Protest Murals


Our days on the beaches in Sardinia were some of the most restful of the whole year.  We kept it easy.  During that time, we didn’t visit a single church or museum.  We didn’t explore the streets, stores or restaurants (in fact, we hardly saw the towns at all).  It was all about the beach and sun.

But when it was time to leave, we chose to mix things up a little and take the long route through Sardinia’s interior. Known for mountains, wilderness, shepherds and bandits, we felt we were venturing into Italy’s wild west.  We only had time for one stop so we chose Orgosolo.  This village has a history of Robin-Hood-style outlaws, government revolts, kidnapping and protest.  Earlier in the week we met a man from there.  We asked him to tell us some stories.  He just shook his head and said, “I see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.”  It sounded like a great movie setting.

It was the winding, narrow road up the Supremonte mountain range that proved to be the most challenging part of the excursion.  The last 10 miles were some of the sharpest curves we’ve ever driven, literal hairpin angles.  It was fun for us in the front seats, but the boys in the back got carsick.

When we arrived at Orgosolo, we parked the car, locked our valuables in the trunk and told the kids to stay close.  While there haven’t been many bandits or kidnappers in the last 10 years, we still wanted to be careful.  As it turns out, Orgosolo was tame and non-threatening.

In fact, it’s bright and lively and covered in paint.  The town is like an outdoor museum with over 200 murals on the houses and storefronts.  It started in the 70s when the townspeople took to painting their frustration and outrage.  These pictures are full of passion and energy and somber reminders of human suffering.  We spent all our time just walking the streets and looking at all the stories.






We left Orgosolo after a big Sardinian lunch.  Then after one night in the region’s capital of Cagliari, we caught a plane back to Perugia. This was the last trip we will take.  In five days, our year in Perugia is over and we will be returning home.  I’m full of emotion now.  There are so many feeling running through my mind. I’m stressed about packing, sad to say goodbye to the Italians, depressed about leaving this awesome apartment in the center of town. I’m curious about returning home, and I’m also so excited to see our friends and our families.  But I feel fear about our big transition.  It’s hard to believe this is all going to be over so soon. I don’t know what to expect when we get home, but I keep thinking about something my uncle told me after his three weeks in Perugia, “You will laugh and breathe freedom when you get home and miss Perugia for the rest of your life.”

If I could paint protest murals, one of them would be against the frustrating inflexibility of time.  I just hate when things I love become only memories.

6 thoughts on “Protest Murals

  1. Thank you so much for your blog, Jill. I have enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to seeing you again in Bellevue. The last time I was at your house I made a trading card with the words “Pack your bags.” So many of us have done that; we’ll have much to discuss.
    I’m traveling with a friend to Sicily in September with side trips to Venice, Florence, Rome and whatever else we can pack in. I’ll take my cue from you, trying to find a balance between exploring and down time. Happy trails to you…until we meet again. Love, Pam (Steph’s mom)

  2. We just returned from a fun weekend at Filacres and the River House. You were all very much on our minds as we all marveled that it was only a year ago when we gathered to send you off and now you’re already on your way back! SAFE travels to you. I cannot wait to hug you and put my darling baby boy in your arms :). See you soon 🙂

  3. Your texts are always incredibly true, but this one is the best. The emotions are talking for you, and this is very beautiful. In less than one year my italian dream will be over as well, and I can’t even think about it. Hope you enjoy the last days and have a safe flight back home.
    Best, Thatiana

  4. You all have been teachers, tour guides, and storytellers transporting me to your world of wonder. I am planning a trip to Italy in the next year or so and will take what you have shared–which is far more valuable than any tour book could ever hope to be. Thank you for a wonderful year!
    Jan (Kelli’s aunt)

  5. I wanted to share the town of protest murals with you.

    And then I thought of all the past times and places that sweetly float in my memories … and celebrated a future filled with more times and places. May we share many of them. Much love, Anita

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