I grow flat along the red rocky earth
with only the wind to guide me.
My nutrients I steal from the sea
with only the wind to guide me.
I yearn to reach new heights
with only the wind to guide me.
I’ve learned to reach the mountain peak
with the wind holding my hand, beside me.
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.
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.
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.
Now if I could only find them in my size.
Do you ever take the time to “look down” while on vacation?
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 cortesSa 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like to buy traditional gifts from the country you visit?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eleven months ago I left my heart and soul in Sardinia, and my mind has never forgiven me. There are times I scroll through thousands of photographs just to see if I can still remember her, to see if I can remember her salt water smell, or the panorama from hundreds of meters above the sea. There are times when my heart aches so deeply for her that it bleeds memories of mirto, running from herded cows on the street, learning dialect, endless blue skies and sampling any of the fabulous dishes her country people offer.
Petrified Forest of Carrucana, Martis, Sardinia
It’s never good-bye, it’s I’ll see you later. And I will.
I’m not going to lie. I love Cannonau so much that it runs through my veins like blood. Heck, even Dr. Oz spoke about the health benefits of the Cannonau variety on his show – stating that if you drink Cannonau you could live to 100 years of age! I must admit, the amount of Cannonau I’ve drunk in the last week will skyrocket me to 200 years of age!
Cannonau grape varieties are the most common variety found on the island. All Cannonau must be made with 90% Cannonau grapes to be certified with the Cannonau name. Cannonau is aged in oak barrels for one year before gracing tables with its strong elegance.
Here are three of my favourite Sardinian reds:
Cagnulari 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. This is a rare grape type grown in the north-western part of Sardinia and is used to produce a sexy, full-bodied red wine. This variety is seldom found outside of Sardinia and considered a regional speciality. Be sure to try it!
Terre Rare 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. This grape variety was introduced to Sardinia by Provence or eastern Spain. Carignano del Sulcis vines grow abundantly in the south-west corner of Sardinia.
Cannonau di Sardegna 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia’s most popular variety is this sensuous full-bodied wine. Some say the Cannonaugrape variety was introduced by the Spaniards in the 1400′s during Spanish rule. Others argue that Cannonau is indigenous to Sardinia. It doesn’t matter who is right in this battle, as one thing remains clear: Cannonau is one spectacular wine not to be missed on the island of Sardinia.