When in 1965 the City of Nuoro charged Costantino Nivola with designing a monument to the poet Sebastiano Satta, the sculptor, who had just returned from America where he had known such greats as Le Corbusier and Saarinen, sought inspiration in archaic worlds, in the lifestyles of shepherds. He began with the poet’s personality, which he incarnated and interpreted through small terracotta figures (which were then made into bronze for the final version) in a wide variety of positions and at different moments of life. The square in the old centre of town was designed by Nivola in 1967. The buildings surrounding it were painted white and the ground was covered with large square tiles on which he placed heavy blocks of natural granite, into which the statues were then placed. The end result is a whole marked by the contrasts between the work of the sculptor and the modest XVIII and XIX century buildings (including Satta’s birthplace) that provides a remarkable and elegant urban setting. The artist created a place to be enjoyed, more than one that inspires contemplation, in an irregular space that also called for the demolition of a few buildings. The boulders with their statues set in protective niches stand in contrast to the geometric composition of the ground and achieves an almost metaphysical result.
Piazza Satta is the juncture point of the historic quarter of Santu Pedru and the XIX century space that leads to the gardens and the cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve. It has no one particular belvedere, but a different perspective presents itself depending on which direction you came from. Landscaping techniques reminiscent of the work of Isamu Noguchi, who was very active in the USA at the time, are clearly distinguishable in terms of preferring contact with the spirit of the town itself, the genius loci, over any emphasis on monuments.