In the northeastern part of the island between Alghero, Sassari and Castelsardo, a fertile land opens up: alongside tasty sheep cheeses and strawberry tree honeys, a first-rate extra virgin is born here. Just like the enchanting beaches of fine sand and the cliffs shaped by the wind
For those who wish to make a voyage (gastronomic) exclusive in Sardinia, there is the possibility of exploring a culinary island of a region made up of an infinite number of archipelagos. Sassari is a city to be experienced for the ancient core cut by the high Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the churches, the private and public buildings such as the Frumentaria, the first building on the whole island for the storage of wheat that bears the coats of arms of the city and of Aragon.
Sassari plays four aces at the table
There fainè is the farinata, which in the city is eaten seated during the coolest period of the year. The best you can taste is Da Benito, in the Sant’Apollinare district. Another gastronomic flag is the snails, of which four qualities are consumed that Giovanna Zirattu raises a few steps from the city walls, indicating the best consumption for each. Then there is it zimino, which unlike what one might believe are grilled adult bovine offal, a dish that even Porto Torres claims. Finally the ribisari beans, cooked with garlic, parsley, chilli and oil. The latter, mainly in spring, but which, thanks to the jars prepared by the Pinna Brothers, can be cooked all year round. Difficult to remain indifferent in front of their shelf, with the theory of extra virgin olive oil (to try the pitted one from Bosana cultivar, elegant and fine), pasta and wines (among all the Vermentino di Sardegna Doc scented with broom).
Beaches, local crafts and old Catalan
But the natural resources of the city of Sassari such as Platamona beach, loved by surfers, and the lake of Baratz. Reeds and typhets, strawberry trees and mastic trees grow there while the watchtowers help to observe calanders, kingfisher and red herons. Thanks to the availability of vegetable fibers present in wet areas, it survives production of baskets, a form of craftsmanship that deserves to be known. The quick hands of Pierluigi Calvani, in nearby Fertilia, intertwine mastic, myrtle, dwarf palm and olive. Fertilia administratively belongs to Alghero, another one linguistic island: an ancient version of Catalan. In Alghero there is a characteristic form of craftsmanship, the processing of coral. To be sure of knocking on the right door, you go to the Marogna workshop, full of burins and limes.
Between one excellence and another
In the Alghero countryside, the tireless seekers of goodies rely on the good practices of the Fois family, that is Olearia Academy. In the 200 hectares of olive groves, where variety prevails Bosana, oils are born award-winning extra virgin olive oils. To keep a place in the suitcase for a bottle of Sardinia PDO Green fruity, bitter and pungent obtained from the pressing of Bosana olives harvested still green, and of varieties Semidana, almondy and spicy.
Between paradisiacal beaches and Sardinian excellences
Of Alghero stroll through the seaside village enclosed by the walls and the tree-lined promenade. Then, risking an out of season swim, we head towards the Bombarde beach of fine sand. If the sea permits, a boat trip to Capo Caccia will end with the dolphins to welcome. Whoever arrives along the paths reaches the Neptune's Grotto descending the 656 steps carved into the rock of the promontory: as a reward the exciting view of one of the geological wonders of the Mediterranean thanks to its two kilometers of reflections of light and silence. In the evening, in the city, dinner is based on zimino, the fish soup underlined by the strong taste of dried tomatoes. The next day, wake up with the scent of pa punyat, the circular bread with a thin and crunchy crust, with a straw yellow color. Although of Alghero origin, to taste it you can go to the Cherchi bakery in Olmedo, a Sardinian village where the symbolism linked to bread is still profound.
Sardinia at Christmas
Those who decide to spend the Christmas holidays there, also visit the Nativity scene set up with puppets of bread after having a look at the Romanesque church of Nostra Signora di Talia.
Cheeses, views and trails
If there is time, in the nearby town of Tissi stocks up on cheese sheep patiently produced by Paolo Camboni. Then it takes half an hour by car to reach Sennori, just north of the capital. THE panoramas on the sea they seduce at least as much as the costumes worn by men and women on holidays. Autumn is the ideal time to travel standing or in mountain bike the paths between Sorso and Sennori: crossing holm oak woods and Mediterranean scrub you come across water mills, nuraghi and pinnettas, pastoral buildings with a circular plan.
Good Sardinian oil and wine
It will not be difficult to come across olive harvest by Giuseppe Brozzu, who on these hills has 27 hectares of Bosana and Semidana cultivars conducted under organic conditions. You can continue the experience with a visit to the crusher during the pressing of the drupes and finish it in search of a cellar where the Moscato from Sip Sennori Doc, aromatic and honeyed white wine. Castelsardo direction.
A dip in nature
Inside the walls of the ancient village, silence is broken by the screeching of seagulls and the rustle of the mistral hitting the Aragonese walls of the cathedral. On the nearest hills, travelers get ready for the photograph of one of the symbolic natural monuments of Sardinia, the Rock of the Elephant, sculpted by rain and wind. They allow a leap in time domus de janas carved into the rock and the adjacent nuraghe Paddaggiu, well preserved. Then, those who love the natural dessert continue towards Valledoria, where are the wings of the
bees by Carmen Atzori to move the air. From the expanses of lavender wild some of the best regional honeys come from chestnut woods and strawberry trees. In Valledoria even unrepentant carnivores find their place of delight: in Butcher's by Luca Cossu find cured meats, lamb from Sardinia Igp and su tattaliu, made with lamb entrails. All around, on the banks of the Coghinas river, the crops of Spiny artichoke of Sardinia Dop. Those who stay a few more days rely on the regenerating treatments of the Casteldoria spas before filling up with joy between Bulzi and Martis with the churches of San Pietro in Simbranos and San Pantaleo, Romanesque-Pisan. Halfway there is a stop in the kingdom of rabbit breeding, Laerru. Hunting or with olives, fried or with Vermentino di Sardegna Doc, those who haven't tried it yet have lost a piece of paradise.
by Riccardo Lagorio
top photo by Christina Anzenberger – Fink & Ton / Contrasto
of Sale & Pepe
Agricola G.M.O. by Vittorio Ogana
Via Cagliari, 2
Helix Mediterranea By Giovanna Zirattu
Vicinal road of Santa Maria Lu Gardu
Strada Vicinale Maccia d'Agliastru, 21
Via dei Carbonai
Paolo Camboni Farm
Via Italia, 8A
Apidoria by Maria Atzori
Via Alessandro Volta, 35
Giuseppe Brozzu Agrobiological Company
Via Magellano, 2
Agroittica company of Patrizia Manai
Porto Torres (SS)
Casu Agricultural Cooperative Society
Location Baddiulia, 375
Santa Maria Coghinas (SS)
Largo Fiume, 3
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, 208
Luca Ossu Butcher
Via Enrico De Nicola, 1
Via Sassari, 7
Trattoria al Refettorio
Vicola Adami, 47
Li Lioni estate
State Road, 131
Porto Torres (SS)
Strada Vicinale Fiagliosu, 80
La Guardiola Restaurant
Bastione Square, 4
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