A heavy price tag for Sardinian Gold – San Giuliano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A heavy price tag for Sardinian Gold – San Giuliano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I found an out-of-the-way Italian food import store the other day, and decided to check it out as I was craving flavours from the Med. The prices are very similar to the prices in Sardinia, Italy and I’m aware that on most products we are also paying an import fee.

Colour me surprised when I found my all-time favourite Sardinian extra virgin olive oil.

San Giuliano Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy

I’m biased; I just can’t get enough of San Giuliano’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and when the time is right, I will pay those hefty import fees for something I so admire. It makes my mouth water and heart sing. It’s the perfect complement to any dish and heck yeah, it’s made in Sardinia.

Have you tried this delicious olive oil?

My secret love affair with Sardinia’s red wines

My secret love affair with Sardinia’s red wines

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:

Jennifer Avventura cannonau

Left:

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!

Center:

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.

Right:

Cannonau di Sardegna 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia’s most popular variety is this sensuous full-bodied wine. Some say the Cannonau grape 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.

My favourites:

Have you sampled this fine wine from Sardinia? Can you find this variety in your local wine shop?

Why you should visit Capo Caccia {Sardinia}

Another great post via Girl in Florence about visiting Capo Caccia, Sardinia.

Girl in Florence

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Let’s get lost in the mysterious Capo Caccia – a few kilometers north of Alghero with underground caves discovered in the 1700’s by local fisherman. The most famous cave being the Grotta di Nettuno or ‘Neptune’s Grotto’ which is only reachable by boat or by the treacherous 645 Escala del Cabirol {goat’s steps} staircase carved into the rocks in the 1950’s.

On our recent getaway to Sardinia this was pretty much top on our list of must-sees along with Stintino and La Pelosa beach about an hour to an hour and a half away from Alghero. Though taking the boat seemed enticing, we hopped in our rented Fiat 500 and drove up to the cliffs to see what Neptune had to offer. The drive up is incredibly beautiful, we parked on the side of the road and soaked in the amazing view of the sea and surrounding cove.

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Why you should visit Alghero, Sardinia

A fabulous post on why you should visit Alghero, Sardinia by one of my favourite bloggers in Italy.

Girl in Florence

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What can I say about the beautiful Italian island town of Alghero? I will admit, upon walking around at first sight – we didn’t feel like we were in Italy. It almost felt like a mish-mash of Spain, Italy and Morocco. Colorful facades, an almost derelict elegance – all complete with beautiful sea views from any given angle. I instantly loved this ancient fishing town that is only a 40 minute Ryanair flight from Pisa.

This town has a Catalonian feel – not by coincidence of course, it was taken over by the House of Aragon in the 1300’s to be renamed ‘Barcelonetta’. It remained under their control until the 1700’s when the powerful Italian Savoy family took over. Fortified walls line the sea along with huge catapults located at various corners to scare away invaders from the sea. The owner of the B&B we stayed at told us that…

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How to Arrive in Sunny Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, and has three international airports which service major cities in Italy and many other European destinations like: Spain, England, Ireland and Germany.

International Airports in Sardinia, Italy

  1. Alghero Airport (AHO)
  2. Oblia Airport (OLB)
  3. Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG)

Airlines with direct routes to Sardinia from Europe:

  1. Meridiana Fly – is based in Olbia, Sardinia. Meridiana connects the traveler to major cities in Italy, Germany, Spain, England, France and Russia.
  2. EasyJet is a British airline with its headquarters at the London Luton Airport. EasyJet services Sardinia with Gatwick-Olbia and Stansted-Cagliari flights.
  3. Ryanair is Europe’s leading discount airline. Daily flights from all over Europe to Alghero and Cagliari.
  4. Alitalia is based in Fiumicino, Italy and operates at Rome’s major international airport Fiumicino (FCO). Alitalia connects to many major large cities around the world. Alitalia connects the traveler, daily to Sardinia through: Olbia, Alghero and Cagliari.
  5. SmartWings is another low cost airline based out of Prague. They have direct flights from Prague to all three main airports in Sardinia.
  6. British Airways offers charter flights in collaboration with Sardatur Holidays from London Heathrow/Manchester to Olbia/Cagliari.

By Sea:

  1. Moby Lines offers daily voyages from these Italian mainland ports: Livorno, Piombino, Genova, Civitavecchia, Bonifacio to Olbia, Santa Teresa di Gallura, and Porto Torres.
  2. Tirrenia offers daily ferries between mainland ports in Italy and Sardinia. Routes include: Porto Torres-Genova, Cagliari-Palmero, Cagliari-Napoli, Oblia-Civitavecchia, Oblia-Genova, Arbatax-Genova and Arbatax-Civitavecchia and many more!
  3. Corsica Ferries offers crossings from Santa Teresa di Gallura to Bonifacio and Olbia to Livorno.

Safe and Happy Travels.

*Please note: during the off-season months some routes and timetables may change. Please check with your carrier of choice for further details.

How will you arrive on this magnificent island in the Mediterranean?

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