An Open Love Letter to Sardinia

GirasoleIt’s good to be back in your arms, with your wide open rugged coastline lapped in refreshing turquoise waters and your jagged mountain peeks where I sit 365 meters above sea-level. I’m restoring my faith in you, dear Sardinia, to bring me back to that place, you know that one, that little special place we hold so tight and dear.

It has been 2.5 years since we touched souls, and you haven’t changed a bit. You still glow, like summer’s first kiss, and you’ve welcomed me back with flair, graciousness and that inquisitive curiosity that I so fell in love with that first time back in 2008.

I can hear your locally made bells twang in the distance, around the neck of your goat who is languidly walking down the mountain. Your local dialect, a symphony of flair and history floats on the mountain air, sending wisps of words into my living room.

I’ve tasted your delicacies that I’ve so longed for: Ichnusa, pane carasau, cannonau, mountain water, pecorino, espresso, olive oil, peaches, pane and the list could go on. It’s been an assault on my senses just reuniting with you, I hope you feel the same way.

These last five days with you in the mountains has been spectacular. You’ve helped me realign my body, focus my energy and restore my soul. Now, it’s time for the beach.

Thank you, Sardinia, it’s good to be here.

Love

Jennifer Avventura
xoxo

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Sardinia’s Blue Flag Beaches 2016

Sardinia has done it again with an impressive 28 Blue Flags flying effortlessly around her turquoise coast. That is 21 more blue flags since 2013, so there is plenty of beach to play for those seeking a little vitamin sea in the heart of the Mediterranean.

What is a Blue Flag?

2000px-Blue_Flag_Logo.svgThe Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-certification awarded to beaches and marinas in countless countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know a beach or marina is clean and accessible; has great water quality; meets high safety standards; and is working hard to protect local shorelines and ecosystems. Blue Flags are flying at 25 beaches and six marinas in Canada.

Beaches are awarded the blue flag based on several criteria which the beach must meet; should the beach fail to comply with these criteria during the year, the blue flag can be withdrawn. Here are just a few of the criteria needed:

  • Environmental Education and Information
  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Management
  • Safety and Services

It takes a strong community and desire to keep these beaches immaculate. These 28 beaches are sparkling gems from Sardinia’s coastal populations. Please enjoy responsibly.

28 Blue Flag Beaches: Sardinia 2013-2016
(by province)

Cagliari

  • Poetto, Quartu Sant’ Elena
  • Mare Pintau, Quartu Sant’ Elena
  • Portu Tramatzu, Teulada
  • Sabbie Bianche, Teulada
  • Tuerredda, Teulada

Oblia-Tempio

La Rena Bianca by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

Rena Bianca

  • Spiaggia di Li Junchi, Badesi
  • L’Isuledda, Porto Pollo
  • La Sciumara, Palau
  • Foce Fiume Liscia, Palau
  • Palau Vecchio, Palau
  • Spiaggia dei due Mari, Isola Caprera
  • Spiaggia del Relitto, Isola Caprera
  • Porto Lungo, La Maddalena
  • Spalmatore, La Maddalena
  • Rena Ponente, Capo Testa
  • Rena Bianca, Capo Testa
  • Zia Culumba, Capo Testa

Ogliastra

  • Lido di Cea, Tortoli
  • Lido di Orri, Tortoli
  • Muxi, Tortoli
  • Orri Foxilioni, Tortoli
  • La Capannina or Potente, Arbatax
  • Porto Frailia, Arbatax

Oristano

  • Spiaggia di Torregrande, Oristano

Sassari

Rena Bianca

Rena Bianca

  • Marina di Sorso, Sorso
  • Madonnina/Stella Maris, Castelsardo
  • Sacro Cuore/Ampurias, Castelsardo
  • Porto Ferro, Sassari

There you have it! 28 stunning stretches of sand, sea and sun to sink your feet into. Which beach(s) have you set foot on?

Useful links:
Programma Bandiera Blu – Sardegna
FEE – Foundation for Environmental Education Italia

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Running Roads in Sardinia

Running. It’s relaxing, clears the mind, gets the body pumping and, if you’re a distance runner, you can witness stunning views like this treasure of a running road in Sardinia, Italy.

wwwp5k (6)

Run, hike or bike Sardinia? Which is your adventure?

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A snapshot of time at Tonara

A snapshot in time from Tonara, Sardinia, Italy. A place so magical that you feel as though you’ve stepped back a few centuries.

Camera photography by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

Tonara was one of the most geographically stunning areas I’ve visited in Sardinia. Have you been?

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Looking at the little things in life

Sometimes in life the big things take over, they are uncontrollable and we lose focus. I prefer to look at the little things that make this world spin, that make me spin. The little things that get inside my head and complete me. Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (31)The little things that seem so insignificant to the bigger picture that I’ve forgotten how I got here. It was the little things that built my grand picture, the little things that held me up, the little things that make me believe, make me hold on to the dream that I will see you again.

Have you looked at the little things in your life lately?

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The naked truth on nude beaches in Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is a mecca for beach lovers, and with over 1849km of beautiful, pristine coastline it’s no wonder naked vacationers return year after year.

Did you know? It’s illegal to get butt naked on a Sardinian public beach.

That Sardinia hosts very few, secluded nude beaches (so few, in fact I can’t find any resources on legal nude beaches in Sardinia) and if caught in the buff on a beach in Italy that the fine is hefty – very hefty!

Do you know the difference between a topless beach and a nude beach?

What is a topless beach?

A topless beach is a public beach where upper body clothing is optional for men and women. Most beaches in Italy are topless beaches.¹

A general rule of thumb is to look around and see what others are doing. If there are hundreds of people on the beach – dressed in their beach best, then you should stay dressed in your beach suit.

A little incident that happened…

I parked my white Canadian butt on the hot, white sand and noticed that every other woman was topless and thought – I’m in Italy, I’ll go topless too! Continue reading

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Inside Sardinia: Cork from the Gallura

Sardinian cork oak grows in abundance in the northwestern part of the island. The forests are large and breathtaking and the capital of cork in Sardinia is a small mountain town called Calangianus in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

Cork planks are used to create some fascinating items like: kitchen utensils, serving trays, containers, insulation, spice stands and various souvenirs like: purses, notebooks and postcards.

85% of Italy’s bottled cork comes from the northwestern region of the Gallura.

June cork by Jennifer Avventura

Cork oak is first harvested when the tree reaches the age of 25-30 years and then harvested every 10 years after. The lifespan of a cork oak 150 years.

Have you checked your cork lately?

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An ode to the island of Sardinia

Jennifer Avventura Sardinia 2012

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen your face, twenty-one months precisely. I can only imagine your sun-kissed shadows, the way the wind whips in the cold winter months, the sound of your animals going out to pasture and the lingering sensation of a well aged mirto sipped between my lips. For one day soon, I shall return to your green pastures, and help seed our own garden, made from love.

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The Case of the Mysterious Canadian Ensign Lost & Found in Sardinia

Do you know the owner of this ensign that washed up on the shore of Sardinia?

My Sardinian Life

In life, I believe everything happens for a reason.

Why did a brand new, ensign of Canada land in my hands yesterday morning? Coincidence? Fate? A message in a bottle ensign? Or just the sweet generosity of the man who found it?

Our conversation went something like this:

The Italian Version

Sweet ManBoungirono. Ho trovato una bandiera canadese e pensato a te, ti piace?
Me – Oh, buongiorno. Ma, hai trovato una bandiera canadese? Dove?
Sweet ManIn Costa Paradiso. Qualcuno l’ha buttato via.
Me – Perché qualcuno dovrebbe buttarlo fuori? Non e giusto.
Sweet ManNon lo so, ma vuoi?
Me – Ma, certo. Grazie.
Sweet ManIo te lo darò a te ora.
Me – Sei molto gentile. Grazie.

English Version

Sweet ManGood Morning. I found a Canadian flag and thought of you. Would you like it?

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The Descent of the Candle Bearers | I Candelieri 2012

The second biggest festival in Sardinia is about to kick off tomorrow night in Sassari, I Candelieri. Will you be there? I went in 2012, the following post is my awesome experience there. I hope you have fun too!

My Sardinian Life

Sassari– August 14th, 2012 – The 2nd largest festival in Sardinia owes its name to the large ‘candlesticks’ which men parade though-out town for a six-hour parade of strength, endurance, song and dance.

I Candelieri was born around 1500, a vow to the Virgin Mary; and to give thanks to the survival of three plagues during the 1600’s, which killed thousands of people on the island of Sardinia.

I Candelieri – The Descent of the Candle Bearers is a festival which embodies the spirit and traditions of Sassari. Its origins date back to the Middle Ages, when Sassari, under Pisan domination, adopted a modified version of the Pisan tradition of an offering, similar to a large wooden wax-covered altarpiece to the Madonna on the eve of the Assumption.

10 candlesticks with 8 men per candle parade throughout the town to the beat of drums, clapping and chanting in local…

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