The Origins of Matherland Park

Life is all a carousel!

Welcome to Matherland, the oldest and most important Luna Park in Sardinia.

The origins.
Before it landed on the island to never leave it again, this luna park was called Koska, named from the founders, from Bohemia. We are in the first half of the nineteenth century and the “horse carousel” still moves thanks to human strength. Only later it will be powered by a steam system. A little like the old tinkerbell companies, the big family moves in half of Europe and every time it arrives in a new place it’s a party. It will be so until one day in 1947, when the owners of what has now become a cooperative services receive an unexpected proposal. From Sassari.

Arrival in Sardinia.
The war has just ended and Italy is laboriously recovering from the shock. There is a great desire for lightness among the people. “The fact is that my father-in-law, Luciano Matera, son of a Koska and then owner of the fun fair, comes a request from two Sardinian entrepreneurs: they were the Commendator Pani, bus company, and Gino Delogu, a wealthy butcher”, says Corrado Marengo, 74, current “mayor” of Matherland and historical memory of the amusement park together with Gianna Bellucci, who was born in the field in 1930. “The two – continues Marengo – intended to organize a big party for the” Ferragosto Sassari “And they wanted at all costs to place our” Wall of Death “on the hemicycle Garibaldi. In short, not only was the agreement made, but the Koska-Matera fell in love with Sardinia and did not want to move any more ». Nomads, yes, therefore, but within an island. “A choice that ultimately also conditioned my life – concludes Corrado Marengo – because attending this fairground in Sassari lost the head for Luciano’s daughter, we got married, and from that moment I started working here. Destiny”.

Daily life.
But how does life take place within the field? “At sunrise,” says Luciano, “we begin to hear the sound of the doors of the caravans: they are the children who are getting ready to go to school and the women who start to do the work inside the house traveling. Meanwhile, the men take care of the rides: level control, various maintenance, cleaning and so on. All this until one o’clock, when at the return of the pupils everyone lunches with his family, but obviously always in communication with everyone ».

After eating, however, absolute silence reigns. «The afternoon siesta – continues Luciano – is an indispensable ritual for us. Only when you wake up you get ready for the opening of the funfair: everyone takes possession of their position and stays there until the playground closes, when you return to the caravan, you go to dinner and then you all meet together to chat. This, of course, if there are no unforeseen events, but they often occur in the form of strong wind or storms with dreaded downpours “. Among the inhabitants of the caravans – which incidentally are all very clean and equipped with televisions and internet connections – they can naturally be born loves and even minor disagreements. “But among us – Luciano explains – there is still a very strong sense of solidarity. No one is left alone or backwards: in the caravans one does not abandon oneself ».

The timeless games.
The best factories in the world of amusement park attractions are in Italy, specifically in Emilia-Romagna. An excellence of the mechanics that someone tries in vain to sweep and that for some years has risked the competition of the so-called “inflatables” of plastic. A fashion now relegated to younger children, because just take a look at the preferences of the patrons to understand that the most popular games are always the same. From the Autoscontro to the classic carousel with flying seats (commonly called “Calcinculo”), from the revolving Ballerina to the traditional roller coaster. But there is certainly no shortage of the roller coaster and the legendary Brucomela (now replaced by Pluto). In short, technology always offers new versions of games with very high levels of security, but the attractions basically remain the same. In fact, the Tirasségno also works a lot. Finally, the cotton candy is timeless.