Every year, for over 25 years, on the second weekend of September, Oliena opens its homes to visitors. The ancient courtyards of Oliena, called ‘sas cortes’ in local dialect, reveal the most authentic aspects of culture, food and wine, and traditional barbaric customs.
It’s a journey through the streets of the historic center where each home (each courtyard) is a station worth stopping at to catch a glimpse, or through the aroma and taste, of a microcosm of familiar and community knowledge that has accumulated over the centuries.
You will find women and men busy preparing traditional local dishes with recipes jealously guarded and secretly passed down through generations.
In some of the older homes, you will see the small kitchens of the past with stone stoves and wood-fired ovens where carasau bread was baked. There, where families used to gather for the occasion, combining bread-making with conviviality, today you will find grandchildren recreating the atmosphere of those days.
You can witness the making of homemade pasta by housewives, or cheese-making, which still preserves the flavor it had when it was made by transhumant shepherds, but most importantly, you can taste every delight and accompany it with a glass of Nepente wine.
You will meet master craftsmen, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, shoemakers, embroiderers, and carpenters who can synthesize in a small detail all the skill of a people, their innovative capacity, and the teachings of their predecessors.
For three days, sas cortes will once again be the center of home and life, places of exchange, inspiration, and gathering.
An accordion will play in the alleys inviting villagers and visitors to dance, and the event will turn into a celebration where the young and old will come together as they did in the past, when the dance square strengthened friendships and saw new love blossom.