Inside the heart of Sardinia – Toneri, Tonara

Tonara by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian LifeI caught the bus early Saturday morning to meet up with a friend in Sassari. We filled the car with an expensive tank of gas and headed south down SS131 towards the elusive province of Barbagia in the heart of Sardinia. We headed to an ‘open-house’ in the ancient neighbourhood of Toneri, Tonara in the province of Nuoro.

It is here, in the heart of Sardinia, where you can immerse yourself in a world of historical flavours, ancient traditions, narrow alleyways and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It’s also here where they make the world-famous torrone but I’m saving that juicy, delicious bit for another post.

Welcome to Autunno in Barbagia

From early September to the beginning of December small towns throughout Barbagia 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. Sampling the local flavours of wine, beer, bread, pizza and the famous torrone (a nought bar made of honey and almonds,) we slowly made our way around this fascinating town.

Streets of Toneri

The homes we visited spoke of hard times past, family gatherings and a mysterious history held deep within the souls of Toneri. The following photo depicts a woman wearing the traditional dress from Toneri.

Toneri, Tonara by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (2)

Food was heavily relied upon by farmers who produced: fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat. For a small town in the heart of Sardinia, the people of Toneri certainly had their bellies full and content.

Toneri, Tonara by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (3)

The Apothecary

A look inside the kitchen of Toneri, Tonara

The inside of the homes were modestly furnished with just the basics: bed, table and chairs, a locally made tapestry of fine detail and a lot of love. Love is the one thing I noticed on my trip to Tonara; the streets, homes and souls of the Tonarei shine with lasting affection. You can see it in every detail from each dress and smile.

Nestled to the right of the bed is a simple setting to say daily prayers.

The chair for prayer by Jennifer Avventura

Every town in Sardinia has a distinct colour and design for the traditional dress worn by the men and women. Each dress was hand stitched with patience, care and love.

We finished the day with two glasses of strong, locally made wine; accosted by one of the eager locals and stuffed our faces with freshly made torrone – that was still warm. Oh … the delicious mouth-watering sensation.

Stay tuned for my post on – Torrone from Tonara. A locally made sweet from the heart of Sardinia.

Visit the following website to find more towns in the centre of Sardinia where you can taste the flavours that only the heart can offer. Autunno in Barbagia is a must-see and I can’t believe it took me almost six years to get there. I will not wait another six years to return, thank you Tonara you made me fall in love, again.

  • © My Sardinian Life/Jennifer Avventura. All rights reserved 2010-2018. All pictures, unless otherwise stated, are the property of My Sardinian Life. Do not use without written permission.

31 thoughts on “Inside the heart of Sardinia – Toneri, Tonara

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  3. I’m old enough to remember that simple and yet rewording life. I know how lucky I am to have lived in those times….That’s the beauty of Sardinia: a mixture of old and new.

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  7. Quanti ricordi!!! Ho vissuto per un periodo nella parte alta di Tonara (io sono di Bitti). Avevo una casa con terrazzo, cortile ect. dall’alto vedevo il paesaggio stupendo che solo madre natura puo’ offrire. Nelle strade il rumore dei telai e tanti artisti di ogni parte del mondo che nel periodo avevano scoperto la Barbagia di Tonara….

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  9. I was going to say the simple life, Jenn, but in fact it takes a lot of work to maintain. Wonderful that there are still places that do. It looks beautiful 🙂

    • Thanks, Jo. When writing this article all I could think of writing was ‘the simple life’ but really, life you’ve said it takes a lot of work to maintain. Maybe we think of it as the ‘simple life’ because technology hadn’t developed. 😉

  10. Jennifer
    What can I say, another fascinating and enchanting tour for all of us to see. You are just too good at this! I noticed in one of the photos, that one of the large platters on the top right is the same pattern and color that was my father’s, that I am blessed to own. The rooms were just romantic with such great lighting. Makes you want to go there as soon as one can! I have been noting all of these fabulous places for our next trip! I thought my cousins homes were just a delight as was the very old town of Anela. Sardegna is just a hidden jewel and you my very talented friend are giving us a great view of it! Thank you, Thank you! I just love, love, love Torrone!!!!! When we were there in Bono at a street market a man was selling his very freshly made Torrone!!!!! Amazing! Can’t wait for the next blog! Have a beautiful day! May God Bless you and your talent!

    The Sard/American

  11. Have you had the chocolate torrone yet? I bought some the other day. Love this time of year with the cortas apertas.especially ‘Mamoiadas and Orgosolo, and of Course Bitti. I try to go to as many as i can, have thousands of photos, makes me happy, especially when there are the tenores and the coro…you are right tho, gas is costly! And its not always fun to drive home after midnight in the nebbia…

    • Ciao Janice. I haven’t tried the chocolate torrone, yet. But I have tired the torrone with mirto. I prefer the original torrone with honey & nuts. This was the first time I went to a cortas apertas and I was pleasantly surprised. I will be visiting more that’s for sure.

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