(Mines of San Vito - Villaputzu)
You can arrive at the mine of Brecca or Genna Flumini from the National Road n° 387 that connects San Vito with Ballao.
Near the kilometre 87, leave the National Road and enter (into the right if you come from San Vito, into the left if you arrive from Ballao) a road paved and in good conditions that in a few kilometres and some bends climbs towards Brecca, a small agricultural village of four-five farmhouses that have shared what a time was the farm of the mine.
Close to the village there are some buildings that were likely useful to the farm rather than to the mine.
Here we met an elderly and nice local sheep farmer (Mister Giovanni) who introduced us to the mine with a story that covered up it with an atmosphere like that of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights".
Drawning on stories of his father, dead ninety-four years old nearly thirty years ago [2002, when I write], told us that the owner of the mine was an englishman who delighted in astronomy too (the old man pointed us also at the two tops from where he made his astronomical observations). While he followed the mine and the stars, his family went to rack and ruin: the alcoholic wife ("e;lady Brecca"e;) blew her top and threw plates from the windows, and the daughter had an affair with the farmer. The result was a pregnancy that her father wanted to interrupt with it is not known what concoctions. These were effective beyond measure, because besides the son of the fault killed the guilty too. Overcome by the pain, nine days after also the english technician killed himself with the venom. The wife could not to do anything else than to take the second son and to go to Cagliari.
Not badly as a sensational story, do not you seem? Actually the discoverer, owner and then director of the mine, was until the first years of the twentieth century a english mining technician, J. M. Moss (look at the short story of the mine). Besides the place is extremely lonely now, think one century ago. About this story I did not find trace in no publication, but if is not true, what does it matter? It is important that it suits the place, and I ensure you the story suits it. And besides it has been told us very well.
The small mining village is built on the northern side of the little valley of the Rio Brecca. You arrive there from the agricultural village of Brecca travelling a cartway that begins behind the buildings displaied in the previous photos. from what remains it seems it was a comprehensive project, thought on purpose for the steep side in which is built. At its center it rose a two floors building, of which only a stub of wall remains. It was most likely the residence of the director and his family (the building from where "Lady Brecca" threw plates from the windows when she blew her top :-)). Everything gives the impression of rationality, functionality, decorum and order.
Under the small mining village the gorge of Rio Brecca widens out for a short stroke. Here a little foundry was build for the treatment of the antimony.
A real surprise was to know and to verify that the mine of Brecca is still not completely inactive. In fact, a prospector of San Basilio (a small town of the southern Sardinia) owns a claim for mining searches (relating to gold and other precious minerals). But his claim, always how the old sheep farmer said, is quarreled by the Sardinian Gold Mining [outbound link].
Few months ago the man died (2003). We knew him. We want carry out a documentary on him. He seemed to us a kind of "the last of the Mohicans". The man was a "tzriboneddu maccu" (a sardinian expression to indicate a little mad person; literally it means "mad little wild boar"). He was desperately searching money for his business, and pestered by the idea of being supplanted by the SGM.
May he rest in peace.
Along the northern side of the valley there are several galleries that you can visit, even if with all the necessary caution and for short strokes.
If you will decide to visit the mine of Brecca we advise you to go down along the Rio Brecca towards the Flumendosa river. The course is simple, with only two difficult passages in which caution is necessary. The exertion surely will be reward with a simply wonderful environment.
IGM map: 549, III
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