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Sardinia, minimum notes

Di Antonio Caneva, 12 Luglio 2018

Many years ago, at the bottom of the square in Arzachena, you climbed up a few steps to a large store where they sold newspapers, children’s toys and various goods. The perception, on going in, was that of a place where people always complained, with a sort of melancholy in the air.
Nothing has changed. Recently, on entering, the first sentence I heard was: ” well, just managing to get by, my back is sore…”.
On the other hand, the village of Porto Cervo has changed for the better, it is more colourful and vibrant, well-tended and full of flowers. I walked into the Cervo Hotel and found that this, on the contrary, has become less attractive, with the runner to the patio worn-out and the area facing the swimming pool with a sad colour and few stunted flowers. I remembered it differently, but maybe it is old age playing tricks on me.
If you go to the Liscia Ruja beach, you have to take out a mortgage to pay for the parking space, while conquering two loungers and a beach umbrella requires the skills of a souk bargainer; for the very same thing, if you bargain, you may pay 30, 40 or 50 euros. At the end, if you were good, they will smile and say “Well, we tried.”.
The Maddlena Isles, with its scattered islands appearing in various shades of blue on the horizon, and the colours and indescribable brightness of the water! As I sail by the sailing school Centro Velico Caprera, I feel forty years younger.
The sweets, beautiful as much as delicious. The papassini with the white glazing and colour sprinkles on top, or those that look like filigree, and you are shy to touch them for fear of spoiling them, those topped by honey, and many, many others so nice that you gain weight just by looking at them. Sardinian cooking, strong and rich, where the best part comes from inland and creates unparalleled tastes, with wine that has its own personality, even that made for consumption.
The unique scent in the air, an unmistakable blend of inebriating smells: myrtle, juniper, cistus, mixed with saltiness alongside the coast. Beaches where – if they are not uprooted by uncivil vacationers – sea daffodils grow spontaneously.
All this and much more. Sardinia is a pearl.

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