Abandoned mines nestled between nature and sea..

Unspoilt vegetation, crystalline sea, sandy beaches  are  undoubtedly Sardinia’s “tag” words but the territory's abandoned mines are equally representative of the island and  incredibly evocative and bewitching. These old mines and workers’ villages were closed over twenty years ago,  their undeniable  beauty and particularity  caused the  “UNESCO” to turn them into heritage of humanity, creating the Geomineral, Historical and Environmental park of Sardinia. This meant  restoration  and renovation of  these fascinating pieces of industrial archeology  that opened their doors to the public a few years ago.  One is free to wander around and imagine what the atmosphere must have been like in full activity...the noise of the mining trolleys, cries of the miners, rising dust. If only these edifices could talk.. is a frequent thought of mine. The mines are mostly concentrated in the south western coast of the island near the towns of Iglesias, Carbonia (coal in Italian..)  and Arbus. (more…)

Sardinian costumes..beauty and tradition in abundance

If you ever happen to attend a Sardinian procession, one of the most striking features is the assortment of the traditional costumes of the island..particularly those of the women. A mere glance is by no means enough, a closer inspection is needed as it will reveal infinite variations in colour, textiles, decorations and shape of the skirts, headdress and bodices. Red, gold, purple, green, purple and red, green and gold… red and white... A succession of colours with flashes of gold ..Some very colourful costumes are from Oristano, take a look! ELABORATE OR  SIMPLE.. The origins of these costumes no doubt date back to the middle ages,  particularly in the inland areas where external impact was much less, whereas the coastal areas were  subjected to the Spanish influence.  The details to watch out for in the Sardinian female costume are the  bodice, the  skirt and the shawl, often worn over the head. Jewellery plays a very big part too, but that's another story.. These components  have their countless variations according to the area, use and social extraction. (more…)

Enjoy the beach…in winter!

Walk Italy Coast 2010 is an initiative eager to boost Italian coasts in the low season, as well as promoting environmental education. With regards to Sardinia, near San Teodoro, the Marine Reserve of Tavolara will host a 40 minute excursion on Saturday 23rd of October.  Tavolara is an islet located in the north east of Sardinia and  is  one of the most extraordinary protected areas of the Mediterranean. This excursion is an  opportunity to discover and explore the coast under a new perspective….sea in winter, or out of season  gives quite different sensations. (more…)

Pearls in a mussel…

My fascination for churches and cathedrals dates back to my teens, I remember avidly listening to my History of Art teacher describing the architecture, sculptures, paintings and frescoes of these marvellous and in many ways miraculous buildings. I would observe the beauty of every detail with fascination and awe, marvelling at the artists’ mastery …asking myself how they could have reached such perfection..and all those years ago. Sardinia has an extraordinary number of churches strewn all over its territory, their style and architecture cover a variety of historical periods; Byzantine, Romanesque, Baroque to name the most important. The most striking feature is that these unbelievable works of art are often situated unequivocally “in the middle of nowhere”, they are surrounded “by nothing”, simply open countryside and fields, the nearest living presence is that of the sheep delicately grazing nearby. They appear like a vision, unexpectedly, a bit like finding a pearl in a mussel...so to speak.. (more…)

Open Forests

Forests are one of Sardinia’s landmarks, wild, vigorous and unspoilt  with thriving  rosemary bushes, secular pine trees, fragrant myrtle and beautifully colourful strawberry trees. They are  inhabited by  deer and  boars, their bashful presence spotted in the paths interrupting  the luxuriant vegetation. The inland of the island is equally breathtaking as the  stunning beaches, and therefore  definitely a  must see. This coming weekend, the 16th and 17th of  October is dedicated to “open forests”.  Forests will be open to the public and a variety of excursions and visits will take place,  enabling visitors to fully appreciate and discover the  magical itineraries and aspects of this beautiful nature often lying unnoticed at one’s  doorstep. (more…)