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    Limolo, a harbour of peace in the heart of the Oristano Gulf

    The thick handbook is open on the “jams” chapter. Signs and lines question the recipe, they are the first form of an adaptation process, of a reformulation. "They laughed at me at the beginning, when I planted the apricot trees in the midst of the building rubble. After two years they were already bending with fruits. Jokingly I always say that it was because of Aunt Maria's chicken coop. It covered this area of the garden before everything changed", says Daniela Meloni. The grass is dotted with small ripe spheres. Daniela climbs among the foliage to catch a handful. Beyond the wall rises the dome of the church of Santa Maria Vergine Assunta di Cabras, its strong lines in the blue sky.

    At that time Daniela passed through the rubble and sandbags wearing suits, heading to her lawyer's office in Oristano. Something was wrong with that routine, and the old house in Messina street had become the first step on the path to new life. Or to the old one. Daniela had always lived in the countryside before studying and attending the courts. In Cabras she came to train the horses of a local breeder, making them trot along the pond’s banks. “I slept here even when the builders went on with the job. I modified the small distortions of the project, I became familiar with the materials. Thus was born the idea of transforming the old ruined barn into two rooms for rent. Once again everyone was perplexed. They will pass you in the middle of the house, they said. But I knew it would be fine. Life on the boat had prepared me for close sociality”.

    The walls of raw earth and lime on which the morning shadows stretch, the reed roof and the blue windows ended up attracting in a short time many tourists, fascinated by the eclecticism of a Campidano house modeled according to the images brought back from travels in Greece and Morocco, from the long stays in Gallura. The advocacy was soon supplanted by the return to the vocation for cooking and the voyage at sea. The old ruin became the Limolo: "For the first three years it gave out tons of lemons. Then he got sick and I had to replace it with this other younger lemon tree. It stands in the same place". Mandarins benefited from the same obstinacy, which the builders wanted to eradicate. Now they grow in the green in branches, stretching up to the boundary wall where the vine runs. "The flat, sour mandarins, those of the gardens in the ancient houses of the village".

    Learning from the friends of the Scuola della Vela of Porto Cervo, Daniela has over time gained the ability to manage a boat on her own, and applied to Limolo the residential sailing courses that her friends had experienced in the Caribbean. The splendid Sparkman & Stephens of the 70s, patiently restored, has become the extension at sea of the structure. “Many people have left the Costa Smeralda for Sinis. We don't have the jet set, but we can offer an uncontaminated nature, the social and cultural density of Cabras". Thanks to the collaboration with the neurologist Nicola Modugno and the Parkinzone association, Limolo has also become the center of an extraordinary initiative, "Sail4Parkinson". In the Gulf of Oristano the boat hurtles pushed by the mistral, the hands of Giulio, Adele, Filippa and Luca cease to tremble in the crossing, responding to Daniela's severe but fair orders.

    White and blue is the primary impression of the bed and breakfast, the synthesis of peace and harmony. The rooms have been painted with the water paint of a Nurachi factory, the beds are made with beams recovered from the reed ceiling, precious turquoise porcelain surfaces are embedded in the wall cabinet. "Objects must tell their story". No plastic, no conditioner. The raw bricks and lime (suggested by Maura Falchi, an architect form Oristano), the trees, the external shadows and the drafts of the wooden windows manage the temperatures themselves, summer or winter. Daniela has decided to join "Friends of Maristanis", the club that brings together all the businesses that in the eleven municipalities of the project have chosen sustainability: "Reducers in each tap, LED bulbs, the well that will soon collect rainwater to be used in the garden. But I believe that Limolo itself was founded ten years ago on the concept of sustainability ".

    A narrow passage leads to the new extension of the B&B, opens into a second garden where you can have breakfast, and on summer nights Daniela gathers her guests for "convivial" culinary occasions. Lawyer, worker, entrepreneur, skipper and cook of traditional or modernized Sardinian recipes. Cooking for mega yachts and teams during the regattas, she brought the Sardinian dishes to Cannes (Regatta Royale) and Pont du Garde, France, at the European meeting of the hot air balloon pilots. “The exhibition- she explains- provided for a twinning with the town of Barumini. We brought food and nuraghi, discovering that the European middle class does not know Sardinia and its wonders. We need to do much more to promote our island".

    However, many followed Daniela to Limolo and the second garden, where products, perfumes and cooking become stories, contamination. The open space is nestled between another old stable and the house overlooking Via Cesare Battisti. Places so authentic as to have been chosen by Laura Bispuri for the filming of "My daughter", the film interpreted by Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher presented in 2018 in Berlin. The stage photos are stacked in a corner, waiting for the renovations to end. The crystal chandelier designed by the scenographer Ilaria Sadun remains on the ceiling. With the breeze its fragile elements jingle sending music all over the house. "I want this part of the structure to be even more authentic than the first", says Daniela, once again obstinate against conventions. A fireplace cluttered the space of the new bathroom. The chimney was not occluded as they claimed, it has become a magical periscope aimed at the sky.

    "I am not intimidated by the Covid emergency, by the dark economic prospects. Limolo offers large spaces, and the breakfasts will be served in the room in the baskets. The rules will be clear to my visitors. Nothing very different from the past. It is a new season for tourism, and I believe that small centers like Cabras have an advantage. Actually, you know what? Our time has come”. We leave Daniela only after accepting a vase full of dark orange. The bitterness of apricot jam makes the sweet taste truer. There is all the Limolo inside.

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