Conca Fraicata - a Smurfs’ House? 0 Comments
Most of us grew up with the Smurfs. Back in 1958, the Belgian designer Peyo had the very happy inspiration of creating the cute and little blue inhabitants of the woods, who lived in round houses, with the roof that made them look like mushrooms. The Smurfs were introduced in Italy by the legendary "Corriere dei Piccoli", ("Courier of the Little Ones" a weekly magazine for children published in Italy from 1908 to 1995), and later with cartoons on TV during the 80s, with the famous tune: "Where are you all coming from? From Smurfland where we belong. Are you talking just like us? No, we Smurf, it's much less fuss."
I couldn't believe it, but the “Smurfs' house”, their small and round house, really exists in Sardinia! Looking at it, you expect that at any moment a blue creature with a funny pointed hat will come out from the door... but we are not in Smurfland, we are in Gallura, in Tempio Pausania, at the foot of Monte Pulchiana, 65 km and 1 hour drive from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites.
Immersed in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Sardinia, surrounded by a thousand shades of green and the aromas of the Mediterranean scrub and the rocks sculpted by the ancestral caress of the wind, this is our Sardinian "Smurfs’ House". The roof is a hollow in the rock, smooth and concave, closed by a granite wall, which has a small door and a small window. These cavities in the rock are frequent in the Sardinian landscape of Gallura: one different from the other, some take on the most extravagant and fascinating forms. In ancient times they were used as sacred areas for burials then, later on, they were also used as shepherds' houses, warehouses, and shelters for the flocks.
The Sardinians name for these small granite caves is "Conca Fraicata", a natural cave created in a monolith by the erosion made by waters which, not being absorbed by the rock, eroded it.
This "Conca Fraicata" is within a private land, near a sheepfold, used as a shelter or a home, to reach which you have to climb over a dry-stone wall. Inserted in a spectacular granite landscape dominated by Monte Pulchiana, an inselberg originating from the disintegration of the rock by a process of hydrolysis, with a yellow-pink colour and a rounded shape recalling the Italian “panettone” cake
Another "Conca Fraicata"is located near the "Ponte dell'Allegria", a railway bridge on the railroad connecting Tempio Pausania to Palau, in the Luras territory close to Calangianus, an hour's drive from Gabbiamo Azzurro Hotel & Suites. It is a "Conca Fraicata" with a curious episode because here in 1966 one (or more) scenes were shot of a Luigi Zampa film by set in Sardinia “A Question of Honor“, starring Ugo Tognazzi, a famous Italian actor.
The best-known granite cavity in Palau is the one of the Bear's Rock overlooking the La Maddalena Archipelago, of which we mentioned in The Sardinian Stones.
“There is a place, a place that knows no melancholy. It is located inside an enchanted forest. Many claim that this place is fantasy, that it exists only in children’s belief. We take the liberty to disagree.”
Written by Daniela Toti