When you come on my tours I hope you’ll feel as if you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland of strange language, landscapes, white rabbits, mad hatters and cheshire cats. Relax and bask in another culture. There will be many green bottles saying ‘DRINK ME’ and food saying ‘EAT ME’.
The strangest of my tours is Celebrating Sardinia. Sardinia is only barely Italy, so don’t assume because you’ve explored the mainland, you also know that bean-shaped island off its west coast.
The tour is timed to enjoy the festivities for the patron saint of Sardinia, Sant’Antioco. His tomb is in the cathedral of the town of Sant’Antioco on the island of the same name, now linked by a causeway to the southwest corner of the island of Sardinia. The celebration takes place two weeks after Easter.
Stefano Castello welcomes us with a tune on the launeddas, a bagpipe without a bag, found only on Sardinia. Notice his cheeks.
Giulio Basciu is one of the dwindling number of Sardinians living a traditional rural life.
Antonella Ajò is one of the talented craftspeople in the restored village of Tratalias.
Something else you can only find here is bissu, a fibre made from the beard of a mollusc.
It used to be harvested from the bivalve Pinna nobilis, which was becoming extinct and was protected in 1992. Ariana Pintus has found another abundant shellfish whose beard has the same properties. It’s painstaking work cleaning and spinning the fibres.
It’s time for one of those green bottles with the ‘drink me’ label.
Not many places have salt pans you can visit to find out how salt gets from the sea to your table.
You definitely won’t find delicious culurgiones anywhere else.
One of the highlights of the tour is making bread with Anna Marras and all her friends. I just discovered this group of retirees who amuse themselves by keeping alive their old traditions and teaching them to the young.
We were blown away by their hospitality.
Three days into the tour fisherman Mauro Pintus, on whose boat we spend a blissful day on the lagoon, phoned to say he couldn’t do Wednesday, but how about Friday. The reason? For six months they’d had tickets for a pop concert in Milan, but he’d totally forgotten about it. I managed to swap Friday’s activities to Wednesday. And the weather was much better on Friday. Thank you pop concert!
On our last day we go to see another unique prehistoric Sardinian structure: a bronze age nuraghe built by a civilisation that endured from 1700 to 200 BC. They played the launeddas that Stefano demonstrated on the first day of our tour.
Next year’s tour dates are from April 25 to May 3. You can see all the details here: https://www.sapori-e-saperi.com/celebrating-sardinia.html
|Erica Jarman invites you on inspiring culinary tours of life behind the scenes that you won't find in any guidebook — get to know the food artisans and craftspeople of Tuscany and Sardinia. Come join me and my Italian friends and dip into a lifestyle where lunch is more important than business. Find out more at Sapori e Saperi Adventures and follow Erica’s own adventures on her blog.|
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.