Not Only Beaches: Mount Limbara

Mount Limbara

A paradise for trekkers of all ages


Mount Limbara is a rocky granitic massif in north-eastern Sardinia. It is the southern border between the historical and geographical regions of Gallura and Logudoro. The highest peak is Punta Balistreri, 1,359 meters above sea level. Its area belongs to the comuni(municipalities) of Calangianus, Tempio Pausania, Berchidda and Oschiri, in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

That said, when you arrive, you find yourself immersed in an almost untouched nature (the slopes of Mount Limbara were destroyed by a fire in 1936 that burned its old forests, made up of cork oaks (Quercus Suber) and holm oak (Quercus ilex) . The successive reforestation was made with conifers, characterized by its fast-growing) with springs and ponds, oak trees, and everywhere the typical “granitic stones” of Gallura and the breathtaking views. Amazing the amount of foreign visitors who come here to visit these forests and to enjoy a few hours of well-deserved relaxation walking in the woods or stopping in one of the many refreshment areas to have a picnic, or even pitching the tents by the side of one of the little lakes or streams that is possible to find here. Particularly suitable for trekkers of all ages, with hiking trails marked and maps placed throughout the area.

This year, the Monte Limbara will also host the first edition of the Gallura International Trail, a race for lovers of nature and sports, which will see a large group of athletes compete in these woods along two routes one of 80km and the other 40km with final pasta party and awards ceremony Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Tempio.

If you love good food and good wine, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, many wineries that produce the famous Vermentino di Gallura (see here or buy) or restaurants where you can taste the local delicacies such as the famous zuppa Gallurese or li pulilgioni (characteristics quality of homemade pasta prepared in this area).

In short, a place to visit and where to spend a day far from the summer crowds of the beaches that are located in this province.

GPS Coordinate  of Vallicciola Relax Area: 40.8524034, 9.15656

vino,olio di oliva,cannonau,vermentino,moscato,malvasia,cagnulari,carignano,nuragus

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#ilikesardinia: The Carnival

The Carnival

The Feast of St. Antonio


The feast of St. Antonio Abate, which is celebrated on January 17, opens the Carnival and trough the rite of the lighting of large bonfires perpetuates an ancient tradition that has its origin in the pagan agro-pastoral world. In ancient times these rites were celebrated to propitiate the arrival of the new season and the end of the cold. The Sardinian Carnival therefore represents a solution of continuity between past and present, highlighting the cultural identity of the communities who celebrate it.

The Carnival is one of the most awaited anniversary and is particularly felt by the population of Ottana, which, with its special masks “de Sos Merdules” animates the village for three days, as well as in Gavoi and Mamoiada with the exit of the “Mamuthones“(another tipical mask), in Orotelli with the “Thurpos”, in Alghero, in Oristano with the spectacular riding challenge of the “Sartiglia”.

And around these bonfires are eated, as tradition has it, some typical food specialties: sas savadas (see post), sas gazzas, sa pasta violada, sas origliettas, and also, sas culurzones (see post), pane carasau bread (see post 1 & 2) with sausages, cheese and local wine.

wine,olive oil,cannonau,vermentino,moscato,malvasia,cagnulari,carignano,nuragus

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The Giants of Mont’e Prama

The Giants of Mont’e Prama

A fascinating mystery


When about 25 years ago I moved to Tuscany, I had never heard of the Giants of Mont’e Prama and so last year, when I saw for the first time a newspaper article that talked about the discovery of new statues, I’m literally fall from the sky. What are the Giants of Mont’e Prama? When were they  discovered? Where? Surfing the web I found out many details about the Giants, first of all that the first finds were recovered between the late seventies and early eighties. A long time ago … why then I had never heard of the Giants when I was living in Sardinia? I think that this is due, as often happens in Italy, by the lack of attention to the archaeological site(see the end of article). In fact comments from people I know who have been there before the recent controversy about the conditions of the site, describe the site itself as poorly supervised and poorly valued.
Clearly I can not confirm, but it could certainly be a plausible explanation.

Anyway, have seen the pictures on newspapers  and later on internet, encouraged me to go see the incredibly evocative and fascinating statues of the giants.
The site is located in the town of Cabras, a town which overlooks the pond of the same name, in the province of Oristano. The area, as you already know from previous posts (see post 1 & 2), is rich of Nuragic settlements and nearby you can also admire the remains of the Punic-Phoenician-Roman city of  Tharros (see post). Its name is due to the presence in the area of the dwarf palm, in Sardinian “prama”, that here has the ideal climatic conditions to the spontaneous growth. The term “monte” instead is just due to an higher area of the terrain(about 50m in height). The area has retained over the years a kind of integrity from the point of view of nature and is of great landscape interest.
I add anyway some historical news: the first findings date back to 1974, when plowing a field, a farmer unearthed a head and other stone elements. In 1979 started the full excavation of an area defined by the provincial road, and is located a necropolis, delimited on three sides by stone slabs driven into the ground, where are arranged the shaft tombs, which contained the bodies. Many as you can imagine the assumptions on the statues and their relationship with the necropolis.
Amazing the number of artifacts recovered, divided into:

  • archers, wearing a short tunic and a archers wear a short tunic and a chest protector; they have long hair topped by a helmet with two horns. The left arm is protected by a scabbard and glove and carries a bow. The right arm goes down along the body, with the forearm and hand bent upward as a sign of offering. The legs
    are protected by shin-guards.. Have long braids and a helmet on the head two horns. The left arm wields a bow, while the right is stretched along the body with the forearm and hand prosthesis forward. The legs are protected by greaves (part of the armor that protects the leg from the ankle to the knee);
  • boxers, wear a short skirt and are bare-chested. They are characterized by the position of the left arm holding a shield over their head, while holding the front side of the shield with his right arm, protected by a glove;
  • warriors, of which there are only a few fragments, which grip with both hands a circular shield finely decorated;
  • models of nuraghe, ie reproductions of Nuraghic towers.

The dating of the finds, according to the theories, are between the eighth century BC and the tenth century BC, and if confirmed these datings could do the Giants the most ancient anthropomorphic sculptures of the Mediterranean area.
PS: about the controversy that erupted in recent months regarding the management of the site, I certainly can not express myself, but analyzing the countless websites, I am convinced that only the newspaper “La Nuova Sardegna“, was the first involved on the discoveries made by archaeologists in Mont’e Prama, and has kept alive our interest, reminding us that in Sardinia and Italy, we still have to find out so much more about our mysterious and incredible past. In this regard, I carry a few lines of an interview with Luigi Zingales (economist, academic and Italian blogger, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) published just few days ago from “La Nuova Sardegna”(see): “… I think this whole thing has been managed badly. It is a finding that deserves a world stage, of which, for now, there is no trace ….. “.

GPS coordinates Mont’e Prama: 39.963777, 8.4533629,448

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Wines of Sardinia: The Girò


Red Wine DOC

Fine grape variety and of great potential, especially for the production of dessert wine or sipping wine. Probably its origins  date back to the Spanish rule, when it was introduced in Campidano di Cagliari. Girò have been most popular during the rule of the Piedmont in 1700 and was in danger of disappearing because of phylloxera in the second half of the 800. In fact, as we have said in other posts, with the destruction of most of the vineyards due to this parasite, many producers preferred replace Girò with more productive and less difficult grape varieties. Its cultivation is now restricted to limited areas located mainly in the south of the island; it prefers calcareous-clayey terrains, deep, cool, and dry; warm and dry climate. It has been recognized of the Denomination of Controlled Origin(DOC) in 1979, arousing new interest and experiencing a period of great fame, as it is one of the few Italian liqueur wines that you can liken to the well-known Spanish Wines Port and Madeira. Characterized by an intense ruby red color and elegant aromas reminiscent of cherries jam, caramel and quince. It is full-bodied, soft and velvety. His balance and finesse can be attributed to the sweetness and the pleasant feeling of warmth that you perceive.

You can pair the Girò di Cagliari Doc with desserts, in particular is great with pastry made ​​with almonds, tart with red fruit or dried fruit and mature pecorino cheese(see post). It has to be served with a medium size wineglass tulip-shaped(as for Cabernet wine), at a temperature of 10-12 ° C. You can pair the Liqueur type, be it sweet or dry, with baked pastries and tarts with jam. We recommended a small size wineglass tulip-shaped(as for Port wine); the ideal temperature is between 12 and 14 ° C.

DOC Girò di Cagliari

Grape: Min. 95% Girò, max. 5% other suitable grapes of Sardinian cultivation

Area of production: All the Municipalities of the Province of Cagliari and some Municipalities of the Province of Oristano

Wine Yeld: Max. 60%

Alcoholic Content: Min. 14,5° of which 2,5° to be developed

Tipe: Dry 14.0°, 0.5° of which to be developed; Fortified wine 17.5°, 2.5° of which to be developed; Dry fortified wine 17.5°, 1.0° of which to be developed; Fortified wine Reserve

Ageing: Min. 2 years and at least one in barrels for Reserve typology

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The New Wine

New Wine

Grape Harvest 2014


We finally arrived in November and the first taste of the wines of the Grape Harvest 2014 is on the shelves. The Novello(new wine), obtained by a fermentation method used in France for the production of a wine called Beaujolais nouveau, until a few years ago was little known. To understand how is it possible to drink a red wine after a so short period, without going through the slow maturation and aging, we must describe the technique, carbonic maceration, with which it is produced: the grape bunches are not de-stemmed and crushed and are placed at the internal of a steel container saturated with carbon dioxide and left to ferment for a period ranging from several hours to a few days. In this particular environment, in the absence of oxygen, the grapes initiate an intracellular fermentation that produces multiple effects: lowers the acidity, enhances the fruity aromatic components, increases the content of glycerin. Once removed from the container, the grapes are then conveyed to a normal alcoholic fermentation. The resulting wine has a purple color, fruity scents with marked notes of berries, soft and harmonious taste. The low content of tannins and low acidity, make it unsuitable for the preservation and it should be consumed as soon as possible to fully enjoy its features.

The italian history of Novello started in 1989 as a result of DM 06/10/1989, and is characterized by varying degrees of success, after a growing success between the customers(but not with reviewers), and after the halcyon days when its consumption was fashionable, now it is experiencing a period of decline. We recommend you to try it, without expecting the structure and the complexity of an aged wine, but enjoying its intense aromas and try it with autumn dishes(see post) with which it combines very well!!!

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Wines of Sardinia: The Nasco


White Wine DOC


Grown in Sardinia since ancient times, Nasco is a precious variety of rare finesse. Today it is cultivated mainly in calcareous and sunny soils  of the inland of the province of Cagliari(see post), in particular, in the municipalities of Quartu, Maracalagonis, Dolianova, Selargius, Sinnai, Soleminis. The name seems to derive from the Latin “Muscus” which means moss, which justifies the scent that is felt particularly in aged wines. In Roman times, this vine had spread throughout the island and so it was until the second half of the last century, a period during which it was considered  one of the most prestigious wines of Sardinia.
Currently Nasco is experiencing a renewed and deserved interest  even if it is mainly consumed by a clientele of estimator and its production is therefore limited. It is characterized by an amber color, a good consistency, an intense and enveloping scent of honey , fruits, dates, figs, candied orange, with a finish of musk and Mediterranean scrub. To the palate is smooth, thick and sweet. It is often used for the production of fortified wines.
Since 1972 it has been recognized as Denomination of Controlled Origin(DOC).

The Nasco wine should be served at room temperature, paired to cheeses(see post); is great, when served cold, as an aperitif.

DOC Nasco di Cagliari

Grape: Nasco Min. 95%, max 5% other suitable grapes cultivated in Sardinia

Production Area: Part of the municipalities of the provinces of Cagliari and Oristano

Yield in wine: Max. 65%

Alcoholic content: 14.5°, of which at least 2.5° to be developed

Type: Dry, min. 14°; Fortified wine, min. 17.5°, 2.5° of which to be developed; Fortified Reserve

Aging: Min. 2 years one of which in barrels, for Reserve typology

vino,olio di oliva,cannonau,vermentino,moscato,malvasia,cagnulari,carignano,nuragus

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A meat pie: “Sa Panada”

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