A Coastal Walk at Porto Faro, Sardinia, Italy

A Coastal Walk at Porto Faro, Sardinia, Italy

When time permits, and when the weather is just right (like a strong mistral blowing through) I like to take long coastal walks to discover hidden coves, islets and even old lighthouses like at Porto Faro, Palau, Sardinia, Italy. This coastal walk is unlike any I’ve ever done, with its craggy coastline and many, many hidden and delicious beaches to be discovered. Continue reading

Super Yacht A and Serving the Owners Dinner

Super Yacht A and Serving the Owners Dinner

It was a normal day at the office when Super yacht A pulled into the harbour. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stood in awe of her massive size, girth, and colour. We all looked at each other with quizzical glares wondering who it could be and why would they anchor right in front of our restaurant. We were just setting up the garden restaurant for the evening when a flashy car pulled into the driveway and out stepped two impeccably dressed sailors, sky blue pants, and crisp white dress shirts. They asked to speak to management and we happily obliged. It was the captain of super-yacht A and his first mate, they wanted a tour of the restaurant to suss out the best table for their billionaire boss. Continue reading

A place like no other – Palau, Sardinia, Italy

Palau, Sardinia is truly a place like no other. It sits at the northern tip of the island and hosts 25km of contrasting coastlines and 21 turquoise beaches to dip your toes into. There are even several Blue Flag beaches which Palau is extremely proud of:

  • La Sciumara, Palau
  • Foce Fiume Liscia, Palau
  • Palau Vecchio, Palau

It’s a stunning windswept area full of natural rock formations, a marina, and unbelievable delicious local restaurants.

I’ve simply fallen in love, all over again. Sardinia’s unspoiled raw natural beauty keeps me in awe and wanting more. Continue reading

Hunting Wild Asparagus at Sardinia, Italy

Hunting Wild Asparagus at Sardinia, Italy

During my recent stay back in Canada, I found myself reminiscing about the long walks, deep within the folds of Sardinia’s glorious green mountains where I learned to hunt wild asparagus. It’s a prickly, skinny, long and utterly wild plant, and more often than not I was left with razor-sharp cuts on my arms and hands. There was even this time I fell into the base of the asparagus plant, and well, that didn’t go to good. Cuts, scrapes, and blood up and down both legs, on the palm of my hands and even my right elbow, got into the fight, but that didn’t stop me from my yearning to sample the earth’s wild delights. Continue reading

Snapshots: Reflections of Summer in Sardinia

Snapshots: Reflections of Summer in Sardinia

It seems that winter has eluded us, at least for the last four days it has, where we’ve had temperatures upwards of 19 degrees Celsius and we’re still in the month of February. After a harsh, wet, gray and snowy winter it is invigorating to see the bright blue skies and the warm, luminous sun that casts its brilliant rays on my pale Canadian skin. These are my reflections of summer in Sardinia and it’s times like these that I dream of Continue reading

Inside Sardinia: A Traditional Cooking Method

Inside Sardinia: A Traditional Cooking Method

The first time I saw this method of cooking was some years ago in a small town, in the folds of a mountain in Sardinia, Italy. A  friend who lives a few mountains over had invited me for lunch, and when I arrived the first thing I noticed was the ancient red brick fireplace and clock. It had just snowed in Sardinia and it was cold, so I a found a spot right beside the fireplace to warm up. Upon closer inspection of the red-hot flames I saw slices of pancetta and pork chops sizzling away above the hot embers. The aroma, better than a barbecue and the taste impeccable. I’d never tasted meat so fresh and exquisite.

my-sardinian-life-by-jennifer-avventura-2017-2

Roasting meat in the middle of a living-room was a first for me, and I can’t wait to delve into this tradition yet again.

What is the strangest place you’ve seen meat being cooked?

Inside Sardinia: A Distorted Nature’s Poem

Inside Sardinia: A Distorted Nature’s Poem

Inside Sardinia: A distorted Nature’s poem …

jennifer-avventura-my-sardinian-life-2016

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.

Inside Sardinia: Cork from the Gallura

Inside Sardinia: Cork from the Gallura

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.

June cork by Jennifer Avventura

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.

Have you checked your cork lately?

Sardinia’s Blue Flag Beaches 2013

Sardinia’s Blue Flag Beaches 2013

As winter closes in around us, it’s good to keep in mind our next summer vacation destination, and here are seven reasons to make Sardinia, Italy your holiday destination in 2014!

This past year, Sardinia’s immaculate beaches were awarded with seven blue flags from the non-profit organization –  Blue Flag.

What is a Blue Flag?

2000px-Blue_Flag_Logo.svg“The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.”

Beaches are awarded the blue flag based on 32 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
  • All Blue flags are awarded for one season at a time.

Sardinia’s Seven Blue Flags 2013

  • Olbia-Tempio – La Maddalena Punta Tegge – Spalmatore
  • Olbia-Tempio – Palau Vecchio – Scimara
  • Olbia-Tempio – S. Teresa Gallura – La Rena Bianca
  • Oristano – Torre Grande
  • Sassari – Castelsardo – Ampurias
  • Tortolì – Lido di Orri, Lido di Crea
  • Quartu S. Elena – Poetto

I’ve only visited one blue flag beach and that was La Rena Bianca, and it was during an August heat wave; it was beautifully packed and spectacularly stunning.

La Rena Bianca on a hot August afternoon.

La Rena Bianca on a hot August afternoon.

My mission for summer 2014 is to visit this year’s list of winners. Should be a splendid beach season!

Here’s to 2014 Sardinia – wishing you success in collecting more blue flags.

Have you been to any of Sardinia’s Blue Flag Beaches?

Update: How you can help rebuild Sardinia, Italy in the wake of Cyclone Cleopatra

Update: How you can help rebuild Sardinia, Italy in the wake of Cyclone Cleopatra

On November 18th, 2013 a powerful cyclone crushed Sardinia killing 16 people. Nine days have passed since that dark day and islanders are still coming to terms with the loss of lives and damage to homes, roads, businesses and schools.

Schools are without chalk, paper, pens, books and hope. Makeshift schools have been set-up as the cyclone shattered the dreams and walls of young hopefuls.

Entire communities have stopped daily activities to help in the aftermath of this deadly cyclone. People from all walks of life have given the warm clothes off their back to wet and dreary survivors.

It will take years to rebuild Sardinia. Six months of rain crushed Sardinia in twenty-four hours causing landslides, mudslides and severe flooding. The most affected areas are in the Gallura and Olbia. Sixteen people are dead, including two children, about 2,300 people have lost their homes, forty-three people wounded, including three seriously, and one family is still desperately searching for their missing relative.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Share this message with your friends and family via the social media buttons at the bottom of this post. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have written me stating they have not even heard of the cyclone that hit Sardinia.
  • To make a monetary donation to the comune of Olbia follow the banking details: Account: n. 0540 – 070361388
    IBAN: IT72U 01015 84980 000070361388
    BIC/Swift Code: BPMOIT22XXX
    Reference: Comune di Olbia Emergenza Alluvione
  • Visit the following site SardSOS: Emergenza It’s a fabulous site, complete with map of affected areas, how to help and survivors stories.
  • 60 communites were hit by Cleopatra, to donate to other areas in Sardinia please visit Donazioni Alluvione Sardegna: Ecco come fare, tutti i Numeri e i Conti Correnti utili!  here you will find an entire list of bank details.
  • Visit the Red Cross Italy site for more information on how to donate.

***The above links are all in Italian, if you need help translating please let me know, I’d be more than happy to help.

There has been an abundance of solidarity between the islanders in the wake of this natural disaster, a solidarity so strong it can only be called Sardegna.

Sardinia needs your help, and the children need schools rebuilt.

Please donate.

BREAKING NEWS: A fire ripped though a laundromat in Olbia destroying the donated clothing for those displaced.

It’s time to make a difference, it’s time to make a change. Donate.

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