by Gaston Vuillier

The fargotten isles

Impressions of travel in the Balearic Isles, Corsica and Sardinia

with 167 illustrations by the Author.  Rendered into English by Frederic Breton

London 1896

Hutchinson & Co., Paternoster Row, 34

I reached Tempio at nightfall.

Tempio is the most populous town in Gallura. Its lofty houses, built of regular blocks of granite, mortared with clay, would resemble fortresses, except for the immense wooden balconies projecting from each storey, and casting queerly foreshortened shadows on the pavement below. The women spend far more of the day working and gossiping on these balconies than they do in their rooms, so that the otherwise solemn street is kept perpetually merry with the chatter of female voices.

The roads are paved with large flagstones, on which the horses’ hoofs make a hollow clatter, as if there were dungeons beneath.

The men who pass are invariably clad in black, and generally wear hoods, giving them a sad, monastic aspect, agreeably relieved by the young girls who, here as elsewhere, pass and repass with their amphora on their heads. Altogether, however, the prevailing sentiment at Tempio is one of melancholy, notwithstanding the beauty of the sky, which is almost always clear.

Not far from the city rises the granite chain of the Limbara mountains, the highest peak of which, the Giugantinu, has an altitude of 5,906 feet. It is a rocky mass of characteristic appearance.

The side opposite Tempio faces northwards, and only gets the sun at its setting; hence the climate is comparatively cold.

The town itself is nearly 2,000 feet above sea-level, and the air is healthy and bracing.

The vicinity is dotted with shepherds’ huts (stazzi) built of rough stones below, while the upper part of the walls is constructed of wattles.

Several hundred families dwell here, banded together in a sort of federation called cussorgie, living a primitive, pastoral life, varied only by occasional hunting expeditions.


19th Century Paintings, Drawings and Lithographs (captions translated freely)

Gaston Vuillier, “View of the Limbara mountains from Tempio”, [lithography engraved by Charles Barbant], ca 1890-1893, figure IN this book.

Nicola Benedetto Tiole, “Man of Tempio”, ca 1819-1826, IN Nicola Tiole, Album di costumi sardi riprodotti dal vero (1819-1826), saggi di Salvatore Naitza, Enrica Delitala, Luigi Piloni, Nuoro, Isre 1990.

Nicola Benedetto Tiole, “Women of Tempio seen from behind”, ca 1819-1826, IN Album di costumi sardi riprodotti dal vero (1819-1826), saggi di Salvatore Naitza, Enrica Delitala, Luigi Piloni, Nuoro, Isre 1990.

Alessio Pittaluga, “Shepherd from Gallura”, ca 1826, IN Royaume de Sardaigne dessiné sur les lieux. Costumes, par A. Pittaluga, [lithography engraved by Philead Salvator Levilly], Paris, chez Marino; Firenze, Antonio Campani, 1826 (rist. Carlo Delfino 2012).

Postcards and Photos, Late 19th/Early 20th Century

Collection Erennio Pedroni, Gianfranco Serafino, Vittorio Ruggero – Tempio Pausania.

Contemporary Photos

Antonio Concas, Vittorio Ruggero,  Alessandro Penduzzu, Giacomo Sanna