How did they do it?
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the island of Sardinia, a region of southern Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful area can be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine. Some parts of Sardinia remain undiscovered by tourists, while other sites are jet setter favorites and are priced accordingly. This article presents central Sardinia. Companion articles present northern Sardinia and southern Sardinia.
Su Nuraxi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the finest example of a 4000 year-old stone defensive structure called nuraghe found only in Sardinia. Nuraghe are typically shaped like a beehive, built with huge stone blocks, but without foundations or cement. Each mound contains one or more rooms and perhaps a courtyard and may be over sixty feet (twenty meters) high. Sardinia boasts over 8,000 nuraghe. Don’t miss the ruins of the surrounding Bronze-Age village.
Giari di Gesturi is a 28 square mile (45 square kilometer) basalt plateau. It’s home to dwarf wild horses and wild sheep with beautiful curved horns that made them an endangered species. See these magnificent animals while there is still time.
Nuoro overlooks the mountains. This is the real Sardinia, not the coastal resorts. Natives feel a special pride that foreigners have never conquered them. Traditions are very much part of the local daily life and the numerous village festivals.
Nuoro is proud of its captivating landscapes, walking and riding paths along old shepherd’s trails, and extravagantly romantic places with rare species of birds. Archaeological finds and fascinating folklore and legends abound. Yet the city is no intellectual wasteland. It is called "the Sardinian Athens" because of its large number of poets, writers, and intellectuals including Grazia Deledda, the second woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (1926), born and raised in Nuoro.
There are more than 500 types of bread in Sardinia, one for each village. The most famous is the pani carasau that resembles thin pita. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Southern Sardinia for a sample menu and more information on Sardinia wines as well as an in-depth examination of the area’s tourist attractions. The Vernaccia di Oristano DOC wine is produced in a small area near the city of Oristano from a local white grape of that name. According to legend the vines come from the tears of Santa Giusta, patroness of Oristano and the wine helps fight malaria.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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