Mediterranean Isles

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Long Time No Hear, But We're Here!

Hello Friends and aficionados of Mediterranean Travel,

It is true that it has been a shamefully long while that I have posted to the blog. Busy, busy, busy is the only excuse I can offer. However, I am here to inform everyone that while articles and posting will continue regarding travel to the Mediterranean and surrounding areas, they will now be found in my blog: 'Mediterranean Delux: Travel Talk'. It is found at this link: . No worries friends, its right next door. Looking so forward to meeting you all again soon at our new home.

Best wishes,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

La Cucina Sarda - Sardinian Cuisine (Introduction)

Or we can just as easily say 'Enogastronomia', an abridged version of the term, [pertains to] wining and dining. Well, at least its only one word. In their language Italians are masters of such phrasings. Anyway, as we continue on our journey through the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia, we now embark on its culinary pathway. Sardinia is situated in an area that allows it to enjoy a mild yet, sunny disposition, to say the least. Noted epicurean commodities such as olive, artichokes, tomatoes, saffron, grapes and citris fruits, and the Sardinian specific myrtle berry, or mirto, flourish contently within the highest quality, vitamin and mineral rich soil, free of unnatural additives. Truly there is no comparison to the flavors produced in this area of the world - absolutely none. On the expanse greenery of the terrain graze happy herds of free range sheep and goat, who produce the tastiest of milk and cheeses, and the most tender premium quality fresh and cured meat (the one unhappy aspect of their existence).

In ancient days, Rome commissioned the golden wheat fields of the Capidano region of Sardinia, as its prinipal 'granario'. Flour produced from the nourishing grains creates among the most delicious bread in the world, both leaven and unleaven. You may have tried a really good ciabatta, but none can beat one made in an authentic 'pasticceria'. Among my favorite is the traditional 'pane carasau', the Sardinian ultra thin (ultra versatile) flat bread that continues to be baked in rustic wood burning oven just as it was well over 1000 years ago. Go Figure.

Then there are the sweets... Pardula are purely Sardinian, not even known to many a mainland Italian. It is a little honey sweetened cake baked with a ricotta cheese filling and just a hint of Amaretto - truly devine. While in the city of Cagliari, be sure to also try a scrumptious candelaus made of very thin slices of fruit and flower flavoured almond dough. Sardinia is well known for perfecting the confection called torrone. Yum, its is so delicious. Its a simple recipe honey, sugar, egg whites, with toasted almonds. Though the treat can be found in other Mediterranean and nearby European locations, the Sardinians know just how to turn the wrist just so. lol. Because of its climate, Sardinia's many varieties of grapes can easily boast of producing among the most sensually intriquing wines on the planet. Gorgeous reds include, Cananau, Monica and Malvasia. For a nice and neat aperativo, definitely try the transparent bubbly Vermentino. Always suberb. Well, that's it for today, but be sure there's more to come.

Have a lucky day,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Who to Have in Your Calling Circle in Sardinia

Italy is a country whose inhabitants have been thoughtful (via a cultural oriented government)thus fortunate enough to coexist alongside magnificent ancient remnants left by its many original settlers and those from afar. - travel from the mainland to the Island of Sardinia, you will discover a place equally rich in culture, tradition, history and art. The capital city and province of Cagliari is a historic sea port whose main thoroughfare runs along the via Roma. Today, the avenue is a favored hang out for tourists and locals alike with its lively stretch of boutiques, cafes, quaint speciality shops and the famous Rinascente department store showcasing the latest in Italian fashion. When planning a trip to Sardinia or any other overseas travel destination, it is imperative to have a list of basic phone numbers and information in the case of some unforeseen glitch, or simply to maneuver from point A to point B without spending your life savings.

Important numbers to have specific to Cagliari, Sardinia:

Carabiniari (County Police) 112
Polizia dello Stato (State Police) 113
Fire 115
Emergency Tow Service 116
Finance Police 117
Ambulance 118
Port Emergency Station 1530

(Only within Italy)
Tel: 800203541

Province of Cagliari
Department of Economic Development
Tourism Office
Piazzo Deffenu, 9 - 09125 Cagliari
Tel: (+ 39) 070 669 255

Airlines/Lost Luggage
SOGAER - Cagliari - Elmas Airport
Tel: (011+39 from US) 070 211 211

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Upward On to 'Castello', Cagliari's Sumptuous Medieval Fortress

The capital of the Sardinian region of Italy is Cagliari, called 'Casteddu' in Sardo, the original language of the ancient island. The region can boast of having among the longest stretches of beach in the country, which reaches some 13km.

Within Cagliari's cultural center you will find the quarter of 'Castello', meaning 'castle' in Italian. It is situated atop a high natural ridge that overlooks the Gulf of Cagliari, also known as 'Angel's Gulf'. Most of its Medieval period inner walls are intact. The quarter features two 13th century white lime-stone towers, two white lime-stone towers built by the Pisans, and designed by the famous architect, Giovanni Capula.

Originally there were actually three towers that guarded the three gates that gave access to the district, called 'St. Pancras' tower and the 'Elephant' tower. The local white lime-stone was also used to build the walls of the city and many buildings. Historical accounts reveal that D.H. Lawrence, in his written memoirs of his stay trip in Sardinia, 'Sea and Sardinia', he described the impressive effect of the warm Mediterranean sun-light on the white lime-stone city and compared Cagliari to a "white Jerusalem".

Today 'Castello' is a splendid and stylishly intriguingly center of museums, cafes, bars, art studios, and boutiques that truly 'pop' at night (mind you, not evening, but later). Do not miss visiting the bar at the top of Castello's ridge with its Arabesque type ambiance complete with harem palace style 'beds' draped with silks and sprawling cushions. A bit eccentric, but fun way to enjoy a drink with friends.
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Best wishes

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Destination - Sardinia Island

If you're looking to visit an exotic tropical location, that also yields many a millenia of Mediterranean culture, art and tradition - a fantastic meal and great wine, then the Romanesque Island of Sardinia must go to the top of your list. History describes the island as a Phoenecian colony that was conquered and colonized by the Romans during the First Punic war in 238BC. The history of Sardinia as a human settlement dates backs thousands of years. Archaelogical evidence of human existence is represented by the numerous dwellings called nuraghe.

The beaches here are incredible. However, with the vast amount of immaculately preserved cultural and historical record of their rich and so well preserved traditions, an ample amount of time should be dedicated to 'exploration' and discovery' of the island. In the capital city of Cagliari, make to sure to visit these historical bases.

Raccolta di Cere Anatomiche Cagliari
Creepy, anatomically-correct wax models line the halls of the Raccolta di Cere Anatomiche, and their insides are on display for all the world to see. Models are carefully cross-sectioned to reveal the hidden intricacies of the human body. The interesting displays combine science with macbre entertainment.
Address: Piazza dell'Indipendenza 7
Cagliari CA Italy
Te.l: (o11) +39 (0) 70 6757627

National Picture Gallery of Cagliari (Pinacoteca Nazionale di Cagliari)
Cagliari's Pinacoteca Nazionale's collection focuses on Sardinian art from the 15th to the 17th century. Four works by Sardinia's premiere artist, Pietro Cavaro, are a highlight. Other items of interest include a fascinating collection of 14th century Spanish-Arab pottery and a look at the history of Sardinian weaponry.
Address: Piazza Arsenale
Cagliari CA Italy 09124
Tel: (011) +39 (0) 70 674054

Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Ancient Sardinia was once populated by a civilization known as the Nuragici, who left behind several artifacts, including curious towers known as nuraghes, scattered accross the island. Some of the most intriguing pieces left behind are housed safely in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Look for bronzetti, carved bronze statues it's said date back as far as 5000 BC.
Address: Piazza Arsenale
Cagliari CA Italy
(011) +39 (0) 70 684000