Cortes Apertas is an open house, held yearly in several towns and cities in the deep, vast tremendous centre of Sardinia – Barbagia. It is a colourful festival run by the locals of each town; they open their doors to the wonders of their beautiful, simple life, far away from wi-fi and reality tv. They show you how to make long pasta and pasta with your thumb and they ask if you’d like to take part, to try the ancient traditions that have been hidden away and kept secret for so many decades, all the while filling your cup with homemade wine, liqueur, and beer.
Welcome to Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia, Onani 2017
The smiles and greetings are wide and abundant, it’s a place where stories are shared from yesteryear, as Nonna quickly and meticulously prepares the local sweet – seatas or seadas as it’s known in my little town, there are various spellings of this traditional Sardinian dolce, it all depends on what area of Sardinia you are in; I can guarantee that each area has its own recipe for this cheesy filled, honey-soaked sweet, you will not be disappointed, and it’s a must try. The first time I tried seadas, I did not like it, the second time I did, and by the third time, I was hooked. Just give it a try. 🙂
We wandered ancient streets, chatted with the locals about the weather, unemployment and Canada, we danced in the street and experienced a humble and gracious hospitality like I’ve never seen before. At the Cortes of seatas (picture above), there was a cotton bag hanging on the door handle, it was a bygone period of when Autunno in Barbagia marketed their logo on these cotton re-usable bags. I asked one of the signore of the house, where I could buy one. She told me that they are no longer available nor produced, but I could take that one free of charge as she has an extra one. I tried several times to say no, thank you, but she wouldn’t listen, it made her happy to give. I appreciate it and thank you again.
Costumes with vibrant, hand-sewn fabrics adorned children and elderly alike as they wandered the streets and alleys with the curious tourists. The women of the house are more than pleased to explain each hand-sewn stitch, they remember it like yesterday, even when the garment is over 60 years old, they know each stitch. The women hold on to costumes for years, and as each new generation comes they are reused with the same vigour as in 1957. Some costumes are kept in old boxes, away from the dust, only to be displayed on special occasions, like the following photo.
Idyllic corners call out, and it is here where we must turn as we are in search of the street of olives, it’s the street where the kiwis grow says a handsome, sturdy fellow. It’s a place where contradictions run wild, on a backdrop of jaw-dropping never-ending panoramas.
Thank you to the wonderful, charismatic and hospitable people of Onanì, who opened their doors and hearts, and allowed two giggling strangers into their homes to briefly live the life only found, Inside Sardinia.
Feel free to browse the other Cortes Apertas’ that I’ve been to:
Inside the heart of Sardinia – Toneri, Tonara
Inside Sardinia: The People of Cortes Apertas at Oliena
Mystical Mamuthones from Mamoiada
Have you been to any Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia? Which ones? Please tell me about it in the comment section below.