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Cagliari Cagliari Sassari Sassari Nuoro Nuoro Oristano Oristano

Sardegna is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Unlike other Mediterranean islands though, these inhabitants live in the island's mountains and not on the coast, in part due to the past when hiding from invaders that landed on the coast and to avoid the marshy coast that created the plague of malaria.

Therefore, Sardegna has two distinct cuisines: coastal and inland. The coastal cuisine was influenced by invaders, who brought their ways of preparing the bounty of seafood available, including lobsters, which are rare elsewhere in Italy.

Traditional Sardinian dishes are not seafood-based at all. Instead, they lean heavily on milk, cheese, roasted meat, and bread. Women typically cook the bread, while men cook meat (usually whole and often flavored with mint and myrtle) outdoors.

Sardinians learned their pasta-making skills from the Genoese. But the style of pasta, made with hard-wheat semolina, is most similar to southern pasta. Sardinians add a pinch of saffron to dough to make the local specialty, malloreddus. The cheese in Sardegna - particularly sheep's milk is among the best in Italy, but it rarely leaves the island. Figs, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts all grow well on the island and are the basis for many of the island's characteristically small, sweet pastries.

The Sardinians are probably unique among the world's island dwellers because their traditional cuisine is not based on seafood. Despite the fish-rich waters which surround them, they developed a cuisine that largely, but not entirely, ignores the sea. The reason for this is that the Sardinians are really mountain people, rather than island people. Native Sardinians live in the rugged interior and have traditionally applied themselves as shepherds, farmers and hunters. The coastal areas have been left to a series of invaders, beginning with the Phoenicians, followed by the Carthaginians, the Greeks and Romans, the Genoese and Pisans, the Spanish and modern Italians and finally, in this century, an army of tourists seeking the luxury resorts of the Costa Smeralda.

While coastal towns changed rulers, the natives were happy to stick to the interior, raising remarkable herds of pigs, goats and sheep and large crops of wheat. The results of their labors are a great tradition of roasted meats and game and some very interesting types of pasta. The favored method of roasting requires use of a whole animal. If you are roasting something as large as a pig or a goat, this will involve some big, often outdoor equipment or, as is the real preference on the island, digging a whole large enough to bury the beast with hot coals. The results are stupendous, but the effort is only worthwhile if you are planning to feed the entire village.  

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Information:
Abruzzo official site Regione Sardegna official site

Cagliari

 

Cagliari

Cagliari Sardegna ItalyCagliari is situated in the southern part of Sardinia, With the Mediterranean Sea on the south and on the east, it touches on the Provinces of Nuoro, Ogliastra and Oristano on the north, and by the Provinces of Carbonia-Iglesias and of Medio Campidano on the west.

It spreads out for 4.569 square kilometres (19% of Sardinian territory) and it comprises 71 communes including the city of Cagliari, which is the capital of the Province and of the entire Sardinian region.

As well as the rest of the island, the province of Cagliari presents a very heterogeneous territory: the variety of rocks is remarkable, as well as the minerals, the highlands, the caves and the coasts. The park borders with one of Italy’s widest beaches, the Poetto, which spreads out for eight kilometres, and it is the main beach of Cagliari.

Next to the capital there are also the Sette Fratelli – Monte Generis Regional Park, one of the most extended parks in the island and natural environment of the Sardinian deer, and the Sella del Diavolo’s promontory, as its name derives by the legend that Lucifer carved the profile of his saddle on the rock after being expelled from Paradise.

The eastern part of the Province is occupied by the subregion of Sarabus and Gerrei, subject to considerable works of drainage at the beginning of the Twentieth Century in order to eliminate malaria: it is a wild zone, but it is rich of typical villages.

What to taste What to taste:

• Ever common in Cagliari is the cold cuts and local salami, accompanied by the classic pecorino cheese and by pane frattau, that is to say carasau bread seasoned with tomato, olive oil and parmesan.
• In the coastal area appetizers of sea-based specialties, seafood such as crabs, shrimps and lobsters are also popular. Typical of the area of Cagliari is the burrida prepared with dogfish seasoned with nuts, olives and mushrooms. Among the first course dishes we mention the malloreddus (Sardinian gnocchi) with sausage and tomato sauce, the mazzamurru or soup of stale bread and sa fregula, small balls of pasta made by hand and toasted in the oven.
• The meat dishes that figure predominantly are roast or stewed lamb (seasoned with a sauce made from crushed dried tomatoes, garlic and olive oil) and roast pork (su porceddu), as well as dishes made with goat or game. Another typical dish is the cordula con piselli (cordula with peas), intestines of lamb fried in olive oil with garlic and parsley and then baked in a pot with the peas.
• The desserts are the pardulas (better known as "formaggelle") made of cheese and "ricotta", the bianchittus, done with egg whites and sugar, the Pan'e Saba (made with flour, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds and cinnamon) and amaretti.
• The local wines of the province of Cagliari are Nuragus, Malvasia, Cannonau, Campidano, while the Mastino is a typical liqueur.  

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• At the inner part of the province there is the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park, a rare example of ecosystem present in highly anthropized areas. It is one of the most important place in Europe for the extraordinary number of birds that find there a haunt: in the only pond of Molentargius, live 177 among the 330 species that form the family of Sardinian birds, more than a quarter of the more wider family of European ones. At certain times of the year they can exceed the 20.000 specimens. Among these, flamingos and herons.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• The Bastione di Saint Remy (Saint Remy’s Bastion), of medieval age.
• The Torri dell’Elefante e di S. Pancrazio (Elephant Tower and Saint Pancras Tower).
• The Saint Mary’s Cathedral, situated in the beautiful Piazza Palazzo (Palace Place), in which there is also the Palazzo Regio (Royal Palace).
• The Cittadella dei Musei (Citadel of Museums), formed by a wide central court with buildings all around in which there are the most important historical artistic collections in the city.
• The National Archaeological Museum, which is the most important in the world for the civilization of the nuraghi and that is also rich of Phoenician-Punic collections, the National Picture-Gallery, the Museo d’Arte siamese Stefano Cardu (Stefano Cardu Siamese Art Museum) and the Raccolta delle cere di Clemente Susini (Clemente Susini Waxworks Collection). Also outside the quarter of the Castle, Cagliari is rich of interesting places, such as the Amphitheatre and the Villa of Tigellio, of Roman age, the Necropolis of Tuvixeddu, with hundreds of tombs datable between the VI B.C. and the I A.D., the Grotta della Vipera (Viper’s cave) and the Basilica of Saint Saturnin, founded in the V-Vi century, which is an important document of the High Middle Ages. It is worth visiting as well the neighbourhood of Stampace, Marina and Villanova. The first was the neighbourhood of bourgeois and merchants, the second of fishermen and sailors, and the third of shepherds and peasants.
• Besides the city of Cagliari, the rest of the province is rich in beautiful natural parks like the aforementioned Poetto and the Sette Fratelli. It is also worth visiting the Museo etnografico “Il Ciclo della vita” (Ethnographic Museum “The cycle of life”) in Quartu Sant’Elena, which contains over than 5.000 finds that may be dated from the XIII to XX century showing the traditions of the Sardinian agricultural and pastoral society and propitiatory rituals associated with it.
• In the western part of the Province are to be reported, among others, the church of Saint Julian in Selargius, built between the XII and XIII century, the Tomba dei Giganti Is Concas (Tomb of the Giants Is Concas) and the Archaeological Park of Cuccuru Nuraxi, in Settimo San Pietro, which contains a structured nuraghe, partly destroyed but which contains a sacred well. And more, the Archaeological Park of Nora, situated in a small peninsula in the town of Pula, which contains the remains of some buildings typical of the Roman city, but also a rich and original trace of mosaics, among the most important of Sardinia and characterized by the almost exclusive use of white, black and ochre.

Events Events:

• There are many events and folkloristic ceremonies, including the famous Sagra di S. Efisio, a huge procession in traditional costumes which takes place on the first day of May in Cagliari attracting people from all over the island. Finally, the villages of the area of Serrabus are custodians of one of the most ancient Sardinian traditions: that of the players of launeddas, a music instrument of archaic origins, with three rods, used to accompany the many festivals and religious ceremonies in the area.  

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Sassari

 

Sassari

Sassari Sardegna ItalySassari is situated in the north western part of Sardinia. Overlooking the Sardinian Sea on the north and on the west, it is attached by the Provinces of Oristano and Nuoro on the south, and by the Province of Olbia-Tempio on the east.

It spreads out for 4.281 square kilometres (17,8% of Sardinian territory) and comprises 66 communes, included some of the most beautiful touristic resorts as: Castelsardo, Alghero e Stintino, besides the island of Asinara. In the province there is the only natural lake in Sardinia, the lake of Baratz, apart from the western part of the Coghinas artificial lake.

There is also one of the largest plains of Sardinia, the Nurra, a former malarial region drained during the Fascist era; and numerous beaches, which are distinguished in rocky and sandy.

In the inner part of the Province, however, is very important the territory of the Logudoro, characterized by a hilly and mountainous landscape, in which there is the third Sardinian centre most high on the sea level, Pattada, known for the production of craftmade knifes, sa Resolza. From 1600 to 1500 A. C. it has been developed in this area the civilization of Nuraghi, as in other parts of the island, and of which there are numerous remainings.

What to taste What to taste:

• The traditional dishes are la cavolata (cabbage soup with pork) and favata (beans cooked with bacon, sausage and spices).
• Other traditional dishes are the lamb cordula (juniper-flavoured lamb offal), fried squid, and cuttlefish cooked with tomatoes.
• The desserts include papassini (with nuts and raisins) and the sospiri di Ozieri (praline almond paste with honey, wrapped in a sugar and chocolate).
• Local wines are the Moscato Sorso-Sennari, as well as a great production of white, rosé and red wines in the area of Alghero, exported worldwide.

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• If you planning a holiday by the sea you have chosen the right place. There are the beaches of the Gulf of Asinara, like the Platamona beach or the beach of the Pelosa in Stintino, with very transparent waters, sheltered by the Isola Piana. Moreover, the beaches of Lido San Giovanni and of the Bombarde, in Alghero, the Balai beach in Porto Torres and that of Lu Bagnu, next to Castelsardo.
• Also in the area of the Asinara National Park it is possible to organize different types of excursions to discover the beauty of local flora and fauna, marine and terrestrial, including the characteristic albino donkey, symbol of the island. Guided tours are available in the park by foot (trekking), by bus, by train, by jeep, bicycle and horseback. And more, diving, boating and sailing, and fishing.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Fontana del Rosello (Rosello's Fountain), built in Late Renaissance style and characterized by statues representing the seasons plus a statue of San Gavino riding.
• To northwest of Porto Torres, almost on the end of the small peninsula that reaches the island of Asinara, there is the picturesque village of Stintino, a former fishing village and now popular seaside resort with golden beaches and crystalline sea.
• By continuing along the coast, we reach the beautiful town of Alghero, full of monuments. These include the ancient towers, that once surrounded the entire village and today are just seven (among which Torre de Sant Joan, the Torre de l'Esperò Reial, the Torre de Sant Jaume, the Torre de la Polvorera) the bastions, the ancient fortification of the city, the Plàia Civica, which is the medieval square of the city, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, built in 1500 in Gothic-Catalan style and the Plàia of Bisbe, a neoclassical place with the Teatro Civico, the Palazzo Vescovile and the Casa Doria.

Events Events:

• There are many festivals and folklore events in the Province of Sassari. Among these, the Cavalcata sarda, which is held on the third Sunday of May in Sassari, and that opens the season on the island. For the occasion, women, men, young people, elderly and children parade through the city in traditional costumes, some by foot some riding their horses.
• In Alghero there is the procession of Lunissanti, which takes place on Holy Monday, with the final torchlight procession along the streets of the town in the evening.  

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Nuoro

 

Nuoro

Nuoro Sardegna ItalyNuoro is situated in the central eastern part of Sardinia. Facing the Tyrrhenian Sea on the East, it is bounded by the Provinces of Sassari and Olbia-Tempio on the north, by the Province of Oristano on the west and with the Province of Cagliari and Ogliastra on the south. It spreads out for 3.934 square kilometres (16,3% of Sardinian territory) and is the second Province in the island, for dimensions, after Sassari.

The Province comprises 52 communes, including Nuoro and Siniscola, but only the 1% of the territory is occupied by urban areas: the rich and diverse natural heritage which goes from coast to mountains, dominate the province.

In the Province of Nuoro there is the most largest part of the island, the Gennargentu, whose highest top, Punta La Marmora, reaches 1.834 metres. Other important reliefs are the big calcareous rise of Monte Albo and of Monte Ortobene.

At the foot of the mountains there is an outline of coastal system of exceptional beauty, which includes the coastal areas of Dorgali, Orosei and Siniscola.

Behind the coast line, the most part of the territory is delineated as a hill type area with forests of oak woods and cork wods, dominated by the Maquis. Included in this landscape there are countless archaeological sites. The main rivers are the Cedrino, the Posada and Tirso, while near the City of Gavoi you find the artificial lake of Gusana, which contains 60 million cubic metres of water.

The Province of Nuoro has been concerned for long by the phenomenon of karst, a chemical process by which the rains that have become slightly acid operate the dissolution of calcareous rocks. The intense karstic activity which affected the rocks over millennia has resulted in caves of extraordinary beauty, among which we remember those of Sa Oche and Su Bentu, in the valley of Lanaittu, the chasm of Ispinigoli, in the territory of Dorgali, and the cave of Bue Marino in Calagonone, the most famous of Sardinia, which was populated until a few decades ago by the last surviving monk seal exemplars, which today is presumed extinct.

What to taste What to taste:

• The main food of Nuoro has always been the carasau bread (they call it "music paper" because of its very thin crispy pastry); as well as being eaten fresh, is used in the form of pane frattau that is steeped in water or broth and seasoned with tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and poached eggs, or as pane guttiau where the bread is made warm and then seasoned with drops of oil and a bit of salt.
• The appetizers are made from wild boar or mountain ham, various sausages and salamis. Among the pasta dishes we mention culurgiones, large ravioli stuffed with cheese, potatoes and mint, maharrones de busa and maharrones hurriaos, which are dressed with sauce and fresh pecorino.
• Among the second courses, there is porcetto (pork), boiled sheep and roast lamb as well as entrails, such as trattalia, or blood. The typical seadas is a large circular-shaped sweet ravioli stuffed with cheese, fried and flavoured with honey or sugar. Then there is the aranzada, a dessert made of thin strands of orange cooked in honey and covered with almond sticks.
• A very particular rare taste is sa pompia, hybrid of orange and grapefruit, which grows only in the eastern coastal area of Nuoro, boiled and caramelled in arbutus honey. Characteristic of the area is also the turròn.
• The local wines ar the Mandrolisai, the Monica and the Malvasia. The typical liquor is the Mirto made from myrtle berries.  

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• A nature lovers dream come true from sea, lanscape to the mountains it is the ideal place for relaxation and nature excursions.
• The lush flora and the rich fauna and birds (mouflon, Sardinian foxes, weasels, wild boars, but also hawks, peregrine falcons, griffon vultures, eagles) make this area a paradise for lovers of photography and birdwatching.
• There are numerous caves of enchanting beauty.
• Nuoro is also ideal for beach lovers, with its beautiful beaches and inlets, like those of Cape Comino, Cala Liberotto and Santa Lucia.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Nuoro is rich in art and history and filled with monuments. Among these, the Duomo (Cathedral), built in the middle of the 19th century, which preserves paintings by local artists; the Church of San Simplicio, built between the 11th and the 12th centuries in roman style; the Sanctuary and the Chiesa delle Grazie; the MAN, Museo dell'Arte di Nuoro, distributed over four floors, two of which house temporary exhibitions and the other two house works by Sardinian artists from the early twentieth century until today; the National Archaeological Museum, where you can admire numerous exhibits on the history of Nuoro and its area from the Neolithic to Medieval times.
• To the west of Nuoro there is the territory of the Baronie, characterized by fertile plains and beautiful hills. The main towns are Orosei and Siniscola. In Orosei it is worth visiting, besides the old town, the Museum Giovanni Guiso, the Parish Church of San Giacomo Maggiore built in Arabic style and the Church of San Antonio Abate (St. Anthony the Great), dated back to the 14th century, which houses a wooden statue of the saint who is celebrated every year with a big bonfire on 17th January. Among the monuments of Siniscola there are the eighteenth century parish church of San Giovanni Battista.

Events Events:

• There are also many celebrations and folkloristic ceremonies in the province. Particular attention should be given to a feast of fireworks in honour of Saint Anthony the Great, scheduled on January 16 and 17 and the Carnival of Mamoiada, characterized by the presence of mamuthones, figures with mysterious origins who parade through the streets of the village dressed in leather, their face covered with tragic wooden masks and heavy bunches of bells on the shoulders.  

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Oristano

 

Oristano

Oristano Sardegna ItalyOristano is located on the eastern part of Sardegna. It borders on the Sassari province to the north, the Nuoro province to the east and the provinces of Medio Campidano and Cagliari to the south. The total surface is 3.040 square kilometers & includes 88 towns & cities.

The territory varies: from the vast Campidano Plain (shared in part with the Medio Campidano, Carbonia-Iglesias and Cagliari provinces) to the Monte Ferru range, whose highest peak (Monte Urtigu) reaches 1000 meters above sea level. The Sinis Peninsula is included in the province.

There are over 90 km of coast ranging from sandy beaches to calcareous cliffs, to rocky bluffs. Two rivers cross the province: the Tirso, which opens to the Gulf of Oristano, and the Temo, the only waterway of the island, although not entirely navigable.

The province comprises many protected areas such as the Monte Arci Regional Park, the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island Marine Protected Area and the S’Archittu a S. Caterina Natural Monument near Cuglieri, the latter being a 15-meter natural arch created by the erosion of the calcareous walls of what once was a sea cave.

Around Oristano there are over 6.000 hectares worth of wetlands. The most famous is the stagno di Cabras, considered one of the best-preserved wetlands of Europe. Connected to the sea, it is home to several rare aquatic bird species (red-crested pochard, purple heron, purple swamphen and Eurasian coot) and fish such as seabass, eel and mullet (whose eggs are used to make the ‘bottarga’).

Remarkable is also the stagno di Mistras, where gulls and flamingos breed, the stagno di Sale Porcus, now a protected area and Is Benas, with its exquisite caniottu (a small seabream).

Lastly, the Omodeo Lake, an artificial basin named after the engineer from Milano who designed it in 1918-1924 for purposes of irrigation, production of electricity and mitigation of the floods of the Tirso River.

What to taste What to taste:

• Fish figures predominantly in Oristano including the Cabras fish (seabrim, seabass and eel), prepared in several ways, to the merca, mullet boiled in salted water and wrapped in leaves. There is a great request for the bottarga (salted, pressed and dried mullet eggs), tasted either sliced or grated on a plate of spaghetti.
• Other traditional foods are the bocconi (murex boiled in salted water), malloreddus all'oristanese (durum gnocchi served with spinach, beet, eggs and whip cream), myrtle hen (hen boiled with aromatic herbs and myrtle branches), su ghisau (a stew prepared with different types of meat), lamb and piglet.
• The desserts are the mustazzolus, biscuits made with concentrated must, flour, yeast and sugar: the shape is rhomboidal and they are glazed on the top; the zippole, a long, brandy-flavoured fritter typical of the Carnival period that can be found throughout the island.
• The local wines are the Arborea, Vernaccia di Oristano (a world-famous wine), Nuragus, Vermentin, Sangiovese, Semidano, Moscato and Bovale.

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

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What to do What to do:

• The Monte Arci Regional Park offers unforgettable landscapes ideal for trekking, mountain biking and horseback riding to discover the diverse flora and fauna of the area: large Holm oak woods and vast expanses of maquis are inhabited by wild boars, foxes, wild cats, pine martens and weasels.
• The Oristano province comprises over 6.000 hectares of wetlands, a perfect place for birdwatching enthusiasts where flamingos, purple herons, egrets, mallard ducks, purple swamphens and many other rare species breed.
• The island of Mal di Ventre is located 4.5 miles offshore and hosts rabbits, tortoises and reptiles: the island is included in the Sinis Peninsula – Mal di Ventre Island Marine Protected Area.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Oristano has many monuments; among the most important, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, erected in the 13th century and remodeled in baroque style in the 18th century, the Church of S. Francesco, which houses a magnificent 15th century wooden sculpture of the crucified Jesus Christ, Piazza Eleonora, with the marble monument built in 1881 and dedicated to Eleonora of Arborea, who lead Oristano and wrote the Carta de Logu, considered one of the first constitutions of the world. Other examples are the Mariano II Tower and the Antiquarium Arborense Museum.
• One of the most interesting buildings is the tophet, a characteristic sanctuary of the Phoenician-Punic civilization, the thermal baths, the temple foundations and a section with houses and workshops. Not far from Tharros there is S. Salvatore, with the Hypogeum inside the Church of S. Salvatore, a pagan temple of nuragic origin linked to the cult of the water. Also noteworthy are the marvellous beaches of Is Autas, mainly made of small quartz grains, Mari Ermi and the spectacular cliffs of Su Tingiosu.
• In the north-western part of the province, about 25 km from Oristano, there is Fordongianus, famous for the many prehistoric remains, as well as those from the Roman era (the aqueduct, the amphitheatre, a bridge and some buildings) such as the thermal baths.

Events Events:

• The area hosts a series of folkloric events and festivals throughout the year. The most popular is the Sartiglia, a horse race of medieval origin held in Oristano on the last Sunday and Tuesday before Lent.
• Sedilo, on July 6-7 hosts the Ardia, a horse race to commemorate Constantine I, the Roman emperor who defeated Massenzio in 312 who had seized Rome, in the battle of Ponte Milvio.
• In S. Salvatore there is the traditional Corsa degli Scalzi, the Barefoot Race that gathers hundreds of people on the first Saturday of September dressed only with a white frock to take a wooden statue of Jesus Christ from the village of Cabras to the church of Cristo Salvatore.
• On the first Sunday of September in Marrubiu there is the honey, cheese, sausage and wine festival, a great way to learn about and sample the local products.

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