S’Abba Frisca Park Museum stands on an agricultural property handed down through many generations, a farm that’s been busy and productive for more than two centuries. From his earliest years, the proprietor Portolu Secci spent part of each summer at S’Abba Frisca, a name given to the site by his grandfather Antonio because of its cool and bountiful spring waters, and to distinguish this land from his adjacent holdings.
At this young age Portolu began to appreciate the scope of his grandfather’s project, building dry-stone walls to buttress terraces where he could let his imagination run free to create decorative displays of vegetables, fruit trees and flowers for all seasons.
The step from farm business to Park Museum began when Portolu took over the property. He expanded and developed it, and with constant attention to detail he has carefully worked through the last four decades to recover pieces of community history, making significant structural and environmental changes, and safeguarding items that otherwise would have been destined for the scrap heap. As time passed, donations added to the collection.
His passion for community history led Portolu to revive the places he held so dear, where the old winepress and the stone olive press always played central roles. He researched and studied, and made the parkland a home for plants traditionally used for dyeing, essential oils, and medicinal purposes in times gone by, the very plants used by his grandmother Zizza and Maria Antonia, his mother.
Over time, he has applied his earthmoving expertise to shape a natural park, where the ancient gift of spring water is always the fundamental element.
As years passed he worked alongside his wife Laura and their sons Gianluca, Marcello and Pierandrea to develop a tourist venue that is one of a kind in Italy, while maintaining the old character of the original farm.
The Park Museum is one of the most significant attractions for visitors to this region and in 2018 the Region of Sardinia gave recognition to S’Abba Frisca as being the most comprehensive ethnographic and naturalistic museum on the island. It is the first privately-owned museum to be fully included in Sardinia’s Regional Register of Cultural Institutions and Localities.