Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The trip to Sardinia - first impressions


Sardegna - la campagna 28, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Just a week away, from 17th to 24th April, but seen and donwe an awful lot. I was invited by my good friend 'The Cat', who is Sardinian to join him in visiting hsi island, so I flew to Rome and caught the ferry across from Civitavecchia to Olbia, which is a port on the north-east side of the island.

From there, we drove across the northm, quite quickly through rocky countryside which reminded me a bit of Eritrea, before stopping for coffee in Sassari, the second largest town on the island. Quite plain really, as Italian cities go and it was early, so not many people on the streets.

The left-overs from the Italian elections were to be seen all over the place with election posters plasted on every available wall. Berlusconi was still not accepting the results of the elections, which he lost by about 25,000 votes, thanks to the votes from Italians living abroad, who were very much against him. I put this down to the fact that they can take an objective view of what is going on in Italy without being unduly influenced by the media which he in large part owns.

Anyway, there were posters for the Fascists next door to those for the Unreconstructed Communists, with the Greens, the Daisies, the Christians, the Radicals and even the Northern League (here in Sardegna?). Also, a party for Sardinian independence, but that does not exactly seem to be a big issue in the way it is in Basque or Ireland.

It should be said that the Sardinians are fierecly proud and independent. They wear a sardonic smile (well more a scowl) as if to ward off potential intruders. Quite a closed island, in that respect. In time, the island has been conquered by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Pisans, the Spanish and the Arabs. Howvever, unlike in Sicily they do not seem to have left their mark so much.

What you do find in Sardinia are 'nuraghi' which are stone fortifications, built by the indigenous population to protect themselves from invaders. There are many scattered around the island. Many have rounded forms, with tall-ish towers and rounded houses, built around a complicated street plan. We did not get to visit too many of these, but there is a well-signposted Tour dei Nuraghi which one can follow around the island.

Anyway, after Sassari, it was a shortish drive across to Alghero, on the west coast. A smaller town than I had imagined (it was one of the few places I had heard of before coming to Sardinia), with a lively port of fishing boats and pleasure crafts and yachts. We would visit the town late in teh afternoon and walk around the pretty narrow streets, along the ramparts and protective walls, facing out to sea. A lively place, despite there not being too many tourists, lots of people young and old, sitting around the main piazza. Apparently, it is Sardinian tradition for the men to sit and watch the girls go by... and so it proved.

We stayed across the bay at Fertilia, in a beach hotel set amongst the pines, half board. A largish hotel, off season, with very few guests - almost as many guests as staff. It felt like stepping back in time. However, unlike its English equivalent, it was full of large open spaces looking out across the blue sea to Alghero the other side of the bay. There was a large bar and the poor lady who served us a coffee was so happy to have someone to talk to, that it felt rude not to stay and linger.

We had 'our 'table in the large dining room, where unfinished bottles of water or wine from the previous meal would be left behind for the next meal. Three waitresses would attend us, one head waitress and two trainees. The meals would be local dishes, of moderate proportions, many including fish. As hotel food, it was really very good, washed down with a Vermentino di Gallura.

The first legs of the Champions League semi-finals were being played both evenings we were there and we managed to comandeer the (very) widescreen TV to watch both matches, brought to us, inevitably, by that man B. At least we had the satisfaction of seeing his own team lose, just like HE had lost the previous week!

After lunch we drove around the coast to the west to Capo Caccia, at the foot of which are an impressive set of caves - il Grotto di Nettuno. Hard to get a sense of perspective with the photos, but the clifss were really very high. The weather was a bit mixed and it was windy, but it made for a great walk down, passing all sorts of cliff-face flowers along the way, while the odd herring gull glided by, squawking away.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/135023364_32aaacdec3_b.jpg

Lol, have you checked the identity card of those guys to claim that they are sardinians.
they were shot in piazza sulis, the main square of Alghero, catalan enclave in sardinia, the main turist center of the island, visited by a million of turist every year and full of immingrants from middle east and north africa!

if weo guys on the right are full sarddinians i'm an alien!

23 July, 2011 04:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many of those people are not sardinians, stupid dumb, the guy on the right is clearly north african!

09 March, 2012 19:48  
Anonymous Josto said...

Sardinia was never conquered by arabs, study history. Became east roman until VII sec. and an Indipendent Kingdom from VII to XIV sec.

21 March, 2012 13:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I' ve never read so many bullshits in my life.
1-Sardinia has never been conquered by arabs, even regional flag shows 4 beheaded moors
2-It's absolutely false that Sardinian men use to observe women as described in this ridiculous article, probably that a habit in your fucking country
3-the guys in the photo don't look Sardinians at all.

10 June, 2012 00:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could erase that phot depicting a bunch of immigrants in Alghero, because you are so dumb that you are confusing them for real sardinians!

and remember that sardinia is a matriarchical society, and guys don't waste their time watching girls sitting in the squares, because generally male and females spend time together!

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(Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, Proemio)
Andrea del Castagno, Giovanni Boccaccio, particolare del Ciclo degli uomini e donne illustri, affresco, 1450, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
Giovanni Boccaccio (Certaldo, 16 giugno 1313[1] – Certaldo, 21 dicembre 1375[2][3][4]) è stato uno scrittore e poeta italiano. Conosciuto anche per antonomasia come il Certaldese[5], fu una delle figure più importanti nel panorama letterario europeo del XIV secolo[6]. Alcuni studiosi[7] (tra i quali Vittore Branca) lo definiscono come il maggior narratore europeo del suo tempo, uno scrittore versatile che amalgamò tendenze e generi letterari diversi facendoli confluire in opere originali, grazie a un'attività creativa esercitata all'insegna dello sperimentalismo.

Giovanni Boccaccio
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
bussola Disambiguazione – "Boccaccio" rimanda qui. Se stai cercando altri significati, vedi Boccaccio (disambigua).
« Umana cosa è aver compassione degli afflitti; e come che a ciascuna persona stea bene, a coloro è massimamente richiesto, li quali già hanno di conforto avuto mestiere, et hannol trovato in alcuni: fra’ quali, se alcuno mai n’ebbe bisogno, o gli fu caro, o già ne ricevette piacere, io son uno di quegli. »
(Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, Proemio)
Andrea del Castagno, Giovanni Boccaccio, particolare del Ciclo degli uomini e donne illustri, affresco, 1450, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
Giovanni Boccaccio (Certaldo, 16 giugno 1313[1] – Certaldo, 21 dicembre 1375[2][3][4]) è stato uno scrittore e poeta italiano. Conosciuto anche per antonomasia come il Certaldese[5], fu una delle figure più importanti nel panorama letterario europeo del XIV secolo[6]. Alcuni studiosi[7] (tra i quali Vittore Branca) lo definiscono come il maggior narratore europeo del suo tempo, uno scrittore versatile che amalgamò tendenze e generi letterari diversi facendoli confluire in opere originali, grazie a un'attività creativa esercitata all'insegna dello sperimentalismo.
Giovanni Boccaccio
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
bussola Disambiguazione – "Boccaccio" rimanda qui. Se stai cercando altri significati, vedi Boccaccio (disambigua).
« Umana cosa è aver compassione degli afflitti; e come che a ciascuna persona stea bene, a coloro è massimamente richiesto, li quali già hanno di conforto avuto mestiere, et hannol trovato in alcuni: fra’ quali, se alcuno mai n’ebbe bisogno, o gli fu caro, o già ne ricevette piacere, io son uno di quegli. »
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Andrea del Castagno, Giovanni Boccaccio, particolare del Ciclo degli uomini e donne illustri, affresco, 1450, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
Giovanni Boccaccio (Certaldo, 16 giugno 1313[1] – Certaldo, 21 dicembre 1375[2][3][4]) è stato uno scrittore e poeta italiano. Conosciuto anche per antonomasia come il Certaldese[5], fu una delle figure più importanti nel panorama letterario europeo del XIV secolo[6]. Alcuni studiosi[7] (tra i quali Vittore Branca) lo definiscono come il maggior narratore europeo del suo tempo, uno scrittore versatile che amalgamò tendenze e generi letterari diversi facendoli confluire in opere originali, grazie a un'attività creativa esercitata all'insegna dello sperimentalismo.
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