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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Destinations Europe Southern Sardinia, Italy

Southern Sardinia, Italy

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Southern Sardinia, Italy
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Jaunts around Europe
Southern Sardinia, Italy


    One of the problems I’ve noticed about Italy is that the country tends to be totally addictive to travelers.  Less than a year after bidding farewell to all this diverse and friendly European country offers, we traveled back to the Italian peninsula to experience more flavors, adventures, and people. This time, however, my husband and I, along with our two sons, took a different route. Instead of returning to Italy’s mainland we spent a week with another family discovering the nearby island of Sardinia.

Villa Francesca
at Torre delle Stelle


    Coming up to Easter last year, when we contemplated having no travel plans for the three-week school vacation, we got an un-expected telephone call from old friends, Ian and Charlotte Wootton. The couple, together with son Luke, four, and daughter Lily, five months, live in London’s Fulham area. A few years earlier they had vacationed in Sardinia, fell in love with the island and
Morgan at the Cann’e Sisa beach at Torre delle Stelle, just steps from our rental. bought a vacation home, Villa Francesca. For about two months of the year, the Wootton family vacations on Sardinia and, for the remainder of the year, they rent out their lovely villa to other travelers www.houseinsardinia.com.  They invited us and our two sons, Morgan and Duncan, to join them over the spring vacation time.
    Villa Francesca is located in the community of Torre delle Stelle in the southern part of the island less than an hour’s drive from the capital city, Cagliari. Torre delle Stelle is a resort village of mostly vacation homes and most of these are owned by Cagliari residents.
     The town is overlooked by the tower of the stars (torre delle stelle) which
offers a scenic hike if you’re into a grueling, uphill walk; this is best for hardy adults and older kids.
    The Wootton’s villa sleeps ten (2 double rooms, 1 twin, and a room with two sets of bunk beds) and has two and a half bathrooms, a large living area and an airy front patio with a barbecue. The villa also comes with TV, DVD player, and CD player; a full working kitchen including dishwasher; and a washing machine, but no dryer (instead, you need to hang your washing outdoors on the line on top of the garage). The house is surrounded by tall palm trees and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Prices range from Euros 650 to 2000, depending on the season, plus a small charge for electricity (see details on the website). There is also a final cleaning fee, based on the length of your stay.

Sardinia
 Overview


    Sardinia is one of those Mediterranean islands that has been popular with the ultra- wealthy set for decades, but has only recently become more popular with everyone else. Northern Sardinia – better known as the Emerald Coast - is where the rich and famous hang out, but because we had only a week and a place to stay with the Wootton’s at their villa near Cagliari, we focused our travel and exploration on southern Sardinia.
Our home in Sardinia, Villa Francesca.1
    On a cloudy Monday morning in London, we boarded a direct flight to the island’s capital city, Cagliari, and then drove an hour and a half to Torre delle Stelle. Although Cagliari is a minor European city with a population less than 200,000, it’s the largest town on Sardinia.  The island’s history is fascinating because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean and its close proximity to the Italian peninsula.
    Italian is spoken by a large majority of the island’s population, but the Sardinian langua
ge is still spoken by a small number of residents. The Sardinian language is evident everywhere, particularly in names of towns, places and businesses.
     The Sardinian location names look like an interesting mixture of Catalan and Welsh, with a little French thrown in here and there, and the names seem very multicultural European; Perdasdefogu being one of my favourites.
    The architecture of the island has a strong Mediterranean feel with a twist of North Africa; the houses are a colorful mix of white, terra cotta, and mustard.

Alla spiaggia
(At the Beach)


    Because we had flown in from a very chilly and wet London, our two families couldn’t wait to hit the Sardinian beach. Fortunately, Villa Francesca is a three-minute stroll from Cann’e Sisa, the nearest beach.  Much to the horror of the locals, we all stripped down to our swimsuits and lay down to soak up the sun. The locals, however, were dressed in jeans, sweaters and fleece j
The Genn’e Mari beach at Torre delle Stelle.ackets out walking their dogs.  We noticed they were even more horrified at the Wootton’s 4-year-old son Luke’s propensity to strip off entirely and leap into the Mediterranean waters!
    Although Cann’e Sisa’s small, sheltered beach is convenient to Villa Francesca, the Genn’e Mari – a 15-minute walk or three-minute drive from the villa – offers more in terms of size and facilities. Genn’e Mari’s beach is also next to the local supermarket and there is also a coffee shop and gelateria (ice cream) – which was quiet when we visited, but is apparently very busy in the summer.  Our two sons Morgan and Duncan learned to order their favorite gelato flavors in Italian; we discovered few locals here speak English, probably because this southern area of Sardinia is has not as yet attracted hordes of foreign tourists. Although it’s best to brush up on your basic Italian, you’ll find the locals happy to help out, which allows you and the family opportunities to soak up the more authentic side of Sardinia.
    Cann’e Sisa’s supermarket is the only one in the area, but because there were so few restaurants open at this time of the year, early spring, we made good use of its selection of fresh local produce. Our friends Ian and Charlotte explained that there are many more dining options in the summer months as well as a busy outdoor summer market, and even more markets in the nearby towns.



 

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