Autunno in Barbagia 2022

Outpost of the ancient Barbaria, Tiana was a land of boundary and exchange among different cultures that here shared knowledge and traditions handed down through the centuries.

There is trace of the civilisations that passed on its territory in archaeological monuments scattered throughout the district:  the important necropolis of Mancosu from the Neolithic Period consisting of 7 domus de janas, while the rests of ancient Nuragic village of the Bronze age in the locality of Sa Pira Era, Sa Tanca de su Pranu and S’ischisorgiu.

From ancient sources we know that during the roman conquest, Sardinia was divided into two large areas: Romània that corresponded to the romanized territories and Barbària where the community lived that, while keeping in contact with settlers, kept their habits. Among the antique tradition in fact still in the VII century a.d. continued to be practiced the rites of the pagan religion while the rest of the Island Christianity was spread. In the territories of Tiana lived the Barbagie in close contact with the Romans. These, in fact, to the north-west of the current municipal boundaries, had constructed the important road that went through the two neighboring centers of Forum Augusti (today Austis) and Sorabile (mansio in agro of Fonni). Testimonies of the roman presence can also be found in the locations of Santu Leo and Tudulu, in the latter you can see the remains of a furnace of the era for the baking of bricks and tiles.

The name of the center of the town appears for the first time the condaghes of San Nicola di Trullas and San Pietro di Silki, registers of the churches of the XI and XII century, as the last name that indicates the origin of Petru de Tian. In the Middle Ages, the villa of Tiana was part of the Giudicato of Arborea and was included in the Diocese of Santa Giusta to which belonged the parishes of the curatory of Austis. At the end of the XIII century the Pope Boniface VIII linked the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica to the crown of Aragon causing in the Fourteenth Century the outbreak of the great war between the judge Mariano IV d’Arborea and the king of Aragon Pietro il Cerimonioso, continued by their descendants. Also the people of Tiana had to participate in the battles of those years, in fact among the signatories to the peace of 1388, between Eleonora d'Arborea and Giovanni I d’Aragona, appears the “procurator universitatis Barbargie de Ollolà et curatoria de Agustis” to which he belonged the village.

A  witness of those battles was the medieval knight, probably of the aragonese military army, whose tomb was discovered in Santu Leo in 1912. At the site were recovered a drab and a sword donated then to the archaeological museum of Cagliari from tianese Francesco Putzu.

The war for the independence of the island continued with the successors of the lineage of Arborea: the last that reignited the conflict was the Marquis d’Oristano Leonardo Alagon, defeated definitively from catalonian-aragonese power in the battle of Macomer in 1478. The ancient “curatoria” which the Spanish called Incontrada d’Ustiswas rented to different iberian lordships that had financed the campaign of conquest. By 1504 the village was enfeiffed to Matteo Arbosich and over the centuries it belonged to the families of De Sena and Cervellon. After the passage of the island to the Savoy who maintained the feudal regime, in 1718 Tiana was entrusted to the Manca Guiso and finally of the Amat, from which redeemed in 1838 with the payment of compensation of 625,000lire as provided by law for the bolition of the feud.

The town became famous for the processing of the coarse woolen fabric, typical wool fabric with which are still packaged different elements of the traditional clothing. The particular strength was obtained with the treatment that was held in mills operated by the current of the rivers of which about a dozen were still in operation in the early ’900.

Set at the base of Monte Orovole (1089 m), on the latest western offshoots of the Gennargentu, the village of Tiana stands along the valley formed by the torrente Tino (Tino creek) next to the point where it meets with the rio Torrei. The beds in which they run two watercourses form a unique inverted T where the rio Torrei, coming from the east, joins the rio Tino, who proceeds from the west and continues toward the north to flow in Taloro.

The rivers in addition to characterize the landscape have represented an important economic resource for the center that, until the first half of the Twentieth Century, was famous for the large number of mills and fulling-mills which also served the countries in the neighborhood. Traveling along the road to the south of the country for about a kilometer you reach the trail that leads to the locality Gusagu where you can visit the magnificent Museum of industrial archeology Le vie dell’acqua” formed by the last mills and the Water Mill for fulling cloth Bellu still operating, by exploiting the strength of the current rio Torrei.

Streams and brooks as well as to encourage the creation of orchards and vegetable gardens, built on the sides of the hills in typical terraces with dry walls, have made it particularly fertile throughout the area that is covered by luxuriant vegetation. The town is surrounded by dense woods of holm-oaks, cork oaks, oaks, chestnut trees and gists in which proliferate the shrubs of the Mediterranean maquis, broom, rockrose, juniper, lentisk, arbutus, heather, phyllirea, hawthorn and holly.

Enchanting routes go through the arboreal expanses that continue on the heights where gush out fresh and abundant sources. All around, the dorsal mountain  protects the country from the winds and from which you can admire splendid views.

On the border with Ovodda are the highest peaks of Punta Cogotti (1051 m) to the north-east and south-east, those of Serra Lattaloa (1069 m) and Bruncu Muncinale (1266 m). Near to the village (south-east) stands out the rocky crest of Su Cheddarzu (873 m) that can be reached from the country passing through a pine forest that in its highest point leaves the place to the holm-oaks. The toil for the climb is rewarded by the impressive views from the top on which, clinged to granite, stands a majestic ilex.

A short distance away, you will meet the meadows of the big flatland upstream of the village (east). Between the natural formations of neighboring locality of Sa Pira era, S’Iscusorgiu and Tudulu can be found the numerous archaeological rests, from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.

Tiana is a small mountain village with surviving ancient traditions, typical productions and the sense of community that contribute to healthy living and the serenity of its centenaries.

In fact the country is known for being the birthplace of many elderly people including Antonio Todde which, with its 112 years in 2001 and entered the guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest man. Strength of an important historical memory constituted by its great citizens, the town kept some traditions almost extinct like the carnival festivities, here called Coli Colion the first day of Lent (custom remained only in the nearby Ovodda). During the Ash Wednesday the Intintos, the masks with the face made in black with charcoal, paint the face of anyone they encounter on their way while carrying a dummy, which at the end of the day gets burnt.

Along the narrow streets of the historic district you can admire the ancient stone houses with many floors and with the typical corzosit would be a bridge room above the street connecting homes from side to side of which today are only few specimens left.

In elevated position with respect to the center is the parish church, dedicated to Sant’Elena. Built in the Seventeenth Century in late gothic style has undergone several interventions over the centuries until the end of the Nineteenth century which the facade clearly testifies. The interior has a nave with gothic arches between which have been rebuilt the wooden trusses and the cross vaults cover in the transept that precedes the presbytery.

Less than a kilometer from the village is situated Santu Leo where once was the ancient rural church dedicated to San Leone Magno, of which remained few ruins. Recently rebuilt in contemporary style hosts a statue of the Saint which is carried in september accompanied by a procession in traditional costumes.

To the south of the settlement in Gusagu you can visit the extraordinary museum system called “Le vie dell’acqua”. The Museum of Industrial Archeology includes ancient machinery: a well preserved water mill for grinding wheat and Sa Cracchera de tziu Bellu, the last water mill for fulling cloth out of the 18 active in Tiana in the Nineteenth Century, which the treatment of coarse woolen fabric is processed with.This typical fabric with which were realized different pieces of the traditional clothing was made resistant and waterproof through a process of fulling wool that you ran in water mill for fulling cloth: the fabric was wet with hot water and beat by large hammers moved from wheel driven by the current of the rio Torrei.

In the countryside surrounding the town can be found several archaeological rests: from nuraghic sites of the Bronze age in the locality of Sa Pira Era, Sa Tanca de su Pranu and S’ischisorgiu, the Roman kiln of Tudulu, discoveries of medieval Santo Leo, where in 1912 it was discovered  the tomb of a knight of the XV century.

It is worth visiting the evocative necropolis of Mancosu dating back to the Neolithic Period at about 2.5 km from the center in the territory on the border with the municipality of Ovodda. The 7 burials dug in granite are called in Sardinia domus de janas but in the surrounding area there are also called forreddos de janas for the shape of the opening reminding of ovens in which the bread was cooked.