THE GIANT’S PATHWAY – THE TRAIL THAT BRINGS HISTORY BACK TO LIFE

Who knows if these legendary creatures, so ingrained in our imagination, really existed.

Giants are extraordinary figures found in many stories handed down from generation to generation through oral and written tradition. Sardinia also has its own story. Legend has it, in fact, that giants used to live on the island and, to prove it, according to the story, are some large bones found in tombs over the centuries. Otherwise the size of the structures that Arzachena preserves as priceless treasures could not be explained. Some even think that they are nothing more than evidence of the existence of the advanced civilization of Atlantis, that legendary continent celebrated in the writings of Plato that sank into the depths of the sea. Imagination knows no bounds (there is no trace of those bones) but history, besides leaving humanity with an extremely valuable heritage, has decided to borrow some of these stories to give a precise identity to the discoveries that have emerged over time.

The right balance between myth and reality is well represented by the so-called Giant’s Pathway. It is a short trail that takes those who decide to venture along it back hundreds of years to find out more about the ancient Nuragic civilization. Printed information needs to be integrated with visuals through an experience that adds personal sensations and only that place is able to transmit these sensations and further the knowledge. In fact, the walk along the path immediately immerses the adventurer into a natural, evocative and unspoilt environment, assisted by the skilful guides who try to explain the traditions of the Nuragic peoples that lived in the Capichera valley. There are two huge monuments in that area. The first is the La Prisgiona complex which received a visit from one of Italy’s most famous scientific communicators this year, Piero Angela, who had been among the guests of honour at the Costa Smeralda Literary Award.

The structure, surrounded by over 90 huts, dates back to the Bronze Age between the 14th and 9th century BC and comprises a nuraghe that is hard to find in the Gallura region. Inside the building, which includes a central fortified tower and at least two side towers protected by a bastion wall, there is an internal room that, from an architectonic viewpoint is covered by a kind of 7-metre high dome, supported purely by the force of gravity. Perfect for a good-sized giant. The well in the courtyard, where archaeologists have found many historical relics that have withstood the test of time, is in scale with the main building. The architrave that welcomed people into the main tower is slightly lower at 3.2 metres. The second monument is the giants’ tomb at Coddu Vecchiu. The burial chamber is almost 30 metres long and 3 metres high and also dates back to the Bronze Age having been built between 3300 and 700 BC. (Riccardo Lo Re)