Fonni - Encyclopedia

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FONNI, a town of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari, 3 280 ft. above sea-level, to the N.W. of Monte Gennargentu, 21 m. S. of Nuoro by road. Pop. (1901) 4323. It is the highest village in Sardinia, and situated among fine scenery with some chestnut woods. The church of the Franciscans, built in 1708, contains some curious paintings by local artists. The costumes are extremely picturesque, and are well seen on the day of St John the Baptist, the patron saint. The men's costume is similar to that worn in the district generally; the linen trousers are long and black gaiters are worn. The women wear a white chemise; over that a very small corselet, and over that a red jacket with blue and black velvet facings. The skirt is brown above and red below, with a blue band between the two colours; it is accordion-pleated. Two identical skirts are often worn, one above the other. The unmarried girls wear white kerchiefs, the married women black. A little to the N. of Fonni, by the high-road, stood the Roman station of Sorabile, mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as situated 87 m. from Carales on the road to Olbia. Excavations made in 1879 and 1880 led to the discovery of the remains of this station, arranged round three sides of a courtyard some loo ft. square, including traces of baths and other buildings, and a massive embanking wall above them, some 150 ft. in length, to protect them from landslips (F. Vivanet, in Notizie degli scavi, 18 79, 35 o; 1881, 31), while a discharge certificate (tabula honestae missionis) of sailors who had served in the classis Ravennas was found in some ruins here or hereabouts (id. ib., 1882, 440; T. Mommsen, Corp. inscr. Lat. x. 8325). Near Fonni, too, are several "menhirs" (called pietre celtiche in the district) and other prehistoric remains. (T. As.)

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