Meet Cotza! Our accidental stop in Villamar (Sardinia pt 1)

Sometimes you make plans and everything turns out completely different, and often even better. Today was one of those days…

We had a sailing trip planned but because of strong winds it was cancelled. So we decided to go to the Giara di Gesturi to see the wild horses. It was a long drive through the center of Sardinia, the mountains and lots of little villages. In one of those villages, Villamar, we were looking for a bank when I saw these beautiful murals. So I told Giuseppe to turn around so I could get some photo’s.

When I got out of the car I passed by a bar where some older men were sitting. “Buongiorno!”, one of them shouted at me and asked me if I was driving around a bit. We started a conversation and they invited us to have a drink with them. They all lived in the village and like many italian men their morning ritual was to have a coffee at the local bar. A man called Vito asked us where we were from. Belgium we said. Oh Belgium!! They all had family in Belgium! Vito shouted a name and a man came out, he used to live in Belgium. He lived in Zolder which is only 20 minutes from Hasselt, where we live. So we continued a bit of the conversation in Flemish! Small world!

We were asked what we were doing there and where we were going. I told them we stopped there because of the beautiful murals I wanted to check out. It turned out the artist who made these murals was sitting there at the table with us! Small world again! His name was Cotza and he had lived in Villamar his whole life. He called himself a trovatello, a wanderer, having traveled around a bit in his life. So many tales to share, even some about Belgium. Cotza was married to a Colombian woman and when asked if he had kids he said: “No, a wanderer like myself, what would I do with kids in a world like this! But you, you should make two at least!”. Little did he know he was talking to two wanderers himself…

I think we were sitting there for an hour at least when Cotza decided to take us on a tour around the village. He was such a proud Sardinian, couldn’t have asked for a better tourguide!

Below are some impressions of Villamar and some pics of Cotza’s murals. In most of the paintings you can see the Sardinian flag, which is the Flag of the four Moors.

Cotza and his murals:

The tour around the village:


Me posing with one of Cotza’s artworks:

On the bottom of this painting was written “Il mondo vuol vedere la speranza sul viso”
from the poem “Sorrisi” by Wislama Szymborska.

Lunch at Cotza’s brother’s restaurant:

So about 4 hours later we left Villamar to continue our journey to the Giara di Gesturi. What a wonderful day it already was… Thank you Cotza for your kindness!!





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