Feast of San Costantino

Sédilo is a large picturesque town in the center of the Sardinia, located near Lake Omedeo, an important water reserve. The economic activity of this village of some 2,500 people is mainly focused on breeding mainly sheep. Although located not far from a highway which crosses the island from West to East and leads to Nuoro and the Gulf of Orosei, it is not very frequented by tourists except in early July during the festival of San Costantino.

San Costantino

San Costantino

The originality of this “saint” is that he is not officially recognized as such by the Church, but he is venerated in Sardinia, San Costantino is the Roman emperor who converted and led to membership to Christianity.

In Sédilo, as in all of Barbagia, traditions of honor are important and respected. It is on the territory of this village that one of the oldest events takes place Sardinians of religious inspiration, the Ardia, a horse race which is run not for a monetary prize or any other reward but for honor, for fame or for a wish. The men of the village must register well in advance to participate and have the honor of carrying the flag and riding in the lead before competing.

The start of the race is given in an enclosure, near a small church which is located in the village. The riders must, bridle down, go up to the village to reach the church square. But where it gets complicated is that you have to enter by passing under a stone arch. In some years it is not uncommon for accidents to occur causing injury or even death to some competitors. But whoever arrives first is celebrated as a hero, his family name is honored and respected. This festival brings a lot of people and is famous throughout Sardinia and far beyond.

The walls of Sédilo are adorned with numerous murals that celebrate this event.