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A Walk Around Oristano

Yesterday morning I walked around Oristano. Just like I do almost every day, and have done almost every day for the last 4 years. But this time I did it filming an Instagram live, with people watching, interviewed by Livguine, who has been running these Instagram tours for a while now. You can still view the tour on her feed.

Having been dreading it (I'm not good on video) I ended up having so much fun. And one of the best things of all was that I saw Oristano all over again, as if for the first time. There was the cathedral, majestic and pale pink and sandy in the timid December sunlight, with its multi-coloured tiled dome. There was a nun all in white wandering down a side alley. There was my favourite church, del Carmine, tucked down a quiet street and locked (it has a beautiful Rococco interior with powder blue walls and primrose yellow ceiling). My friend Enrico has the key, and plays the organ, but I forgot to ask him for it so we just admired the exterior. There was my favourite pizzeria with its torn charcoal-grey awning, significant lack of sign outside and the perennially unchanged interior; brown gingham tablecloths, wooden benches, pizzaiolo in white t-shirt; glasses on the tip of his nose.

There was the funny little hidden art shop around the corner from the cathedral where a man with a perfect white moustache and waistcoat wasted hours hunting for a cardboard tube for me so that I could post a big painting abroad. The traditional Sardinian restaurant and Oristano institution, Craf da Banana, as kooky as its name suggests, run by Rita, a lady not to be messed with, with a face and determined expression which reminds me of Little My from the Moomins, and the owner of a wonderful bright -yellow Fiat 500, which she putt-putts about town in. And there was my favourite Pasticceria, on the corner of Piazza Eleonora, Eleonora's proud statue looking down, finger pointed at the sky, expression unintelligible. The streets of the centro storico, their facades painted pistachio green, bull's blood red, and canary yellow; colours that only work somehow when basking in the Italian sun. And Librid, the bookshop/cafe which I never manage to find open, but has the prettiest secret entrance and courtyard and a lovely selection of books.

first 4 photos by Charlotte, bottom 2 by me.

A fascinating and funny place Oristano - full of characters, with some beautiful buildings, and some falling down, the good and the bad all jumbled together, the beautiful and the ugly. A place I actually love, with all its occasionally shabby charm and idiosyncrasies, and its food and drink and history and all the characters that make it what it is. And the beaches and the market, which we didn't even get round to (though I'll add the photos here, anyway).

I think I shall start running tours here. Watch this space.

photos, of course, by Charlotte Bland (soon I will get a real camera and take my own!).


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