[Sept. 2020] Since my friend who travelled to Sardinia in Italy in 2006 showed me a photo, I had always wanted to see Basilica di Saccargia.
And this time, I was finally able to see this church.
The church is located in Codrongianos, about 45 kilometers inland from Alghero, the northwestern town of Sardinia where we were staying.
We had thought of renting a car because it was not an easy place to get to by public transport, but when we checked the rental car company’s site the day before we went, we found that not many cars were available, so we took a bus to a big town called Sassari instead and then took a taxi from there.
Fortunately, there was a bus timetable I got from the tourist office on the first day of our arrival in Alghero, so we decided to take the bus for Sassari departing at 9:05 and went to the usual bus stop.
However, it turned out that because it was Sunday, the tobacco shop selling bus tickets would not open until after 9 o’clock.
We had learned from the bus bound for Bosa the day before that the driver stopped selling tickets due to corona measures.
By the way, we heard that the ticket office at the bus stop had been closed for two years, so when we used it two years ago, it was just before it closed.
The only way was to download the bus company app and buy the ticket online.
We sat on a park bench and tried this.
Young people probably can do it without any pain, but it was a bit of a hurdle for us.
Fortunately, we succeeded and got on the bus safely.
In Sassari, we were dropped off at a bus station that felt like the end of the field.
We followed the people to what seems to be the centre of the town.
Along the way, we drank cappuccino at a ridiculously slow-service cafe and then searched for the Duomo.
This was because Duomo usually has a square where taxis stop.
However, in this town, the Piazza del Duomo that we arrived at was small and quiet.
The Duomo itself had a baroque, rugged look, as seen in Lecce, southern Italy.
In the end, my husband searched for a taxi company online and called them to come and pick us up.
The distance from Sassari to Codrongianos is about 20 km.
A nice driver told us that there was a good restaurant near the Saccargia church, so we booked it in the car.
We decided to have this driver pick us up at 2:30 and got out of the car.
The main point of Basilica di Saccargia is its location.
It stands in the open wilderness.
There is a highway running aside now, and it’s a little disappointing, but until the 1950s, before this road was built, there was really nothing around there.
In addition to the location, the building is quaint with black and white stripes.
A friend of mine who came here in 2006 told me that she went to see it because she saw it in a film, but I wonder which film it was?
Only when we got closer did I find that the bell tower was very high relative to the body of the church.
It is a building of the early 12th century, and it seems that it was originally a church attached to a monastery.
The monastery buildings have almost gone.
I was attracted to the appearance of the church, but when I entered, the atmosphere of the inside was perfect, too (admission fee € 3).
The interior was dim and the altar was frescoed.
Although it is a Catholic church, the frescoes had an atmosphere of an Orthodox church where the inside of the church was covered with frescoes.
Then there was a statue of Our Lady of Saccargia, dressed in something like a kimono, in a glass case.
According to a booklet I bought later, this is from the 14th century.
It’s a small church, so we could see everything in a short time.
We went outside and saw this church from different angles and took many photos.
According to this booklet, the building was built by a Pisa craftsman in the Tuscany region.
Indeed, in Tuscany and Umbria, we see these black and white churches.
The cathedral of Orvieto, for example, which we visited last year, was gorgeous in the front, but the sides were black and white.
The white stripes are limestone and the black stripes are basalt apparently.
The weather was fine on that day, and the church looked magnificent, but since it was a church in desolate nature, I thought it would be great atmosphere even on a dark cloudy day.