Sardinia in Five Senses

Here is a short trip of discovery around the Italian island of Sardinia, using as a guide our five senses.  Such a tour is one of the best ways to reveal many of the treasures which Sardinia holds.

One of the islands greatest treasures is its people.  While Sardinians are known for their pride and mistrustful nature, they are also renown for their hospitality: guests are sacred, and are treated with great warmth and respect.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or, better yet, pour yourself a glass wine, Sardinian Cannonau perhaps, then sit back, relax and enjoy reading about paradise!

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia looks like a large footprint.  This shape is quite appropriate, as the best way to get to the island’s hidden delights is on foot.

One of Sardinia’s many Sensual Treasures – it’s beaches:

One of Sardinia's Many Unspoilt Beaches

One of Sardinia's Many Unspoilt Beaches

Sight

See Sardinina's 100 metre / 300 ft high sand dunes

See Sardinina's 100 metre / 300 ft high sand dunes

Sardinia is one of the least densely populated of Italy’s regions, and the island boasts unique and pristine landscapes which are a treat for the eyes.

The unspoilt beauty of the Gennargentu Mountain range offers visitors the chance to admire breathtaking panoramas and to see the island’s wildlife, such as the small wild horses and Sardinian deer.  Then there are the sandy dunes of Piscinas, Sardinia’s desert, which are the highest in Europe, reaching up to 100 meters.

In the same league as the mountain landscapes, are Sardinia’s beach and coastal panoramas.  As some may know, it is this aspect of the island which has made the island popular all over the world.

Hearing

Dance to Sardinia's Music

Dance to Sardinia's Music

Music plays an important role in Sardinian culture. You can hear  folk music in every town festival.  Traditional melodies often accompany folk dances.

The instrument which typically accompanies the dances is the Launeddas or triplepipe which consists of three pipes, and is played using a circular breathing technique.

Popular in Sardinia is the distinctive Cantu a Tenore style of song.  Indeed, so distinctive is this form of polyphonic singing that it has been classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.

Touch

While you are lying on the beach, it’s lovely pick up some sand and then feel it slipping softly through your fingers.  Sandy beach lovers will find Sardinia has more than its fair share of wide sandy beaches, as well as plenty of tranquil hidden rocky coves for those who are not sand fans.  Some of Sardinia’s beaches stand out for the dazzling whiteness of their sand, which is so fine, it is like flour.

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You can find these white sandy beaches at Siniscola (Nuoro), Lido di Orrì (Ogliastra), and Su Giudeu (Cagliari).  Another beach worth visiting is Arenas, in Oristano area, which is called the ‘grains of rice beach’, thanks to all the small grains of coloured quartz.

Smell

Scented Fruits of Sardinia

Scented Fruits of Sardinia

Aside from the panoramas, beaches and sea, what strikes one about Sardina is the natural perfumes which fill the island’s air.  Scents from the islands vegetation are are everywhere, in large part supplied by the sweet-smelling Mediterranean maquis shrubland which consists of holm and cork oaks, juniper, strawberry trees, myrtle, and cistus.

Typical to the rockier areas of Sardinia are also helichrysum and broom, while in less rocky territories you will see cistus, rosemary, and mastic trees. Incidentally, the flower which is the symbol of Sardinia is the wild peony.

Taste

Owing to the geographical position of Sardinia, the forced isolation of the island through the centuries has helped preserve ancient cullinary traditions, with local recipes using fresh and natural local produce.  The Sardinian people use drum wheat to produce many varieties of pasta and bread, like the Malloreddus pasta, and Pane Carasau – a thin crunchy bread.

Classic Sardinian antipasti – starters – are home-made sausages and matured cheeses.  Inland, a typical, and tasty, meat course consists of roasted suckling pig, while in coastal areas there is a wide variety of fish-based dishes to choose from.

Meals are accompanied by a large range of local wines.  Sardinian’s have been producing wine for centuries.  Wines to try are Cannonau, Vermentino, and Nepente, and then there is the local liqueur, Mirto – a myrtle based beverage.

Go to Sardinia – You Know it Makes Sense

Right, all you need to do now is go to Sardinia and give all five of your senses a thorough work out.  When you get back from your sensual Sardinian break, come back here and tell all.

About Giulia Garau

One of the newest additions to this site, Giulia Garau lives and works in Sardinia, Italy.   A travel lover, she is lucky enough to work for the CharmingSardinia.com travel agency which also deals with accommodation in Campania, Apulia, Sicily and Tuscany. Giulia also has her own blog about Italy called CharmingItaly.com, in which she offers advice, information and suggestions to those thinking of visiting Italy. You can reach Giulia through CharmingSardinia’s page on Facebook or email her: giuliaDOTcharmingitalyATyahooDOTit

Photo credits:

One of Sardinia’s Many Unspoilt Beaches by asibiri

See Sardinina’s 100 metre / 300 ft high sand dunes by perledivetro

Dance to Sardinia’s Music by cristianocani

Scented Fruits of Sardinia by cristianocani CC BY 2.0

Comments

  1. says

    I travelled to Sardinia 2 months ago and was so impressed with its beauty. The most outstanding experience was the national park Giara de Gesturi in the north. The nature park has the most amazing cork forest and an incredible array of animal and insect species – my photos are spectacular, even if I do say so myself.

    Even though you can only walk through the forest (they are really putting time and effort into preserving this special area) it is easy to find the herds of the small horses that roam everywhere.

    I also second the view on the beaches….absolutely gorgeous!

    • says

      Hi Annette, thank you for your comment! I know Giara di Gesturi pretty well and I agree with you-it’s really spectacular! I hope you had the time to visit some of our beautiful caves too…

  2. says

    I was most interested in your articles on Sardinia. You might be interested in my recent novel, Sardinian Silver, set in Sardinia in the 1960s, when it was a very different place (including the infamous “bandit” village of Orgosolo.) Incidentally, I think it would make a very good film.

    **FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**::

    LITERARY FICTION ITALIAN CULTURE………………..CANADIAN LITERATURE

    Finding One’s Self on a Romantic Island That Time Forgot
    Sardinian Silver

    How many young people have dreamt of self and sexual discovery in a far off, exotic place? Arthur Fraser, the main character of Sardinian Silver by A. Colin Wright, not only dreamt of it, he realized his dream. Recruited to represent a travel firm from his homeland of Great Britain, Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero on the Island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea and is instantly bewitched. Based on his own time on Sardinia, Wright’s captivating and oftentimes hilarious novel follows the exploits of a young man trying to find love while assimilating to an archaically orthodox society.

    Sardinian Silver opens with Arthur sailing across the Tyrrhenian Sea towards his new home. On his journey to Sardinia, Arthur meets a native Sardinian named Gavino. Eager to make a new friend, let alone a British one, Gavino strikes up a conversation with Arthur and quickly offers to show Arthur his island. Gavino is the first in a cavalcade of characters, serious, humorous and tragic, that help make Sardinian Silver the engaging recollection that it is.

    Once settled into the Sardinian resort at which he is working, Arthur sets out on achieving the one thing he wants most; finding a Sardinian girlfriend. He knows that this will not be easy, as Gavino has already warned him. Sardinia in the 1960s was still very culturally undeveloped. Sardinia’s residents viewed mainland Italians and continentals (the British counted among them) as immoral and contaminated by modern society. Still, this does not dissuade Arthur from his task.

    “It was ten past nine. Quickly the girls had gone.
    Parties like this were so promising, yet so empty. I recall another one, with Gavino and some of Marcella’s friends, where one girl enjoyed a few hidden caresses while we clutched together publicly, but reacted scornfully when I attempted to get her outside alone, and the others were quite shocked. Except for Marcella, who made fun of me. Hug and hold tightly in a dance, but be satisfied with this brief, despairing feel of another body, for it’s all you’re going to get unless you pay a prostitute for more: southern Italy in a nutshell. Yet Sardinia was a land of promise, which I loved even if it remained unfulfilled.”

    In the tradition of Brideshead Revisited and The Lost Girl, Sardinian Silver is a charming and witty novel of growth, loss and realization that is sure to delight even the most critical reader.

    A. Colin Wright was born and raised in the county of Essex, England. After serving as a linguist in the British Royal Air Force, Wright attended Cambridge University where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 1964, he was appointed a professor of Russian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s until his retirement in 1999 and still resides there today. Dr. Wright is married and has two grown sons. See also http://www.sardiniansilver.com, http://www.acolinwright.ca and http://www.authorsden.com/acolinwright

    Sardinian Silver can be ordered at any bookstore, or online at http://www.iuniverse.com or any Amazon site

    • says

      Well, A Colin Wright – your comment looks suspiciously like a plug for your book – but, seeing as it is about Sardinia, and it sounds like a fun tale, I’ll let you get away with it this time – especially if you reply to this here comment.

      Best,

      Alex

    • says

      Hi LindyLouMac,

      Glad this post brought back fond memories. One of these days I will make it to Sardinia – and after reading Giulia’s descriptions of the island, I’ve even more keen to go there.

      One day…

      Best,

      Alex

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