Snapshots: The Art of Losing Oneself to Sardinia

The art of getting lost is an easy task if you don’t know where you are going and are not prepared to get lost. I don’t get lost as much as I used to, like that time in Dublin, Copenhagen, Australia or even Brasil. The art of losing oneself in Sardinia is spectacular, mind-boggling and a full frontal attack on all human senses. I often lose myself to the spectacular panorama, the rising sun or the setting full-moon, the endless crashing of waves and even in a plate of traditional gnocchi Sardi topped with aged pecorino cheese and a glass or two of cannonau (Sardinia’s earthy, red wine).

What I don’t do, ever, is get lost in a maze like the photo below.
jennifer-avventura-my-sardinian-life-2016

I prefer to walk on the road often traveled, however, every once in awhile I like stray from the path to adventures unknown with my trusted Sardinian sidekick showing me the way.

Go on and get lost, just be sure to come back and tell me all about it.

Which road would you prefer to walk on?

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Snapshots: Climbing common roads at Castlesardo

A simple snapshot of one of the most romantic towns I’ve found in Sardinia.

This is Castlesardo.

castlesardo-by-jennifer-avventura-2016-my-sardinian-life

Go ahead and explore her ancient alleys and mythologies. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Inside Sardinia: Valle della Luna

Valle della Luna –  a mecca in the 60’s and known all over Sardinia as a hippie hangout, is one of the most surreal and controversial places I have ever seen. A vast valley in the north of Sardinia made up of colossal granite formations and where seven different valleys carry you to the sea or deep into the crevasses of Sardinia’s interior.

It’s surreal in the sense of being on a film set, it doesn’t feel real. The massive formations of granite take on shapes and faces, bringing alive the valley and its ghosts. Surreal because you are instantly transported to another absurd, panoramic view that leaves one in awe, in awe of earth and life.

valle-della-luna-by-jennifer-avventura-my-sardinian-life-2016

Controversial because of the people who live deep within Valle della Luna’s grottos and mountainous terrains, people who live freely, people who still adopt the same principles and lifestyles of those famous hippies of the 60’s. Controversial because some people want to stop that lifestyle.

Valle della Luna, one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen and I’m eager to discover her seven hidden valleys.

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Fall in Love with Traditional Shoes from Oliena, Sardinia

Too much time was spent in awe and looking up of all things Oliena, at this years Autunno in Barbagia – Cortes Apertas 2016, that when I did look down, I found these intricately sewn, traditional shoes.

cortes-apertas-by-jennifer-avventura-2016-autunno-in-barbagia

Now if I could only find them in my size.

Do you ever take the time to “look down” while on vacation?

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Handcrafted Gifts from Oliena, Sardinia

The thing that sticks with me the most from my weekend getaway to Oliena are the people. In every cortes (home) we entered, we were greeted with humble welcomes and gracious smiles. Each and every artist was eager to explain his or her handcrafted goods. I popped into cortes Sa Mea and was warmly greeted by Angelo. I was drawn to the traditional necklaces he had placed on an old tree. I picked up a necklace and a bell rang out, I must have looked surprised as Angelo quickly came over to offer the background to the necklace I eventually purchased.

cortes-apertas-autunno-in-barbagia-2016-by-jennifer-avventura

The necklace is worn by women who are pregnant. The bell bounces on the woman’s stomach, ringing out soft chimes for the developing baby to hear, supposedly calming the baby and calling out to the angels for protection.

Even though I have no intention of becoming pregnant, I was still drawn to the necklace, its sound and sway, so I bought it. I peeked around the small shop and noticed a yellow face in the shape of the island of Sardinia. I love yellow, I love Sardinia and I love handcrafted goods, so another little gift in the bag.

If you’re interested to know more about this artist:

Sa Mea – Creazioni Artistiche
Angelo Brundu
(349) 880-2126
angelottos@tiscali.it

Do you like to buy traditional gifts from the country you visit?

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Inside Sardinia: The People of Cortes Apertas at Oliena

From early September to the beginning of December small towns throughout the Barbagia region of Sardinia open their doors for tourists and locals alike. It’s a refreshing time to wander ancient alleys and discover a Sardinia from hundreds of years ago while sampling the local flavours of wine, beer, bread, sweets, suckling pig, wild boar gnocchi and so much more! Here are just a few of the warm, generous people we met during our adventure to Oliena for Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia 2016.

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It is here at the foot of the Supramonte mountain where you can immerse yourself in a world of historical flavours, ancient traditions, and spectacular panoramic views of neighbouring towns and mountain ranges so vast, wild and spectacular that it leaves your mind and soul spinning.

A huge thank-you to the people of Oliena, who put on a spectacular event, who opened their hearts, homes and traditions to the world and who collectively put a smile on thousands of people’s faces, including mine. The memories will last a lifetime. Grazie mille.

Have you gone to any Cortes Apertas – Autunno in Barbagia? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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Snapshot: Rose-Coloured Glasses

Reminiscing of August past, through rose-coloured glasses, in all her splendid glory, she lays waiting for me. Sardinia.

My Sardinian Life Jennifer Avventura 2016

Where did you spend your summer holidays?

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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.

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

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