Benvenuti nel Sito Ufficiale del Turismo di Baunei e Santa Maria Navarrese.
The “Orientale Sarda” 125 Highway
THE "ORIENTALE SARDA" 125 HIGHWAY
The “Orientale Sarda” 125 highway that links Cagliari to Olbia runs through the town of Baunei. The old and twisty track, which dates back to the late nineteenth century, has been significantly modified in recent years, with the opening to traffic of new long sections that have significantly reduced the travelling times of the important thoroughfare. Among the oldest and most spectacular sections of the “125 highway” that still follow the footprint of the nineteenth-century track is the one between Baunei and Dorgali: 49 km of curves and breathtaking views, very popular with motorcyclists, who report this stretch of road (in some places literally dug from rock) in guides for “bikers”.
Nowadays, Baunei and the Orientale Sarda are inextricably linked, but when the road was being designed and it was being decided which towns the new (and long awaited) artery would run through, the village risked not being part of the planned route. In fact, according to an engineer of Cagliari Civil Engineering, a certain Giovanni Battista Lupo, upon reaching the Lotzorai plain, the road would have to turn towards Urzulei and from there onto Dorgali. On 30 September 1870, the municipality of Baunei, supported by the municipalities of Dorgali, Triei, Lotzorai, Girasole and Tortolì, sent a request to the Ministry of Public Works asking to modify the route. The National Council of Public Works granted the request and ruled that the “Coastal Road from Cagliari to Terranova” (which was the then name of the city of Olbia) would run through Baunei instead of Urzulei, justifying the decision with logistical- demographic reasons: “Considering that the route to Baunei also has in its favour the fact that it facilitates access to the bay of Santa Maria Navarrese”; considering that the municipalities [signatories of the request] (...) have a population of 5,628 inhabitants (...). A decisive role in the affair was played by the then parish priest of Baunei Don Emanuele Lai, whose energetic pressure on the authorities led them to shelving Lupo’s proposal. The funds for the section of road from Lotzorai to Baunei were allocated in 1876 and, finally, the road appeared in the list of “sections ‘under maintenance’ of the Cagliari – Terranova national road” in 1880. Maintenance was entrusted to skilled workers, who lived in the “Case Cantoniere” found at regular intervals along the roads and therefore called “cantonieri”. One of these Cantoniere, still used as a garage for ANAS vehicles to this day, is located in the north of the village, in the district of Monte Colcau.