Sardinia offers many unique experiences among places, flavours and traditions. Here are five fascinating and tasty ideas for your Sardinia experience.
What does Sardinia remind you of? You're probably thinking about white sandy beaches, emerald sea, and majestic yachts from which, who knows, your next conquest might peep out!
The postcard-perfect panoramas of the coast are the most recognisable calling card of this part of the island. Nevertheless, in the words of D.H. Lawrence, “This land resembles no other place.” Here you will find a region as mysterious and ancient as its history and traditions, extremely varied landscapes, flavours, and scents that you will hardly forget.
And, among the most beautiful experiences, there is undoubtedly that of immersing oneself where the soul of the Sardinians beats stronger than elsewhere: in popular festivals. Such as those included in the Salude & Trigu programme - the result of the efforts of the Sassari Chamber of Commerce - which includes many of North Sardinia's cultural events.
We have selected for you 5 of the most beautiful and authentic itineraries, activities and events to give you the best Sardinia experience.
5. Exploring Anglona and Romangia
To have the best Sardinia experience, you absolutely must include in your itinerary an excursion between Anglona and Romangia, two historical hilly regions in the north of the island.
Anglona, a land of plateaus overlooking the Gulf of Asinara, is dotted with sites of cultural interest. These include the Malaspina castle in Osilo, the Gothic co-cathedral of Sant'Antonio Abate and the Doria castle in Castelsardo, and many remains of the Nuragic civilisation.
Romangia lies near the ancient Roman colony in Sardinia, Turris Libisonis (today's Porto Torres). This land of hills, vineyards and olive groves is one of the oldest terroirs in Italy. The region also includes Sorso and Sennori, two towns famous for their wines (they produce the sweet Moscato di Sorso-Sennori).
Not only in summer: think of Anlgona and Romangia also as a destination for a trip in autumn. Between October and November, you will find a network of events dedicated to culture and fun: meetings, games, music and street food.
4. A journey back in time to Usini, the town of wine
One of the most 'tasty' activities to fully enjoy a Sardinia experience is savouring its excellent wines. Usini, in the Sassari province, is a production hub of grape varieties such as Vermentino and Cagnulari.
As you stroll through the village, you will notice spectacular murals celebrating Usini's farming and culinary legacy, depicting the grape harvest and the preparation of andarinos, the traditional local pasta. The town and its surroundings offer many points of interest, with historic houses (Casa del Pievano, Su Magasinu' e Su Fattore, Casa Derosas, Casa Diaz), museums, ancient churches (Santa Maria Bambina, Santa Croce, San Giorgio di Oleastreto), and an archaeological site (the Necropolis of S'Elighe Entosu).
When the wine is almost ripe, you may attend an event that rediscovers the culinary, cultural, and folk traditions of the Usini area. Ajo' a ippuntare -- this is the name of the festival - is one of the most fascinating events in northern Sardinia, included in the calendar of Salude & Trigu events promoted by the Sassari Chamber of Commerce. It is an excellent opportunity not only to taste the area's renowned wines but also to learn more about these fascinating places. Guided tours, exhibitions, concerts, and workshops take place during the celebration, scheduled in November.
3. A trip through history and music to Alghero
Alghero is a magnificent town with a Spanish atmosphere (also known as Little Barcelona), an ancient medieval stronghold in north-western Sardinia.
A popular summer resort, it boasts one of the best-preserved historic centres of Sardinia. Alghero was a Spanish colony for centuries, and the Catalan-Aragonese imprint is still strongly evident. A great way to explore the area is on foot. Stroll along the 16th-century gilded city walls or wander through its winding alleyways, squares, and historic buildings.
From April to November, the centre comes alive with numerous cultural exhibitions and live shows. JazzAlguer is a music festival that includes a series of concerts in the city's most iconic locations. Alghero is also one of the stages of the Musica sulle Bocche Festival, one of Europe's most famous shows. It is an unmissable (and eco-sustainable) event that takes quality music to places with relevant landscape and historical features. In October, the town hosts the Festival of Itinerant Tourism, which fosters a direct relationship between travellers and local territory. The programme includes a full calendar of cultural, sporting, and educational activities and initiatives to promote local products, food, and wine.
2. Explore the explosive nature in Gallura
In the northeastern part of Sardinia, Gallura includes 21 municipalities in the Sassari province and boasts some of the world's most famous and seductive coastlines. As soon as you discover it, you will realise how getting to know Gallura and its immense beauty is an incredible Sardinia experience!
It ranges from the headline coves and inlets of Costa Smeralda to the wilder archipelago of La Maddalena and the white beaches of San Teodoro. Heading inland, you will discover a definitely different landscape, more rugged and rural. Here, amidst dense oak forests, Vermentino vineyards, ancient and tiny villages, mysterious Nuragic sites (and lots of sheep too), you will meet an authentic and genuine Sardinia that is far from its best-known glossy image. Take a visit to the nuraghes around Arzachena, stroll among the millennial olive trees in Luras, stop in Tempio Pausania, and from here set off on an excursion to the nearby countryside or a trek up Mount Limbara.
We recommend the Festa della Montagna (Mountain Festival), held on Monte Limbara on the 14th and 15th August. It will be the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Gallura culture, with tasty dishes, local handicraft stands, folklore events, and dancing.
1. Taste tradition in Sassari
A cultured city populated by sites of great interest, Sassari is a pleasant destination to discover all year round. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the main street of the old town and ideally halves the city. The traditional commercial district develops in the northern part, while the main religious buildings stand south.
The scenic Piazza Italia is the largest in Sassari (it stretches on a one-hectare area), while Piazza Tola is the ancient medieval core. Here stands one of the island's first Renaissance buildings, Palazzo d'Usini. Don't miss the imposing Cathedral of San Nicola, the monumental Church of Santa Caterina, and the Church of Santa Maria di Betlem. Wander through the narrow streets of the historic centre and reach the Fontana al Rosello, an imposing marble fountain just outside the city walls.
As for food, it will be a pleasure to discover the tastes of the local cuisine. Among the specialities is fainè, a Sardinian farinata made from chickpea flour. If you want to delve into the gastronomic universe of Sassari, then the Weekend dei Gusti is something you should not miss. The event is about the food and wine excellence of the Sassari territory, and it develops in taste routes through the alleys, streets and squares of the city centre. The 2022 edition is scheduled from 13 to 16 October. We also point out an unusual event that will arouse your curiosity: the Ciogghitta d'Oro, a lively popular competition consisting of a characteristic snail-sucking contest.