OLIENA and his TERRITORy
Oliena boast a long religious tradition, there are many rural churches, some of them well preserved, telling history of ancient times, still remembered by the elders of Oliena.
The abundance of churches in the town, some of them dated 10th-12th century, is the testimony of the ancient history of Oliena, and in some ways also the wellness of the people who lived there.
But Oliena is above all a town of laborious and friendly people where everyone, as Salvatore Satta says in his book "Il giorno del giudizio" (The day of Judgement) owns:
"Part of vineyard and part of kiln (lime kiln). And they're cheerful, in their scintillating costumes, and every sunday they dance in the church square. Oliena is a wonderful town, in the foothills of the most beautiful mountain God ever create, and produces a wine where are infiltrated all the essences of our land, myrtle, lentisk, arbutus and cistus.
The territory of Oliena spreads from the slopes of supramonte to the foot of Ortobene mountain, all over the valley of Cedrino river. The town is placed at the foothills of Corrasi mountain, at 380 above sea level.
Oliena, land of vines, olive trees and honey, that's what Gabriele d'Annunzio wrote after his visit at the end of 19th century with Scarfoglio and Pascarella.
And those are in fact the three activities that since ancient times characterize the rural life of the town.
According to canonico Spano, Aristaeus the demigod would have brought beekeping in Sardinia, and with that also the honey production, the olive trees cultivation, and the art of coagulating the milk, in Oliena was found a small bronze picturing precisely Aristaeus.
Jesuits, in the 17th century already gave great impetus to olive growing with a big planting, some of those centuries old trees are still alive in Oliena.
Before that the Friars Minor of Saint Francis of Paola, already planted over 10 thousand vines, with connected winery.
Many writers, poets and historians talked about this in their works, like the Lord Abbot Angius in the dictionary of Sardinian states (1833-1856), Giuseppe Luigi de Villa in his book, Barbagia and Barbaricini in Sardinia. (1850) where the wines from oliena were counted among the "luxury" wines.
After that, Bresciani, Tullio Bazzi and many others up to d’Annunzio whom, in a memorable, redundant and tasty writing, tells about the stopover in Oliena, during is travel in Sardinia with Pascarella and Scarfoglio, extolling the wine and baptizing it with the name of Nepente.
The particular microclimate, conferred by the Corrasi mountain, the nature of the soil and the great exposure, are the reason of the excellent predisposition of the countryside to these cultures.
But Oliena is also sheep and goat farming, with delicious and savory products. Oliena is also craftsmanships, one need only to think about the embroidery of the precious and colorful costumes, composed and elegant, is also a town with many traditions proudly preserved, like the traditional dances, tenors and cooking.
Oliena means incomparable natural beauty, like the karst spring of Su Gologone, or one of the most rare endemism of Sardinian flora, the Ribes Sardoum, considered by botanists a paleo-endemism, relict of ancient origin.
In Oliena there are also many archaeological sites of great historical and artistic value, like the magnificent spring in Carros, situated in the Lanaitto valley, dedicated to water-worship.