Seneghe, according to the local mythology, is the town that engenders crazy people. It’s blessed with a beautiful mountain, delicious natural spring water, mouthwatering local cuisine and a fertile land with a luscious production, and yet it generates crazy people.
Lady Craziness, apparently, was very beautiful, so beautiful that whoever happened to see her would fall in love, more precisely “crazy” in love. After sojourning in some of the towns of the Oristano province such as Paulilatino, near my own Ghilarza, Milis and Bauladu, and affecting the residents with some enviable and less enviable qualities that ranged from laziness to industriousness, from vanity to beauty to a collection of troublemaking skills, she decided to stop a little longer in Seneghe.
Here, too, many fell crazy in love with her, young and adults alike. For some a fleeting glimpse of her presence was enough to feel happy, others wanted more, such as seduce her and lured her into their own pleasures, but since no one was successful, slowly the townspeople got upset to the point that they found useless having a divinity in the village and started to plan to chase her away. Once learnt they were plotting behind her back, the goddess, instead of taking revenge like every other goddess wuold have done, committed suicide with the aid of a poisonous plant, making Seneghe look inhabited by hot-tempered men and not-so-clever women for having induced a divinity to kill herself.
One of those places that never get to the guidebook, Seneghe is seldom included in the tourist trail, which makes it a good enough reason to visit altogether. The rarity of tourism, in fact, makes this an authentic place, one where all kinds of traditions, customs and mores are die-hard, one of those places that better than anything else evokes the soul of the real Sardinia.
Seneghe, however, wasn’t always such a happy haven.
During WWII it was a very poor town, and the main reason was because all the harvest was aimed at the German armory located in the olive tree grove between Seneghe and nearby town Bonarcado.
Those have been extremely tough times, the elderly still recall the snowy winters when they had no shoes, the nights when they had to sleep in the woods to watch the livestock, the Christmas days when children’s gifts were either an orange or a walnut (both treats for the luckiest kids), or the meals when fathers made up an excuse to leave the house to hide the fact that there wasn’t enough food for everyone. It sounds like tales from centuries ago, but really it’s not that far away.
Cozily nestled between a mountain clothed with a lush sample of Mediterranean vegetation and western Sardinian shore, Seneghe is surrounded by fertile lands that please the residents with an opulent harvest each season. The purest olive oil that wins every year the first prize of an international fair with competitors as important as Liguria, Sicily and Tuscany, delicious honey, exquisite bread and alluring sweets and pastries are only some of the reasons why I always enjoy the town. Add to it some great wine and you will complete the Mediterranean scene.
Charmingly attached to its traditions like many other places in Sardinia, here either religious festivals or food fairs in conjunction with the season harvest have the power to reunite more or less the whole town, sometimes summoning also the people who moved to other cities in the lookout for a better job yet with the patient knowledge that genuineness is a prerogative of their home town.
Whenever you will have the chance to visit Seneghe, it will be clear to you that it’s no ordinary place.
Nowhere like here will you hear weird and funny anecdotes, nothing made up, only truthful accounts, simple facts of daily life of traditional Sardinia. The ancient folktale of Lady Craziness will come up to your mind, and if you meet someone from here, you will have confirmed the theory that behind every legend there is at least a hint of truth.