A Taste of Tavolara

It’s hard to imagine an island of 5 square kilometers becoming a kingdom on the whim of a royal visitor, yet that’s exactly what happened to tiny Tavolara, off the east coast of Sardinia. When King Charles Albert of Sardinia visited Tavolara in 1836, he bestowed independent royal status upon it and decreed that resident…

Sardinian Free Range Pork

Driving from Cagliari to Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda gives the option of two main routes: one zig-zags you up the island on an efficient, wide autostrada (the SS131); the other snakes precariously around the sheer cliff faces of the east (the SS125). Never again do I want to travel the second way. At various junctures along this serpentine route signs…

Bar Gelateria Del Molo, Porto Rotondo, Sardinia

Porto Rotondo is a place of fantasy: an artificial port and marina filled with luxe and super-boats. The one below is charming instead of the usual gin palace that’s the size of a house on water. The sad thing is that these super-vessels only get used for a few weeks each summer. The rest of the…

Su Nuraghe, Sardinia

Picture the scene: it’s late morning at Sardinia’s Cagliari Elmas airport. Monsieur and I have been awake since dawn but haven’t had time for breakfast. The low-cost airline has high-cost sandwiches which we avoid, mostly because they already look curled and cardboardy, and the coffee looks like something that might spurt out of a long-disused farmhouse tap. Monsieur…

Porto Rotondo, Sardinia

In early May, the Sardinian summer season is slowly kicking off. The atmosphere’s halcyon, the sky cerulean, the waters clear and flowers exploding with colour everywhere you look, yet the tourist hordes have yet to land. It’s paradise.  One typically fine morning, Monsieur and I drove to Porto Rotondo, a village with impressive marina just south of the…

Eating the dream at Peter Pan Gelateria, Nuoro

Monsieur and I had been driving for most of the day, leaving Cagliari early so we could see some of Sardinia’s west coast and central areas before arriving in Porto Cervo. Our guidebooks recommended a break in Nuoro (also pronounced ‘Nugoro’ in Sardinian). One of the island’s literary greats, Grazia Deledda, was born and  lived there…

The Good, the Bad and the Tasty

It was a gloriously sunny Sunday in Sardinia and we were leaving town. Arrivederci, Cagliari! Monsieur and I would be in the car for the day, driving up to the Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, where we’d be spending the bulk of our week-long break. On the map, it looks as if you should be able to…

Tinnura, Sardinia – Where the walls don’t only have ears…

Sardinia is an island of secrets and quiet beauty, the most precious delights of which are likely to be tucked away from tour bus routes. Driving into the island’s hinterland on a warm May day, Monsieur and I rounded a bend on a country highway to discover one such unexpected treasure: the painted village of Tinnura. Tinnura’s church lies…

Sicily – Through Rose-Tinted Lenses

It’s official: I need a waterproof camera. When Monsieur and I were caught in a Sicilian deluge in the little town of Trapani, I couldn’t help myself; I kept on snapping. Even in the grey of the downpour, shooting Trapani’s buildings was worth getting a little wet. Or so I thought. Meanwhile, Monsieur’s camera stayed…