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    Torremana, a family gathers around the nature and the legends of the Sinis peninsula

    “Carola was five years old in 2014. She was falling asleep while Luigi and I were discussing the right name for the guesthouse, our new adventure. I have a passion for the towers that dot the coasts of Sardinia, so we were looking for inspiration starting from one of their names. Carola said: mom, the most beautiful tower is Torremana ... meaning “Torre Manna” in Sardinian language, or Torregrande in Italian, the big Spanish construction that announces the marina of Cabras. Only later we discovered that Torremana is also a South American surname".

    Carola's sleepy babbling has thus become the symbol of a profession born by chance, when Rosalba, an office worker, and Luigi, a builder, suddenly found themselves unemployed. “The two free rooms of the terraced house where we lived had always hosted a coming and going of friends. We spent wonderful evenings in the garden surrounded by Mediterranean plants. You are very good at welcoming! You should try, they told us. We hesitated for a long time, then out of necessity we decided to start off. It went well. In 2018 we did like the hermit crab. Once we grew up, we changed the shell. Aunt Chiarina's home was love at first sight”, says Rosalba, sitting today in another magnificent garden, the heart of an ancient Campidanese mansion.

    Aunt Chiarina was a devoted, austere, hardworking lady of Cabras, wife of uncle Efisio, a landowner. Without heirs, they welcomed their grandchildren into the large rooms, who soon became like real sons for them. The old Sardinian lifestyle is in the architectural substrate of the structure: the bedside tables and doors of the 1930s, cheered up with bright and sustainable paints, the drawers that housed the sheets, and still houses them, the oven room and the stable that became guest rooms, the traditional wooden roof, the mosaic of tiles in the breakfast area. “My grandfather was a fisherman in the pond and a fassoni builder. I grew up in the midst of nets and fishing pots. But I always envied my classmates, who could play between hay bales and barns. We can say that when I grew up I finally solved the problem by painting an old peasant house blue", explains Rosalba.

    Rosalba and Luigi decided to maintain the delicate ladiri walls, the raw clay bricks typical of the Sardinian tradition which are today one of the elements of sustainability listed by Torremana to join the Friends of Maristanis club, together with the photovoltaic system and the canalization and reuse of the air conditioner water (scarcely used thanks to the natural thermoregulation properties of the walls). One double room, two triple rooms, one quadruple room and a reception service built around the principle of sustainable tourism.

    "When the guests arrive, I stay with them for a long time giving them information about Sinis and its beaches, about the Marine Protected Area and the wetlands. I warn them about the damage caused by the removal of quartz in our unique beaches. Often at sunset we lead them to a tour of the ponds, in particular Paui and ’Sali, where we hide to observe the pink flamingos. My father took me there as a child. He was a great walker and expert of Sinis. And a hunter for a while. Until, in order not to hear me crying anymore, he decided to drop the business. He started walking around the Sinis with his rifle unloaded".

    In the evening the garden is lit only by the starry sky and the candles. Rosalba likes to tell guests the "cantus de foredda", the fireplace tales: "have you ever heard the legend of our saint, Maria Assunta? It is one of the very few “sleeping” madonnas in Sardinia. It is said that the statue arrived in Sinis because of a shipwreck, together with a holy cross. The fishermen who found the two wooden cases decided to bring the holy cross to Cabras and the madonna to Oristano. But despite all the lashes, the oxen wouldn’t move until when the destination of the cases was reversed. And do you know about the golden crown that the statue wears every year for the procession? It was melt together with all the rings of failed betrothals. In front of the statue many made marriage proposals".

    Sometimes the garden grass gets covered with blankets and the guests listen to Rosalba's nieces, both amateur actresses, declaiming pages from Grazia Deledda and other Sardinian writers and poets. One of the regular guests instead does yoga in the morning, after a long walk at dawn around the pond, a path drawn on a map by Rosalba herself. “Torremana is a family. We are more than eighty in our whatsapp chat. We exchange birthday’s greetings and news. This was also the case during the quarantine. Our two beloved guests from Bergamo told us about the dramatic emergency of the city. They will come to visit us in August, now we take care of their uncles. Of 120 nights booked for June, there are 30 left. But we are happy. They will be 80 in July. In August and September bookings also look well. Many Sardinians have decided to spend the weekends on the island. Even in October we have some reservations. Germans, of course. We have to hope, and work hard. We'll make it".

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