accommodation for the night.
Day 2- Discovering Canto a Tenore and local Gastronomy
After breakfast, participants will be led to a Seminar on “Canto a Tenore”, the ancient Sardinian form of musical expression sanctioned with UNESCO recognition as one of mankind’s intangibile assets. The Seminar will be organized in cooperation with “Coro di Uri” (Uri’s Choir), a local folk group specialized in the public performance of Canto a Tenore pieces. The sesson will include a presentation of Canto a Tenore, its features and history, followed by a practical demonstration performed by the Coro di Uri group. After the presentation, a final closing of the Seminar will be held wherein Senior tourists will be involved in the performance of a number of Canto a Tenore pieces. In the early afternoon, the team of organizers and guides will lead Senior tourists to a local household restaurant, wherein lunch will be served. Later in the afternoon, Senior customers will move to the headquarters of the local “Pro-Loco”, an association involved in promoting local traditional and cultural heritage. In cooperation with the Pro-Loco association, Senior customers will be offered a specific workshop on the preparation of local typical food. The workshop will be introduced by a demonstration performed by the Pro-Loco staff, which will be followed by a practical sessions wherein participants will directly work, with the support of Pro-Loco staff, in the preparation of different typical dishes forming part of the local gastronomical tradition. After the practical session, Senior customers will have the occasion to taste local food (prepared by themselves during the activity), together with local oils and sausages. Dinner will be served in a local household restaurant. After dinner, Senior customers will be involved in a session of tasting of local wines and liquors, performed in cooperation with the restaurant. The activity will involve a presentation, wherein each wine and liquor will be introduced as well as described, followed by a tasting session.
Day 3- Historical Heritage and Traditions
The morning of the third day will be entirely dedicated to the discovery of the local historical heritage. The area of Uri can display a composite historical heritage whose centerpieces are represented by the vestiges of the ancient Nuragical civilization, which flourished on the Island from the early Bronze age to around the II century BC, and of the Medieval history of the village, epitomizing a continuity of human settlement Uri’s area across the ages. The first destination of the tour, led by the team of organizers and guides will be the “Santa Croce” church, situated near the very center of Uri’s urban circuit. The construction of the church dates back to the XII century, with the former having been the village’s parish church until the XV century. After the visit to the Santa Croce church, the team of organizers and guides will lead participants to the discovery of Uri’s Nuragical heritage in cooperation with the local association “Archeouri Vagando”. Archeouri Vagando is a local youth association specialized in discovering and promoting the vast Nuragical heritage of Uri and its surrounding territory. The first step of the tour will be a visit to the “Santa Caterina” Nuraghe, located in the immediate proximity of Uri’s urban circuit. Nuraghi (the plural for Nuraghe) are the characteristic form of architectural expression of the Nuragic civilization. Their appearance is that of megalithic cone-shaped constructions made up of different layers of stone. Notwithstanding a growing concern of present historical research about the function Nuraghi were designed to perform in the eponymous civilization (military, religious etc.), no ultimate agreement has at present been reached among scholars as of yet. The Santa Caterina nuragical complex is composed of the remains of a Nuragical compound made up of a 3 tower Nuraghe bordered by a village, which can be made out by the remains of the foundations of the village’s huts.
After the visit to Santa Caterina, Senior tourists, alongside the team of organizers and Guides will move on to visiting the Giants’ Tomb “Sa Pedra Longa” located a few kilometers from Uri’s urban circuit. Transportation will be ensured through the cars ut at the disposal of the group by the accompanying staff of Archeouri Vagando. The Giants’ Tomb Sa pedra Longa is a menhir originally part of a burial complex dating back to the medium Bronze Age (1700–1350 BC). Albeit the original complex is no more in place, the considerable dimension of the menhir testify to the sheer size of the latter in ancient times. Giants’ Tombs are megalithic burial complexes dating back to the Nuragical age many examles of which can be find scattered across the Sardinian territory. The very denomination by which they are commonly referred to by the general audience and the expert alike is related to their size, which in ancient times generated the belief that these monuments hosted the bodies of giants. Upon conclusion of the visit, Senior customers, alongside the team of organizers and guides will move on to visiting the “Nostra Signora di Paulis” abbey, located a few kilometers from Uri. Transport will be ensured through the cars put at the disposal of the group by the team of Archeouri Vagando. The Abbey was founded in 1205 by monks belonging to the Benedictine monastic order along a Roman road, then renamed “The Road of Fathers” (S’istrada de sos Padres”) and remained active until the 15th century. As of now, only parts of the original complex remain in place: a well, part of the central right nave, the trachyte floor, the barrel ceiling in tufa, the base of the altar and the two chapels on the sides. The visit to Nostra Signora di Paulis will close the morning excursion and the team will lead Senior tourists to a local household restaurant wherein lunch will be served. After lunch, Senior tourists will be involved in a workshop on the creation of local typical handicrafts in cooperation with Pro-Loco. The workshop will include a presentation and a series of demonstrations by Pro-Loco staff, followed by a practical sessions wherein Senior tourists will be directly involved in the production of different local typical handicrafts. The remaining part of the afternoon will be spent in a number of educational visits to local associations working in the promotion of local cultural heritage: the Cultural and Volunteering Association “Paulis” and the “Uri” Folk Group. Volunteers from each association will deliver a presentation explaining the origins of their association, its core principles and the nature of its work. In the evening, dinner will served in a local household restaurant. After dinner, Senior tourists will take part in a presentation of Uri’s artichoke industry delivered in cooperation with the Pro-Loco association. The session will involve an explanation of the local tradition of artichoke farming followed by a session of tasting local artichokes.
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