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Sardegna: the large rocky island 7 hours away by ferry (Livorno to Olbia) ~ we left on Saturday morning and returned Tuesday night.  It was a far too brief visit, but packed with sights and adventures nonetheless.

Immediate reactions – there are a LOT of rocks; all of Sardegna is made of rock.  Everything grows with a vengeance; Sardegnian bougainvillas put those of Liguria to shame.  People; so many beautiful faces in Sardegna.  Animals; take your pick: sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, pigs – there are loads of all of them and they can frequently be found trotting along the roads and highways.  Mountains; they are high, they are rocky, and they look relatively new. Archaeology; plenty of ancient sites still needing excavation and study.  We visited the one in Tortoli, where we saw a ‘nuraghe‘ (an ancient construction for defense, living and food storage) and two burial sites.

Arbatax, Tortoli and Baunei (east central coast) – the only places we visited.  BUT, there was a Festa in Baunei celebrating the Old Way of Life – great photo ops and some interesting food.  A Matrimonio Finto – a ‘fake’ wedding – was part of the festa.  We were so excited when we thought we were seeing a real wedding, but even the pretend one was great.  The day after the festa we found ourselves driving again through Baunei; old ladies were still wearing ‘costume’, so perhaps some of them still dress daily in the old style.

The church of San Pietro (2nd half of XVI century) is in the hills high above Baunei and has outside an ancient and unique face carving from a nearby nuraghe.  There we found quiet, calm and the sense of peace that only very old stones and trees can give.

Photos are on the right in three web albums; as usual, slide show recommended.

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