All great Italian operas must have an intermezzo, or intermission, to allow the audience to catch their breath. We therefore scheduled an intermezzo into our Italian adventure in the form of a week of relaxation on the stunning Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Few American tourists find their way to Sardinia, and we probably never would have included it on our itinerary if not for the advice of Jared’s good friend Alessandro (aka, Alex.)
Alex has been visiting Porto Cervo, a port town on the northeast coast of the island, just about every summer since he was a small child. In recent years this town and the waters that surround it have become popular with world’s wealthiest yachters. The downside of this is that prices have skyrocketed (everything costs 2x what it would elsewhere in Italy) but the upside is that glistening hundred-million-dollar yachts are around every corner. Since Jared is obsessed with yachts, especially those with sails on them, he was like a kid in a candy store the entire week.
Not-so-coincidentally we found ourselves in Sardinia the same week as the Rolex Cup Maxi Yacht sailing race. This famous annual race attracts the world’s largest and most advanced sailing yachts. We rented a motorboat one day with a nice German couple that we met at our resort, Jan and Melanie, and perched ourselves near the starting line for the race. Since Jared is a lifelong sailor, watching the race kick off from just a few meters leeward of the starting buoys was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After watching the first couple hours of the yacht race, we piloted our little motorboat to some beaches that Alex had encouraged us to visit (Alex had previously marked their location on a Google Map and Jared programmed the coordinates into his handheld GPS.) Our favorite was definitely Isola Mortorio, also known as “Tahiti Beach.” There are pictures of it in the video… you’ll know it when you see it.
We also enjoyed spending some time with Alex’s mother and grandmother, who have a beautiful home near Porto Cervo where they spend a few months every year. They were like the Italian mama and nonna that we never had! Alex’s mom cooked us some paradello (basically an Italian version of French toast) which we enjoyed eating while nonna knitted. We were welcomed like family, which felt so wonderful being so far away from our own families.
Of course, we ate plenty of good food in Sardinia… the usual staples of pizza, pasta, and panini, plus some great local seafood, although it was so damn expensive that we tried to eat-in whenever possible. Lauren managed to whip together some delicious insalata caprese , melon con prosciutto, pasta con pesto Genovese, and sautéed fish.
All-in-all it was a relaxing week and nice change of pace from the usual hustle of around the world travel. We needed to rest to prepare for the next 10 days of our Chasing Summer Italy itinerary, a whirlwind tour through Naples, Sorrento, Capri, the Amalfi coast, and the Umbria and Tuscany regions, that is currently underway. Details to come in our next post. In the meantime, enjoy this video, “Bella Italia, Intermezzo”