Primavera nel Cuore della Sardegna 2018

The oldest archaeological evidence in the Lodè region dates back to no later than the late Neolithic period (fourth millennium B.C). In fact, a menhir, a dolmen, a gallery grave and 5 domus de janas (burial hypogeums carved into rocks), which are called "Calas de Sos Naneddos" in Lodè, were found there.

Artifacts from the Nuragic period include the various giants' graves scattered throughout the region, a proto-nuraghe and three nuraghes, among which is the well-preserved nuraghe of Polilobato di Thorra. Other Nuragic settlements can be found in the vicinity of Sa Ichedda, Sas Seddas, Su Casteddu, Su Mattone, Thilameddu and Sos Lothos.

The oldest written documents concerning Lodè probably date back to the year 1100, when Sardinia was divided into four kingdoms called Judikatos (from Judiche, "king"), or judicatures: the Giudicato di Gallura, the Giudicato d’Arborea, the Giudicato di Torres and the Giudicato di Cagliari. The town (the “Villa”) of Lodè was part of the Judicature of Gallura, and it is mentioned in the documents thorugh which Innocent II (1135) and Honorius III (1238) confirmed that judge Constantine had bequeathed the courtyard of Santa Andrea di Lata/Late to the Victorine monks.

The first definitive information on Lodè began to appear in 1323, when Sardinia, with the exception of the judikato of Arborea, fell to the Catalan-Aragonese. In 1431, Lodè, along with the villas of Posada, Torpè and Siniscola, was renamed the Barony of Posada and enfeoffed to Nicola Carròz d'Arborea. Additional details on customs and local lifestyles can be drawn from historical ecclesiastic sources, such as annuity and bequests records.

Several theories have been suggested regarding the origin of the name. Giovanni Spano (1872) claims that it was derived from the Phoenician root Lod-Lott ("hidden, secret"), owing to its geographical features, which rendered the locality rather inaccessible. Iosto Miglior (1987-1990) associates the term Lodè with ancient Greek (from Lyde = Lidia, a region in Anatolia; it was asssumed that a population from Asia Minor had settled there), or from the Sardinian (from Lodde, which means "fox" in Sardinian"). This theory appears to be substantiated by a legend recounting that the founder of the village was a shepherd named Lodde or Loddeddu, who had fled with his family from a neighboring village (Sos Lothos or Thilameddu) stricken by an epidemic carried by the musca macchedda (the "Mad Fly"). The epidemic had exterminated the inhabitants of the two settlements.

Lodè is an ancient village in medieval Gallura, whose mainly hilly territory formed part of a historical region known as Alta Baronia. This area, which belongs to the Province and Diocese of Nuoro, is nestled between the Montalbo limestone range to the southeast and the granite mountains of Bitti, Buddusò and Alà dei Sardi to the west-northwest. It has 1,769 inhabitants and consists of 123.45 square kilometers. The altitude of the region varies from 16 to 1,057 meters above sea level, and this 1,041-meter range of altitudes offers visitors diverse vistas of the different facets of the landscape.

The district is completely hilly and mountainous, except for the fertile areas in the south, which border the Riu Mannu river. To the east, the Montalbo forms a natural boundary between Lodè and the town of Siniscola. To the south are the towns of Lula and Onanì, also located on Mount Montalbo. Other neighboring communities are the town of Bitti to the west, the town of Torpè, which borders Lake Maccheronis, to the north, and the towns of Padru and Alà dei Sardi to the north.

At one time, the region's fauna was incredibly rich and varied. Deer had begun disappearing around the 1950s, and today, all that remain are is a small colony of wild sheep, along with martens, dormice, wild boars, wild cats, jays, pigeons and partridges in the more remote areas. Many birds of prey, such as kestrels, goshawks, buzzards and peregrine falcons, along with the occasional griffin vulture and eagle, take shelter in the most inaccessible ravines. Other local birds are mainly the gray crow, the raven and passerines such as the calandra lark, the goldfinch, the corn bunting, the robin, the Sardinian sparrow and the Dartford warbler.

The flora in the most intact parts of the Montalbo range consists of oak, ash, yew, juniper, phillyrea, and maple forests. One can also find lush bushes of rock rose, heather, juniper, arbutus and euphorbia bushes interspersed throughout the forests, and many endemic plants often find refuge in these areas. Splendid maple trees can be found in cooler and more remote spots.

Thanks to its proximity to the Rio Mannu river, this region is blessed with water. This river, which contains the Sos Golleos waterfall, fosters an agropastoral economy, which the region's activities have always been based on. The traditional stone houses, with their characteristic wooden balconies, are an attractive highlight. The region is also dotted with the occasional pinettu – old refuge-shelters, also made of wood, which are used by shepherds.

Hikers are advised to follow the paths leading to Punta Cupetti, which overlooks the S'Ena 'e Cupetti plateau and the region’s forests. Tourists may also want to visit sites like the Sa Mela nuraghe, atop Mount Prana, several giants' graves and various domus de janas, which the local call "Sas calls 'e sos naneddos" – "the small dwarf caves". Standing at Monte Prana, one can make out the foundations of the ancient villages of Sos Lothos and Thilameddu.

The architect Vico Mossa (1957) describes Lodè as "an eagle's nest" with "the structure of a Kasbah. It's perhaps the most impressive of the mountain villages." The historic center extends to the slopes of a hill named "su Inucragliu”. The historic center extends to the slopes of a hill called su Inucragliu, and follows a typical medieval city plan: the town developed around its ancient churches, and it is marked by its peculiar broken streets, arcades, narrow alleys and staircases.

Recent studies on Lodè's historical center demonstrate the presence of three types of houses. Single-room houses were comprised of a single room that served as a kitchen and a bedroom, and farm animals were often kept here as well. The hill-house subtype consisted of two rooms: a kitchen on the ground floor and a bedroom on the second floor. An internal staircase connected the two rooms. The top floor often had a wooden balcony, though few traces of them remain today. The third house type was the Oleastrina hillside home. This was a two-level home, with both levels occupying a single space. They were connected by an external stone staircase. A stable or a cellar ( s'undacru ) was located on the lower floor while the room on the first floor functioned as both a kitchen and a bedroom.

Stone was the material used used for the facing of the walls: the walls were erected dry, or with mud used as a binding agent. Other features commonly found in these three types of homes were wooden doors (usually opening one way) and windows, which were always made of wood, and often without glass panes.

With its rich folk traditions, Lodè is characterized by its spirited holidays, when the sacred and the profane are intertwined to produce a sense of exaltation in the town's participatory and communal way of life. Without a doubt, the town's most typical holiday would be "Sant'Antoni su 'ocu": children go from house to house to receive gifts that women have had prepared for the occasion, like calistros, arantzos and various other sweets. Meanwhile, older boys go into the surrounding countryside to collect s'erimu branches, which will be set around a sa pompia – a tree trunk in the middle of Sant'Antonio Square. In the late afternoon, immediately after Mass, the branches are ignited. The priest blesses the fire and starts a race in which the youth try to reach the top of a long pole in order to claim prizes. The evening ends with traditional dances and outdoor banquets open to all participants.

Lodè also has a rich variety of local foods and wines, with its rich bread-making tradition (Carasatu bread, Sos Calistros, Simulates, Cotzulas etc.), pastas (Macarrones de Erritu, De Pòddighe, Pistizone, Trìvias etc.), and desserts (Uruglietas , Arantzata, Gathas etc.).