You’ve never heard of Sardinia? That is often the case, leaving this island about 300 miles off Italy’s west coast as a hidden gem of white sands and blue waters. During an internship in Italy you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to cross the sea and take a peek at the island. From a linguistic, idealistic, and cultural point of view, it is considered by many as the least Italian of all regions ensuring a truly unique experience. It is filled with surprises that change from mile to mile of sandy shore. Each experience is new depending on where the boat lands.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, so a weekend won’t be enough to see the whole island, but it will be enough to breath the sea air, taste Sardinian food, and enjoy its ancient history made of more than 7,000 Nuraghes, impressive megalithic monuments. Let us introduce you to the parts that make up this unique island.
Renowned for the VIP Emerald Coast, northern Sardinia is not only the world of 5-star Hotels, yachts, and trendy nightclubs, but it also offers a wide range of white beaches and an emerald sea. Set in the extreme north of the Island is Santa Teresa di Gallura, the pleasing town which overlooks the strait of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia.
Further east, you find the La Maddalena Archipelago which has a national park with loads of island-hopping opportunities. If you are lucky enough to visit the north in the beginning of September, don’t not miss the jazz festival Musica sulle Bocche and experience the Sardinian sunset under the musical rhythm.
The entire west cannot cannot be given one description because its coast and landscape varies so greatly. The Sulcis area south of Oristano city is a very wild one, it boasts incredible panoramas and impressive seas. Take a walk over the imposing sandy dunes of Piscinas, which is like one great photo opportunity. The territory of Oristano is also rich in emerald-color beaches and delightful culinary tradition based on genuine products and homemade food. Cabras is small fishing village that hosts barefoot races in early September and one of the best fish lunches you can buy! Other nice places to visit are the charming cities of Alghero and Bosa (a romantic small center on the banks of Temo River).
Ogliastra, called ‘the island within the island’, is one of the symbols of the east coast. Visitors will feast their eyes on alternating bays, cliffs overlooking the sea, and hidden grottos of the Gulf of Orosei. The best period to enjoy the East Coast is during the long Sardinian Summer that lasts from May till September. This period is a great time for a boat tour to have an overview of the amazing calette, or coves, a plate of culurgiones and, of course, a glass of Cannonau wine from Jerzu.
Cagliari is the capital of the island, and it its cultural and political center. Among the list of things to do there, a special mention should be dedicated to a stroll in the old town and a fish-based dinner at Marina district. The southwest and southeast coasts are characterized by small fishing and tourist villages, paradise beaches and endless nuances of blue. A visit in May should include the feast of the patron saint of the city: the most important religious event of the island and one of the oldest processions in Italy.
There Is No Sea In Sardinia is an interesting novel by Marcello Fois and this short phrase is able to capture the other side of Sardinia. The heart of the Island offers a different facet: the rugged mountains of Gennargentu, agro-pastoral villages, and a delightful culinary tradition based all around meat. At the end of October, is the Autumn in Barbagia - Cortes Apertas, which is a series of local festivals. In February they hold the traditional Carnival in Barbagia which is folk festival filled with performances and masks that are typical to the history of the region. The Museum of Mediterranean Masks in the town of Mamoiada can provide more insight into the many masks of the culture. A journey inland is not complete without a visit to the mountain top town Orgosolo and a viewing of its 350 murals spread out all over the streets, down alleyways, and painted on buildings.
There is so much to learn about this island known as “more than a continent.” Check out internship programs in Italy to experience life in the Mediterranean Islands now!