Love them or hate them, you can’t get away from the little fishies today. November 24th marks National Sardine Day, and so it seems only right to explore the idyllic Mediterranean island of Sardinia on this Tuesday, for which the oily herring ancestor was named for in the 15th century due to their abundance around the island.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea is separated from mainland Italy by just the Tyrrhenian Sea, and yet you could be forgiven for believing Sardinia to be a country of its own, due to its ancient culture, language and history, which is unique to the island.
Sardinia has just about everything you could wish for in one places, and all without setting foot outside Europe, incredibly. If you’re one for Caribbean or Maldives standard beaches, look no further than Chia, a resort about an hour drive from the island’s capital Cagliari in the south. Clear, turquoise sea; soft, white sand; and 30 metre high dunes surrounding the crescent beaches come together in a picturesque landscape that can only be described as paradise. If this wasn’t convincing enough already, animal lovers will be interested to note that dolphin sightings are common in the area, and flamingos reside on the nearby lake, while sports enthusiasts are not left out, with perfect conditions for surfing, and plenty of places to hire windsurfs and kayaks. The Sardinian coastline is renowned for its looming limestone cliffs, a must-climb for adventure-seekers, and is covered in oak forests with hiking paths, such as that leading to the canyon of Gola su Gorropu.
Aside from the film set beauty, Sardinia has a rich and fascinating history. Archaeologists have found evidence of the island first being inhabited as long as 200,000 years ago, with tombs called domus de janas, or ‘house of the fairies’ carved into rock faces, tobe dei gigantic, or ‘giant’s graves’, 7000 nuraghi (stone structures unique to Sardinia), Bronze age towers and towns, and burial sites give a glimpse into the ancient cultures on the island. Sardinia is also home to one of Europe’s oldest churches, Sant’Antioco, built in the 5th century, located on the eponymous island of the same name. The entire town, in fact, is built on top of ancient catacombs that can be toured for a small price.
Throughout the ages many different cultures have left their mark on Sardinia as a result of invasions and settlement, seen through not only physical remnants, but also through the Sardinian cuisine. One of the most famous features of the island’s food is Su Porcheddu – the spit-roasted suckling pig -, and natives makes special, dry breads which keep longer than breads with more moisture. As you would expect from an Italian location, pasta is a big part of the cuisine, and fregula is a type of pasta similar to couscous made from semolina and is native to the island, often served in a tomato-based sauce with clams.
As D.H. Lawrence writes in his 1921 book Sea and Sardinia, ‘This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel – nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.’
Looking for the perfect sunglasses to take with you to Sardinia? We recommend taking these Levis Keyhole Round Sunglasses in Tortoiseshell because they scream Italian class. Alternatively, check out our full collections of Men’s Sunglasses as well as Women’s Sunglasses.
Will you be paying a visit to discover the intrigue and beauty of this island?