Where Are The Best Restaurants In Sardinia? `

Sardinia is known for its transparent and crystalline sea. Kilometres of coastline bathed by waters ranging from emerald green to intense blue. Nature is uncontaminated and offers scenarios of rare beauty. But Sardinia also has a long culinary tradition, made up of ancient flavours and aromas.

Sardinians are passionate about food, each town will have a handful of great restaurants (Tip: Make sure you eat where the locals go to eat) However, if you are looking for the very best restaurants in Sardinia then you will need to go to the regions of Oristano, Cagliari, or Nuoro.

Its typical recipes are the perfect combination of all the different cultures that have left their mark on the island, century after century. Many restaurants offer typical dishes that reveal the true identity of a Sardinia made of high-quality raw materials and local excellence. But also a reinterpretation of the island’s traditional dishes, re-proposed in a contemporary way. All restaurants obviously specialize in very fresh fish dishes, but there is no shortage of surprises when it comes to meat. The sheep, above all, but also the “porceddu”, the suckling pig, weighing less than five kilos or a maximum of twenty days, cooked for several hours, demonstrating that the traditions are still alive in the cuisine of this ancient land.

Discovering the island from a culinary point of view is therefore also a way to get to know one of the most important faces of Sardinia.

So here are the best restaurants on the island:

Su Carduleu – Via Sant’ Agostino, 1 – Abbasanta (Oristano)

Su Carduleu is the chef Roberto Serra’s restaurant, who after the hotel school in Arzachena and the seasons in the great hotels of the Costa Smeralda and other important places, returned to Abbasanta in 2012 to lead the family restaurant. Serra uses strictly Sardinian products for a contemporary Sardinian cuisine, which takes its cues from traditional recipes and then revisits them and studies simple and genuine combinations. On the menu there are mainly meat dishes, representative of the area, but there is no shortage of fish proposals. Here you will find the traditional Sardinian pig; “Su crivazzu”, a typical bread of Abbasanta, baked in the oven and seasoned with oil and salt; “Su casu e crabittu”, a cheese aged in goat’s stomach and potato cream with free-range chicken egg and Laconi truffle.

La Locanda dei Buoni e Cattivi – Via Vittorio Veneto, 96 – Cagliari

The restaurant is located in a quiet semi-central district of Cagliari, housed in a beautiful villa with a garden and has a large terrace open for sunny days. The restaurant follows a job reintegration project to give a second chance to people in difficulty. Based on the rediscovery of traditional flavours, the Locanda dei Buoni e Cattivi offers creative cuisine that combines quality, simplicity and authenticity. A cuisine based on local products of the highest quality with menus that follow the rhythm of the seasons and traditional reinterpreted recipes. Among the dishes offered: Trofie of fresh pasta served with rabbit ragout with chopped vegetables, scented with lemon; fresh pasta lasagna with bechamel, zucchini and pecorino cheese; risotto with lettuce and ginger pesto with mussels and bottarga.

Su Tzilleri e Su Doge – Via Santa Croce, 17 – Cagliari

Typical trattoria in Cagliari, Su Tzilleri and Su Doge was born from the union of the traditions and flavours of two extraordinary regions, linked by the mountains and the sea, by the agro-pastoral and seafaring culture: Sardinia and Veneto, with the menu based of fish and meat. Claudio Ara, owner and chef, restores their authentic and original flavour to the original dishes. There is no lack of modernity, which is perceived in the unusual combinations and reinterpretations of classic dishes. Among the dishes to taste: Linguine with Teulada prawns and mushrooms; sardines in “saor”; fried vegetables in batter, squid and shrimp; liver Venetian style; the lamb. Do not miss the panna cotta with goat milk, tiramisu and egg pudding.

Santa Rughe – Via Carlo Felice, 2 Gavoi (Nuoro)

Santa Rughe is an old trattoria in the heart of the most evocative town of Barbagia. The environment is warm and very welcoming, also equipped with outdoor tables where you can eat in the summer. It offers a rustic setting where it is possible to rediscover the authentic flavours of local cuisine enhanced by the quality of the ingredients. The cuisine is traditional and based on fish; offers homemade pasta, typical local specialities based on Sardinian pecorino and guarantees a careful selection of the best local products. Among the typical dishes, we find: The “erbuzzu”, a soup with 17 wild herbs; the ricotta ravioli; the “frattau” bread; the typical cheeses of the area; the “sebada”, fried ravioli garnished with honey. It also has a good wine cellar, with a careful selection of about 150 regional and national labels.

Il Portico – Via Mons. Bua, 13Nuoro

The cuisine is typical Sardinian. Il Portico offers a completely original menu, based mainly on a wide selection of seafood specialities, with good dishes from the land and also an all-vegetarian menu. We go from spaghetti with lobster and fregola soup to swordfish rolls and lamb sweetbreads with mushrooms; from smoked salmon with rocket, green apple and goat cheese to meat with pecorino cheese and sweet and sour onion. And also the grilled fillet of beef with radicchio and Cannonau wine sauce. Among the first courses: spaghetti with garlic, oil, chilli pepper creamed with oysters, sea urchins and bottarga; Paccheri pasta with crab sauce; cheese ravioli with aubergine sauce with thyme and ricotta.

Il Rifugio – via A. Mereu, 28  – Nuoro

This Trattoria-pizzeria has been in business for a long time, in a 1950s building in the city centre. The cuisine is attentive to seasonal ingredients and their authenticity, as well as to the tradition of the territory. The menu ranges from assorted seafood and land appetizers, passing through the “culurgiones” with orange peel, almonds and bacon, up to the more classic grilled meat and fish. And again: “Maccarrones de Poddighe”, pasta dipped in tomato sauce with meatballs; Linguine with lobster; “Frattau” bread with egg; tuna on cream of potatoes and peppers and Cannonau wine sauce. All the pasta is strictly handmade. For desserts, the parfait with orange honey and pecorino cheese, accompanied by “Abbamele”, an ancient Sardinian preparation that involves the reduction by boiling a mixture of honey and oranges.

Antica dimora del Gruccione – Via Michele Obinu, 31 – Santu Lussurgiu (Oristano)

The Antica Dimora del Gruccione is located in a large patrician house, entirely in stone, structured with arches and vaults, located in Santu Lussurgiu, a small town of medieval origin at 503 meters high, rich in history, culture, crafts and folklore. The kitchen offers a modern version of seasonal dishes according to the Sardinian tradition. The menu consists of five courses (two appetizers, the first course, the second one and the dessert) which changes daily, characterized by the season and the availability of the products. To taste the local cow’s cheese “casizolu” and the meat of the so-called Red Ox. Among the specialities: the wild fennel soup; Red Ox meat ravioli with vegetable ragout; the baskets of “casizolu” with pasta with kid sauce; the “ghisadu” of sheep.

Sas Benas – piazza S. Giovanni – Santu Lussurgiu (Oristano)

The Sas Benas Restaurant, located in the historic centre of Santu Lussurgiu, in the eighteenth-century Maicu House, is a welcoming and rustic environment, with stone arches and vaults and divided into four rooms. The cuisine is traditional and offers typical Sardinian dishes based on selected meats. Traditional dishes and in particular the genuine flavours of the food are the basis of the restaurant’s philosophy. The intent is to enhance the resources of the place and in particular to promote the typical foods that characterize the town. Pasta with sausage and aubergine sauce, “casizolu” cheese and “red ox” are just some of the specialities of Sas Benas. On the menu, we also find meat with porcini mushrooms and grilled meats. The cellar is also well-stocked, with a selection of exclusively regional wines.

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What Is Sardinia Famous For?

Sardinia is a land full of surprises; culture changes from village to village. Below are some of the things that make Sardinia famous to the world.

A guide to Sardinia

The Sea

Sardinia boasts majestic beaches that can be found right across its 2000km coastline. The sparkling turquoise waters complement the glittering sands. There are beaches for everyone. Whether you want to relax and catch the sun, swim in the clear pool or wander down the rugged coast, you will find a beach that’s just right for you. Every Sardinian has their favourite beach, as will you if you take the time to explore the coast. The coastline changes often bringing new delightful beaches with unique features and scenery. There are wild beaches that can only be reached on foot and with a backpack of supplies, often leading to unnamed coves with areas of golden white sand.

The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the north-east of Sardinia has put Sardinia on the map, possibly overshadowing the real beauty of this overlooked island. It is the rustic and romantic region of Sardinia that has transformed into a millionaires paradise — continuing to spread towards Olbia and across to Palau. Aga Khan developed it in the 60s. When it started, it was only known to a select few such as the Agnelli family owners of Fiat. Soon after the area gave rise to luxury hotels, golf courses and spas for footballers, actors, and millionaires from around the world.

Three Sardinian Beaches You Must Visit – Read The Article
How To Find The Best Beaches In Sardinia? – Read The Article

The Nuragic Civilization 

We know little about the ancient Nuragic Civilization who lived on the island during the bronze age. But their past presence is quickly made known to any visitor to the island. Across the island remains their cone-like towers made up from giant stones. Speculation exists around the purpose of these structures, likely to have been for defensive, living and storage of food. Incredibly, 7000 of these structures remain around the island; there may have been upwards of 20,000, that have now sunk into the Sardinian soil.

What Is A Nuraghi? – Read The Article

The Nuragic Civilization is an enigma that brings archeologists and tourists-alike to fulfil their curiosity and the chance to delve deeper into the mysteries that surround these people.

The Sardinian Language

78% of the inhabitants of the island speak Sardo. Sardo is closely related to the ancestor Latin vulgar which gave way to all the romance languages we have today across Europe. The language was introduced in Sardinia in 238 BC when Rome was battling Carthage for the power of the island. Every region has had a different historical evolution and linguistic influence. The language has fragmented into dialects over the centuries, different areas have different dialects, and there is even detectable difference in the language of neighbouring towns. The dialects are different because of the isolation of Sardinian culture and the tribe of community within cities. The five main dialects are Nuorese, Logudorese, Campidanese, Gallurese, and Sassarese.

The language suffered a lot in 1714 when Italian became the official language, and Sardo was looked down upon by the authorities. Today there is a strong movement to defend the language that sometimes goes unheard by visitors to the island, as many prefer to communicate in Italian.

Can I Travel Sardinia Only Speaking English? – Read The Article

Traditions And Folklore In Sardinia

Sardinia is rich in traditions and customs of ancient roots that have been handed down for generations to the present day. The traditions of Sardinia are as numerous as the dialects of the Sardinian language, differing from village to village. There is a great sense of pride in their rich culture, and its expressed at the elaborate local festivals and celebrations that take place throughout the year.

Each village across Sardinia has its costumes, embedded in history and expressing influences from the Phoenicians, Greeks, Byzantine, and the Spanish that at one time alternated control over the island. The traditional clothing has soaked up all these cultures for thousands of years. The designs were the creation of local craftsmanship still alive today. A plethora of elements of jewelry, amulets, headdresses, and skirts come together to form an immaculate, eye-catching, and stunning dress that leaves echos through time.

Cantu a tenore is the most ancient Sardinian music, created by during long moments of isolation watching over their sheep. The enchanting music signs about life in nature and the hard work alone in the wilderness. The sound is unique, and its vibrations find a way into your body.

Mirto – The Sardinian Liqueur

Mirto is a type of liqueur from Sardinia and neighbouring Corsica. Its made from myrtle berries which grow on both island and other parts of the Mediterranean to a lesser degree. The berries have the shape, size, and colour of blueberries and are known for their medicinal properties, being prescribed by ancient physicians to treat pain and fever for millennia.

The berries are ripe between November to January. Vodka is used to soak up the intense flavors from the berries. After being left for six weeks, the mixture is then lightly pressed, and the pulp is taken away before the addition of honey or sugar. Filtered water is added to reduce the percentage of alcohol. Once this has been down, it’s left for one month before being filtered again to remove any residue.

The liquid is very sweet and usually reserved for the end of a meal to aid digestion. Every restaurant and bar in Sardinia has Mirto behind the counter.

Pane Carasau

Sardinia has a rich bread culture with over 300 types. Pane Carasau, without a doubt the most well-known bread from Sardinia. It is a traditional flatbread unmistakable for its crispiness and lightness. Its made from wheat flour, salt, yeast, and water. Its taste and thinness take great skill to master. The dough is rolled out thin and placed in a fire oven. Once it fills with air in the middle creating two layers before the edges are cut to create two pieces of this unique bread. The bread is baked for another time to bring it into its characteristic and add some colour. It was an ideal food source for shepherds because it would remain good to eat for long periods while the shepherds were isolated in the countryside looking after their herds. They have found traces of the traditional bread in Nurgahis indicating the long existence of this bread in the lives of the Sardinian people.

The Bread Of Sardinia – Read The Article

Asinara Island – Home Of The Donkeys

Asinara, when translated from Italian means donkey-inhabited. The last population census of 2001, lists a population of one man. The island is in the North-west and is the second-largest island after Sardinia after Sant’Antico in the south-west. The island is now a national park, but it has an incredible history of its own. It was used as a prison camp during the first world war and later being refurbished in the 1970s to a maximum-security prison, for mafia members and terrorists until December 1997. The Asinara Donkey (Adino dell’Asinara) is a breed of donkey indigenous to the island, most of the population are albino. The donkeys are believed to be the offspring of donkeys introduced from Egypt during the 19th century. You can visit the island by taking a ferry from Porto Torres or Stintino.

Torrone – A Sweet Sardinian Speciality

Torrone is traditional sweet made from honey, egg whites, almonds, and nuts. It can be found almost everywhere in Sardinia. It originated from Tonara a village in the mountainous heart of Sardinia, every year on Easter Monday there is a feast dedicated to this chewy sweet treat. Youll find many variations of Torrone. With the original three ingredients at the base. Today you can discover Torrone with all types of syrups to enhance the taste or take away the overpowering sweetness. It can be found everywhere at festivals and markets across Sardinia. It is a delightful treat that is known across Italy and to many people in the world.  

what is sardinia famous for

Being A Blue Zone – The First Out Of Seven

Sardinia is known to the world as a blue zone. There are a higher number of centenarians compared to world. There are seven different blue zones on the globe; Sardinia was the first to have been identified. Its believed because of the lifestyle, diet choices, and genetics, the Sardinians have increase longevity. One reason is the respect and reverence for elders in communities which gives older people meaning the right to the end of their lives.

Why Is Sardinia A Blue Zone? – Read The Article

Where Is Sardinia? – Read The Article
Who Is On The Flag Of Sardinia? – Read The Article
Can You Spend A Week In Alghero Without A Car? – Read The Article
Is Sardinia Expensive? – Read The Article

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Is The Sea In Sardinia Warm?

The temperature of the sea in Sardinia varies throughout the year. It is the warmest in August exceeding temperatures of 26 °C degrees. The sea is at its coldest in February, it then begins to warm up slowly until May, before starting to cool down again in October. July, August, and September is when the sea is at its warmest

is the sea in sardinia warm

The best way to embrace Sardinia is to swim in the idyllic waters, that meet the island on every side. Sardinia sits in the Mediterranean sea, the largest sea not to be called an ocean. This vast body of water was home to many of the worlds most ancient civilizations.

how warm is the sea in sardinia, graph

The temperature of the sea is primarily affected by the sun. The sun is nearly always a constant feature for life on the island. Its appearance gives the sea surrounding Sardinia time to absorb the energy emitted and become very warm. For example, in June you can expect 11 hours of sunshine, which is a good indicator of why the sea jumps in temperature during this month. In July the sun manages to shine for 12 hours, this is double the amount of sunshine during the same month in the United Kingdom, which explains why the English channel remains bitterly cold.

You’ll Be Very Brave To Swim In Winter In Sardinia

In January the sea temperature is around 14 °C degrees, unpleasantly cold. You won’t see anybody swimming in these temperatures.

In February the temperatures go down to even colder level before rising in March.

From April The Sea Begins To Warm Up Again

In April the temperature jumps up by 2 °C degrees averaging out at 15.3 °C degrees which is about the same that you would find in mid-summer around the British Isles. The month of May is when things begin to pick up, and the long hours of sunshine increase the sea temperature. With max temperatures of 20.8 °C degrees having been recorded in both Cagliari and Alghero the median temperature throughout the month.

The temperature of the water is subjective to you and your past experiences. But generally water over 18 °C degrees is considered warm for swimming. So in May, you can expect to see people starting to arrive onto the beaches and beginning to test the water.

The Sea Is Nice And Warm For The Summer Months On Sardinia

In June there is another massive jump in the heat, with an average of 22 °C degrees. The temperature continues to rise in July before peaking in August with average temperatures of 24.5 °C degrees. July and August are the times when Sardinia is at its warmest and busiest as Italians and tourists alike travel to the island during the school breaks for holidays. These two months are also when the sea is at its warmest, making for delightful swimming.

The Temperature Of The Sea After Summer

Now the sun has been warming the ocean for the last three months meaning of the sea will remain warm even when the sun is not as intense as the previous months. The temperature will slowly dwindle through September but still averaging at 23.5 °C degrees before decreasing by a further 2 °C degrees during October. The sea temperature in November is still able to match the heights of May when the sun was beginning to shine a longer part of the day. However, December comes with a dramatic fall in the temperature, decreasing by 4 °C degrees.

What Changes The Temperature Of The Sea?

The sun dictates the temperature of the sea, depending on the amount of energy focused on the surface of the sea. Beaches with a shallow Bay are warmer because there is less depth to be warmed. There are many beaches with a very shallow bay, I’ve swum in bays that frankly look like swimming pools. The water is crystal clear, and you can touch the sea basin with your own feet. The sea temperature can also be affected by the currents and the winds.

Where Is Sardinia? – Read The Article
Who Is On The Flag Of Sardinia? – Read The Article
Can You Spend A Week In Alghero Without A Car? – Read The Article
Is Sardinia Expensive? – Read The Article
Why Visit Sardinia? – Read The Article
Why Is Sardinia A Blue Zone? – Read The Article

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San Pantaleo: A Poem For An Abandoned Sardinian Church

We all have our favourite places. One of mine is a 13th Century Templar church built in the Romanesque-Gothic style.

Chiesa di San Pantaleo is positioned on a hill on the outskirts of Martis, a small town in the region of Sassari, where I have been lucky enough to spend some time.

The building has undergone some restoration in the last couple of decades against challenging instability. Only part of its stone roof has survived into the 21st century, but this makes it an ideal spot for stargazing.

Throughout the year, excluding the colder and cloudier months of January, and February, I would go and spend time inside this beautiful temple.

Some late evenings, usually in summer a group of us would walk through the town carrying blankets, and bottles of red wine, the locals began to understand that we were heading for San Pantaleo. Other days, I would go alone to read a book, write, or meditate within the white stone walls. Or be the tourist guide to new travellers to the town.

I remember arriving in Sardinia in the very early hours of the morning and watching the sunrise from behind this church.

I remember a first kiss from the church vault with a girl who agreed to wake up at 6 am to see the sunrise.

I remember once after several glasses of wine, in broken Italian inviting the whole of a bar in the town to come to San Pantaleo, it was a Saturday too, but the barman didn’t mind, he was happy, and made sure there was a cup of beer in every hand for the rest of the night. The church was packed with locals, many came later on carrying guitars, to sing songs that every Sardinian knew the words to.

I rememer sweeping the church with a group of locals, to make its presentable for a bus load of Dutch tourists who would come once a week in Summer, after visiting the local vineyard.

I remember being shown the cryptic engravings left in the stone by past generations. I remember finding the stairs that lead to the tower.

And I will never forget grabbing, and freeing a majestic barn owl, that had wings spanning a meter wide that was trapped at the top of the tower. From that day on, I could almost anticipate him flying low over my head on evening walks, like he was saying thank you. It always made me happy to see his white against the evening sky.

It is a special place, a humble place, anyone that has been there will tell you that. I am grateful for all the hours or maybe even days that I’ve spent within those walls, and hope for many more star gazing evenings from 11 pm to the early morning hours in the future.

I wrote a poem about San Pantaleo, a couple of years ago. It brought back lots of memories, and I thought it would be nice to write about some of those memories and our connections to places. Below is the poem that I was very grateful to come across again, it made me realise how much I miss this church, but also how lucky I have been to have made so many beautiful memories there.

I write these poems
In an abandoned church
That is falling down around me

My imagination is left to reminisce
Of events and formalities
That took place where I now stand

I feel the energy
Of the building without a date

The solitude of a building
Remaining without a friend
Watching all those it sheltered die
Everything around it changed
While it was left to decay

A hundred violent storms
Hardly wearing the walls
Of a building of such beauty

A hundred fires
Never penetrating
The cold white stone

A hundred acquisitions
From opposing ideologies
Never changed
The structure of this old soul

The building has seen more
Then I could ever see
In a thousand lifetimes

It knows more of God
Then I could ever know
In a thousand lifetimes

It knows more of me
Then I could ever know of myself
In a thousand lifetimes

It will stand long after I’m gone
Waiting for someone else to write a poem
About its arches
And its incorruptible presence

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