Cortes Apertas is an open house, held yearly in several towns and cities in the deep, vast tremendous centre of Sardinia – Barbagia. It is a colourful festival run by the locals of each town; they open their doors to the wonders of their beautiful, simple life, far away from wi-fi and reality tv. They show you how to make long pasta and pasta with your thumb and they ask if you’d like to take part, to try the ancient traditions that have been hidden away and kept secret for so many decades, all the while filling your cup with homemade wine, liqueur, and beer. Continue reading
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 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.
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
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.