Most travelers who head to Italy will tend to travel to Rome, Florence, Venice, or many other very well known cities in the Mediterranean country. However, Italy has so many incredible regions to discover, as well as several islands that are criminally underrated. These include Sicily and Sardinia, the latter of which is almost never mentioned amongst travelers. This is a huge shame, because it has so many incredible sights and foods to offer. Here are some of the best things you can see, taste, and do while in Sardinia.
Sardinia is considered to be a “blue zone,” which refers to areas in the world where people supposedly live longer than anyone else in other regions of the world, with residents living up to 100 or even older. This is mostly credited to a healthy lifestyle that includes being active and eating a healthy, balanced diet from the foods available locally.
When it comes to unique sites, Santa Cristina is one of the most interesting places you can visit. It’s a sanctuary of Saint Cristina located on a basaltic plateau close to Paulilatino. It can be traced back to 1000 BC and features incredible architectural feats, with trapezoid shaped staircases that go underground. There are countless olive trees all around and its just a beautiful site.
Make sure to make time to visit Orgosolo, a little village near Nuoro Barbagia. It is home to incredible murals strewn across the village, as well as local silkworm farming. That’s why silk is so commonly found here, and it is still made by hand. Silk handkerchiefs are made with natural saffron dye to give it a beautiful color.
If you’re into hiking and the outdoors, you must visit Selvaggio Blu, but be warned, it is absolutely not for the faint of heart. It is considered to be one of the toughest hikes in the world, stretching over 25 miles starting out at Pedra Longa and ending at Cala Sisine. It includes a lot of tough climbing, so make sure to do your research about this hike before starting. The grueling hike will certainly be worth the jaw dropping sights along the way.
So what about the food? As Sardinia is an island, it makes perfect sense that a lot of its local food includes seafood, but there is plenty of variety of delicious dishes to be sampled while here. One of the most well known dishes is Su Porcheddu, which is a toast suckling pig that is cooked on a spit for several hours, resulting in juicy, slow cooked meat with a crispy outside.
Culurgiones is the local pasta dish that is made with potatoes, pecorino cheese, garlic, olive oil, animal fat, and mint leaves. With all of those ingredients, how could it not be good? It is typically served with local tomato sauce, taking it to the next level.
Sea urchins are also quite popular here, and while they are an acquired taste, even if you’re not huge into seafood, you should try it at least once when you’re in Sardinia. There are many sea urchin festivals that can be found throughout the island, with the most well known one being in Alghero.
For dessert, you can enjoy Seadas, which is literally a dessert pasta made of sweet ravioli filled with cheese and topped with honey and sugar that is drizzled on top. It is then lightly fried and is perfectly delicious.