Snapshots: On Life at Palau, Sardinia

Snapshots: On Life at Palau, Sardinia

So what, I’m in love with Palau. Her picturesque, pristine panorama leaves me breathless and wanting more. I could, and I have sat in awe for hours, taking in the stunning La Maddelena and its archipelago: Isola Spargi, Isola Budelli, Isola Caprera, Isola Razzoli, Isola Santa Maria, Isola San Stefano and much more small islets that it makes me realize Continue reading

Playing Under the Sea at Palau

Playing Under the Sea at Palau

Last year, I was given a super-duper under water camera, and I’ve had a ton of fun playing under the sea at Palau, Sardinia, Italy. Sometimes there’s nothing to capture but turquoise water, waves, and wet luscious sand, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the many faucets of this new camera. 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

Top 14 Sporting Adventures that Defy Gravity at Sardinia, Italy

Top 14 Sporting Adventures that Defy Gravity at Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia, Italy is an enchanting island and sanctuary for adventure and nature explorers and it’s the ideal place to test boundaries and defy gravity in a multitude of exciting ways. The island is blessed with a 1800km jagged coastline, pristine white sandy beaches and a commanding rugged interior that begs the visitor to climb, play, trek and push limits. There are diverse gravity defying adventures that will suit any type of thrill seeker from sunset paragliding in spiritual and ancient places, to free diving at one of Sardinia’s most magical and controversial islands. For those that want to slowly reconnect with nature and find balance within the movement, there’s a variety of diverse yoga activities to rejuvenate awareness, physique, and consciousness. Come and play with gravity to discover a hidden Sardinia witnessed by few. Continue reading

Cost of Living 2013 – Sardinia, Italy

Cost of Living 2013 – Sardinia, Italy

Back by popular demand and another year older … the 2013 Cost of Living Report on Sardinia, Italy. Covering everyday items from tampons to fresh pecorino cheese. This year’s report is jam-packed with daily goodies from my shopping cart. I hope you enjoy. 

Cost of Living – Sardinia, Italy 2013

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

  • 1 liter of gas – €1.65 in Sassari – €1.85  in My Town.
  • Electricity – every other month this bill arrives. This year we spent €307.06 + the post office fee of €1.30 x 6 = 7.80 for a grand total of €314.86. Last year we spent the first five months working in Cayman Islands; if we would have been here during those first months of deep Mediterranean cold our electric bill would have been a few hundred euro more!
  • Internet – there are many plans out there and settled on the simplest, paying €15 a month for 10 hours of internet a day.
  • Cellphone – A basic cell phone which cost €18.99 on sale and spend about €10 a month for the credit.
  • Water – in the six years I’ve lived here not one water bill has arrived. We’ve asked, searched and done everything in our power to find out, only to come up empty-handed. I’m sure the water bill will arrive one day, very soon and will guesstimate €3500. word!
  • Eating Out – Two pizzas in the local pizza joint start at €5,00 – €12,00. Then you have your cover charge or coperto which is €2,50 per person (every restaurant has this cover charge, consider it your tip to the restaurant)One liter of wine €8,00. Dessert €4,00 – €10,00. Bottled water €2,00. Coffee €2,00. Mirto, Sambuca or Limoncello €4,00. A grand total for two people: €47,00!
  • Rent – by the sea per month €700 – €2000+. Interior, in the mountains or several kilometers away from the water, per month €300 – €600.

The Daily Groceries

These prices will vary from town to town across Italy – here I’ve taken the median price from all three supermarkets here in town. And just to give you an example of how much the price differs from supermarket to supermarket, take a look at this:

4 Activia Yogurt in supermarket A sells for €3.39. In supermarket B (which is only a stones throw from supermarket A) the same yogurt sells for €2.89. That’s a whopping .50¢ difference for the same product!

I know that in Sassari 8 Activia yogurt, on sale for … €3.48! HOLLA!

At the Supermarket

  • Local yogurt .99¢ for two
  • 1 liter of milk .79¢ – €1.77
  • 6 eggs €1.15
  • 300 grams locally baked bread .95¢
  • 500 grams major brand pasta .83¢ and on sale .64¢
  • 500 grams local pasta .68¢ and on sale .43¢
  • 1 kg potatoes €2.50
  • 5 large bananas €2.39
  • 6 two liter bottle of water €1.80
  • 16 regular maxi pads €2.39
  • 8 Tampons €3.29
  • Major brand toothpaste €2.39 – €3.29
  • Detergent for clothes €2.50 – €8.99
  • Dish soap .99¢
  • Diapers €4.99 to €7.29 (small pack)
  • 1000 grams of Nutella €6.99. SCORE!

At the butcher – La Macelleria

  • 5 thinly sliced chicken breast €5.41
  • 400 grams minced beef €3.85
  • 500 grams local salsicca €5.48
  • 1/4 local pecorino cheese €4.23

That wraps up this year’s report, and I’d like to close it with a comment from a follower, which has left me, uh, beautifully speechless. I applaud his fabulous effort and courage on leaving a comment in English, and am humbled by his simple honesty.

If you want to live in Sardinia: you want to live with nature, with only the money to stay alive and to stay happy. You will have to give up a lot, but you will be rewarded by the beauty of our land, and our people. “

You can read the post he was referring to here.

How does the cost of living in Sardinia compare to where you live?

*please feel free to add your cost of living links in the comment section below.

Related articles:

Cost of Living 2012 | Sardinia, Italy
The cost of going out – Moscow, Russia via Home & Away

Expat Speaks: The Italian postal system

Expat Speaks: The Italian postal system

At the beginning of September I was commissioned by a book publisher from England to write a detailed 38 hotel listing for Sardinia, Italy. I was over the moon at being asked by such a global brand that I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Heck, I even did the happy dance all over the house for a few days as this project was my first real Freelance job, and I was ecstatic!! I’d like to thank The Travelbunny for recommending me. Holla Girl! Grazie.

Source: Wikimedia

I finished the job and handed in the project two days before the scheduled due date. It was imperative that my contract reach London in time, to get paid. I printed two identical contracts, signed both on the dotted line as asked, and headed to the Italian post office in my town. I inquired about a courier service and she told me the price –  €35. I nearly had a coronary. Later, I asked in an Italian expat group – what the mainlanders pay for courier service to England and I was informed –  €15. A staggering difference.

I asked the postal worker if there was a cheaper, still secure method to send these ever important documents to England, and she told me that I could send the documents via a Raccomandata Internazionale – an International registered letter, which I could follow with the tracking number on the receipt. The cost of the raccomandata was €7.00. A huge difference in price, and one that I could easily afford. I filled out the necessary documents and waited, and waited and waited.  Continue reading

Trailing for answers – The Chemtrail Theory

Chemtrails Sardinia, Italy by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (4)There are those that believe the world is flat and then, there are those who believe the world is round. The same applies to the conspiracy theory of those white fluffy lines left in the sky by aircraft spraying chemical or biological agents. Some believers say these chemicals could be any one of the following: barium, aluminum salts, thorium and/or silicon carbide. These are chemtrails or chemical trails.

Continue reading

Fruit and fig porn from the farms of Sardinia, Italy

“The type of fig leaf which each culture employs to cover its social taboos offers a twofold description of its morality. It reveals that certain unacknowledged behavior exists and it suggests the form that such behavior takes.” Freda Adler

The edible fig is one of the first plants cultivated by humans, and was a huge food source for the Romans who used figs to fatten geese for the production of foie gras. Ever wonder why your foie gras has a slight pink-ish colour to it?

Fig leaves have for centuries been used to cover the genitals of nude figures in paintings and sculptures as a protector of modesty, and I find this contradictory as the fig has to be the most sexy, erotic fruit I have ever laid eyes on. There is no modesty in a ripe, red fig is there? This is probably why I happened upon this interesting bit of information while searching for quotes on figs: God Hates Figs, he also talked about them a lot in the Bible.

Figs can be eaten dried or fresh, but keep in mind that once picked the fig will not last long. It’s better to sit under and ancient fig tree and eat them as they fall from the tree, like we do in Sardinia. High in fiber and calcium figs are known for having a laxative effect on the body – indulge a little, enjoy a lot.

Figs and other fruit

Figs and other fruit by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life 2013

This fruit was grown and purchased from a friends farm. I love summer and all the delicious bounty it brings forth every year.

What’s your favourite summer fruit?

  • © 2010-2013 Jennifer Avventura All rights reserved.

Keeping Calm with Sardinian Figs

It’s that wonderful juicy time of year again – Fig season! Who needs diamonds when Hub returns home with crates like this? Not I dear reader, not I. Just remember to Keep Calm and Eat Sardinian Figs.

by Jennifer Avventura

How do you dig your fig?

31 Days as a Beach Bar Waitress – Sardinia, Italy

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life Expat WaitressThe long hot hours of work are finally over and I’m looking forward to catching up on lost sleep. Everyday I worked 12pm – 9pm without a day off, as that’s how the cookie crumbles in Sardinia. At times, it was difficult to keep the smile on my face and more often than not I wanted to sucker punch a few guests in the face for stupid remarks. Overall, it was a beautiful whirlwind working at the lovely beach bar Mistral Bar at La Marinedda beach. I met some fantastic people who quickly became friends and I saw 31 stunning sunsets worthy of a painted picture.

Here is a little list of what I endured in the 31 days as a Beach Bar Waitress

  • “Do you live here?” Me: No, I fly in from Canada every morning. Ryanair now offers a direct flight from Alghero to Niagara Falls.
  • “Where are you from?” Me: You have to guess. Guest: Finland, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, England, Bulgaria, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, America … (they never, ever guess Canada).
  • “Why are you here?” Me: I hit the love jackpot.
  • “Wow, what sport do you do? You’re very fit.” Me: I serve drinks all day to idiots like you.
  • “Where are you from?” Me: I’m from Canada. Guest: Oh, you sound American.
  • “Excuse me? But why is the beach half of what it was last year? Did the sea eat the beach?” Me: (mouth hanging open) Uh, yeah, the sea was very hungry this year.
  • A woman walks into a beach bar full of guests eating lunch. She stands naked but for the small g-string attached to her curvy hips and she just stands there… her fake mountainous cleavage obscuring the view of the diners.
  • Three men from Napoli sit down and ask for three beers. When they have finished the first round I ask if they’d like a second and this is the response “well, we can’t eat the bottles now can we?” I quickly retreated behind the bar and popped open three fresh beers and brought them to the table when I’m greeted with “Ma che cazzo – chi ha ordinato questo? What the fuck – who ordered this?”
  • Two couples come in to eat and drink on the busiest day of the month – the Frozen Open Surf contest. They are polite, happy and after three hours one of the men ask for the check. When I deliver the check to the person who asked I am greeted with anger and really, really bad swear words from the other man. He told me that I should have given the check to him, and I’m an idiot for not knowing that. I told him “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t read the minds of raging lunatics.”
  • My Mizuno running shoes kept a lot of the customers talking for 31 days.Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (9) A four-year old girl said “Your shoes are ugly. They are not beach shoes.” People would obviously stare at my running shoes and make all sorts of comments. I had an argument with a marathoner (N.B. never get into a conversation about running with a multiple time marathoner … it will never end) about me being lazy and not training for a marathon even though I told him I have zero interest in running marathons.
  • I cleaned up enough pee on the bar floor to last me a lifetime. Parents … I know it’s a beach but please put a diaper on it when entering a bar.
  • I learned that if you do your job efficiently that Italians do know how to tip.
  • I saw 31 stunning Sardinian sunsets, surfers and a popular Italian minister.

For this year it’s over, and it seems so is summer; I watch a storm roll in over the mountains of the Gallura and rest my weary waitress head to the table and dream of Mom’s chicken noodle soup.

What did you do that’s spectacular this summer?

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