For those of you who don't know, one of my dreams is to visit Italy from north to south, and early September I was south on the island of Sardegna, more precisely Cagliari. Before landing, I was aware of Sardegna's "jet-set" VIP reputation, and I was told Cagliari wasn't really a part of that- fortunately- as the last thing I wanted was to see rich millionaires on their yachts and people flashing bills everywhere.
One thing I was certain to expect however was beautiful emerald crystal clear water lining sandy white beaches. The rest? I really had no clue. When I travelled to Napoli, Rome or Palermo for instance I more or less had an idea of what to expect because those cities have such a strong identity in popular culture maybe, but Cagliari was just a big wave of turquoise water for me.
Indeed it was that but so much more too. The beaches were great, but so were the cute streets and the vintage Fiat's that drove through them, the food, the gelato, the people...but most of all what struck me was the lifestyle. I loved noticing how starting from 5PM the city would slowly get busy again perfectly timed with the shops openings and the people leaving the beaches to enjoy their ice-cream break which was usually timed between 6-7PM as they strolled up through the shopping streets and then sat down for a drink on Via Roma (which has the most lovely retro feel to it) at one of the many cafés watching people walk by perfectly demonstrating the infamous passeggiata and only very late is dinner served- good luck trying to find an open restaurant before 8PM!
Cagliari was not a city, but a lifestyle that I embraced wholeheartedly- I don't think I have ever unwinded and felt so relaxed as I was in Cagliari.Laundry, Vespas, old Fiats, cute alleyways...what is there not to love?
What is a city without it's charming people and their charming habits?
Just one of the beautiful beaches in Cagliari (above: Poetto beach)
Bria is a tiny tiny place off Via Roma (one of the most central streets)- but the focaccias are out of this world!! The best (and messiest) I have had in my ENTIRE LIFE!
For typical Sardegnan cuisine, please stop by SaDomu Sarda. Authentic tasty genuine cuisine. Definately worth a visit.
The thin crispy bread above is typical Sardegnan- "pane Carasau", lots of it everywhere.
We thought maybe we should try some roasted donkey...but finally we didn't!
Simple antipasti- chickpeas, tomatoes, rucola, eggplants & saffron
Sardegnan pasta called "Pasta Fragola" (above)- here served with sundried tomatoes and ultrathin shreds of zucchini. It was delicious.
Above: inside a well-known fish restaurant along Poetto beach called "La Marinella". The interiour is filled with framed soccer jerseys signed by the players- who I assume have all eaten at the restaurant before.
We had lobster, pasta with tiny tiny shreds of salmon and the most finger-lickingly good mussels ever! Oh man, those mussels... amazing!