SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 14, July 2016 - Page 64

ising out of a sea peppered with antique fishing boats, the sunscorched cliffs of Sardinia are anchored against millennia of punishing waves. Lands in any direction have been farmed,

conquered, abandoned, cultivated again, and again - and generations of fishermen have dragged out tons of sea life since man set himself set out on the water. Thousands of years of culture and tradition have passed through Sardinia, the very beating heart of the Mediterranean. Even their flag, the heads of four blindfolded Moors, tease you to probe deeper into its past. You might be impressed to see couscous, a pizza with tuna and onions, and raw sea urchin served as traditional cuisine all in the same establishment - while markets run probably as they once did hundreds of years ago, with merchants selling wears, textiles, and food brought from distant lands.

But where do you go and what do you do on this windburned island? The natural monuments are almost too many to chase, and the white sand and emerald coastlines stretch for miles. You can find a hotel or two to fall in love with and decide to never venture far from that door - I won’t blame you. You can also land in Cagliari with a road map, a Fiat500 rental, and no agenda - just start driving and create a dream adventure circumnavigating the island. Mountaintop villages offer breathtaking views and meals that can make you question the quality of any five -star restaurant you have ever visited. Some small towns will have just about all the necessities for village life and you can “move-in,” learn the streets, meet the servers at your favorite coffee bars and restaurants, and you’ll figure out who to bargain with to get your fruit at market. One favorite of ours is the town of Carloforte on the Island of San Pietro, off the southeast corner of Sardinia. Winters will not have as much to offer but as soon as the weather gets warm you find dozens of restaurants and bars, each serving their family recipes, crimson red wine, and the freshest ingredients. Every day you can discover a new beach, and artisan jewelers and potters make masterpieces you would never imagine to find there. Food is going to have a heavy seafood base - as the surrounding waters have provided the main source of nourishment for centuries. You can at least be ware fish is caught locally by the same families of fishermen that have been doing so for generations.

Sar

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and discovering Carloforte

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64 - SEVENSEAS