Renting a villa in Sardinia & Sicily
Trust&Travel is proud to offer you two stunning seafront villas with direct access to the sea, situated on the northern tip of Sardinia, near Olbia and the Costa Smeralda, Sicily. Enjoy browsing through these exceptional villas where you can enjoy what Sardinia & Sicily are most known for: the crystalline purity of the water and the surprising landscape of rocks which have been shaped by the sea.
3 bedroom house with private pool 10 km from the sea, located in south-eastern Sicily, the so called baroque Sicily.
Sardinia & Sicily,
between sky and sea
The sea in Sardinia is as clear as in the Seychelles.
Coves, fine sand, pebbles, and perfectly smooth granite rocks in the most extraordinary shapes, the coastal areas are as varied as they are stunning. In spring and autumn the diversity of Sardinia’s landscapes, between sky and sea, offers visitors who love trekking unbelievably beautiful places of botanical, archaeological or geological interest. Sardinia is most definitely a destination for nature-lovers. You should travel through Sardinia from East to West, from North to South, but if you would rather bask in the sun, then go round the island by boat.
Geographical Landmarks of Sardinia
Sardinia –Sardegna- is a Western Mediterranean island that lies to the west of Italy and to the south of Corsica. It covers an area of 24,000 km2 and was long considered the largest island in the Mediterranean (although it is smaller than Sicily). It consists mainly of mountains and hills; the Gennargentu reaches 1,834 m at its peak. Two rivers flow through it –the Flumendosa and the Tirso- and a number of dams form artificial lakes. The climate is Mediterranean and there is plenty of sunshine all year round. In summer, the temperature easily reaches 30o C or even 35o C. Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia.
A Brief History of Sardinia
Sardinia’s history is rich, complex, and stretches back a very long way.
The first traces of man on the island go back to the Lower Palaeolithic period (500,000 BC)! More recently, the Phoenicians showed interest in Sardinia’ s easily accessible and therefore trade-friendly geographical location from the 18th century BC onwards. Next it was annexed by Rome, along with Corsica, in 227 BC.
The island then passed progressively through Byzantine and Arab hands before becoming Italian again from the 15th century (AD) onwards. The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was established in 1847 and became the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Today, Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, and has been since 1948.
Landscapes, Nature, Walks in Sardinia
Geology treks around Lake Gusana
One day circuit beginning on the outskirts of the village of Gavoi. From the top of Monte Loiloi, there is an opportunity to admire the north side of Mount Gennargentu, of the Supramonte Orgoloso, of the Monte Gonare and of Lake Gusana. The trek continues along the mountain ridge and leads into the magnificent Aratu valley, the natural border between Fonni and Ovodda. The outing ends at the top of Monte Astore, from where the views are majestic. It is a magical walk, both from a botanical and a geological perspective.
Nature treks at Cala Goloritze
Off-road vehicle transfer to the Golgo plateau and a trek of roughly one and a half hours through woods and hundred-year-old oaks. After crossing a spectacular stone arch, climb to the wonderful and unique Cala Goloritze. The deep turquoise colour of the sea, combined with the white of the pebbles on the beach, will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Mountain-biking in the magical Aratu valley
A nature and archaeological trail of unbelievable beauty.
You can explore the valley by mountain-bike, jeep or foot for 18 km.
A quick tour of Sardinia’s beaches
In the North, the Gallura Coast consists of coves and little beaches with fine sand and clear water. It is one of Sardinia’s most beautiful coastlines.
On the East Coast, go for a walk in Caletta, Posada and Berchida and admire the granite coast.
In the South, the long sandy beaches of the Costa Rey will enchant you. The beaches of Chia, with their powdery sand dunes, are a must-see too.
Finally, in the centre of the West Coast, choose Giovanni’s beach, right next to the Tharros archaeological site.
Sardinia is home to the most beautiful archaeological sites.
So rich is its history, it is considered to be an open-air museum.
There are many museums to visit, amongst which you will find the National G. Sanna de Sassari Museum, the Sella & Mosca d’Alghero Museum, or the Brigata Sassari Museum.
Museums with a natural theme also abound, like the Alghero Aquarium, the Natural Science Museum in Belvi, and the Nature Museum of the Sa Corona Arrubia Territory at Villanova Forru. The latter is well worth the trip, with its Modern Art gallery housing Sardinian and Italian artists.
You will also find botanical and wildlife sections there.
The variety of the regional wines is remarkable and almost every locality has its own wine.
Do not pass up the Vermentino (white wine from Gallura), Cannonau (red or rosé wine from Barbagia and Ogliastra) or the Nuragus (white wine from Campinado).
Bread plays a predominant role in Sardinia.
It is called carasau bread, a fine sheet of dough shaped like a circle, double-baked in the oven. It is crunchy and delicious.
Sardinian cheese, cooked meats and cakes also deserve a special mention.
Among the better known cheeses, try Sardinian Pecorino (goat’s cheese).It has a soft texture, and its taste is wild and strong. Try caciocavallo (cow’s milk cheese) and ricotta too.
Among the cooked meats, we recommend the sausages and mountain ham.
Finally, try the famous bianchini, guelfi and amaretti, which are the island’s most typical cakes.
Shopping in Sardinia
In Sardinia, it is mostly the gourmet specialities which are irresistible. Bring back olive oil, sauces, condiments, dried pasta, honey, panettone and almond biscuits.
Devoted followers of Italian fashion will find an ample selection of clothing and shoes at the big brand-name stores (Gucci, Moschino, Prada). You can also dig out very pretty coral jewellery and ceramics with a variety of designs.
The shops are open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. on weekdays.
In our Blog Katharina’s Italy you can find first hand information and stories about Sardinia.
SICILY, OUTSIDE TIME
In his 1954 book entitled The Golden Honeycomb, acclaimed British writer Vincent Cronin wrote these words: “Sicily is an island lying outside time, where past events endure in an eternal present, a beach on which the tides of successive civilizations have heaped in disorder their assorted treasures.”
Yes, Sicily lies outside time. Very few other places in the world are as ageless and supernatural. As beautiful and entrancing. For thousands of years, Europe and Africa, East and West have converged, merged and crossed swords on the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Vandals and Normans, just to name a few, all threaded their way through Scylla and Charybdis to reach the Sicilian shores and coalesce in this extraordinary garden of delights.
SICILIAN GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Viewed from the heavens, Sicily looks more or less like a triangle. This is why it was called by the Romans Trinacria, a latin word meaning “star with three points”, these points coinciding with the three major capes of the island: Peloro, Passero and Lilibeo. Lying in the heart of the Mediterranean and separated from the Italian peninsular mainland by the Strait of Messina, Sicily extends over an area of roughly 25,000 km², and boasts close to 1,500 km of breathtaking coastline and sandy beaches. Reaching approximately 3,350 metres at its highest point, the majestic and iconic Mount Etna is its most prominent landmark as well as Europe’s largest active volcano.
Sicily’s climate is typically Mediterranean: dry and hot summers, wet and mild winters. Its capital city is Palermo.
HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF SICILY
Sicily became very early on one of the major crossroads of Antiquity. There is archeological evidence of human settlements on the island well before 10,000 BC. During the first millennium BC, Phoenicians and Greeks established colonies along its shores, and much of the Punic wars between Romans and Carthaginians were fought on its soil.
After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Sicily came under the rule of many successive invaders: Ostrogoths, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans, Spaniards and Bourbons, who all left their marks on the land. It finally became part of Italy in 1860 and, on the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, was granted the autonomous region status.
NATURE AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN SICILY
Sicily is a real paradise for hikers, divers, sunbathers, mountaineers, bird-watchers and amateur botanists. Of course, the absolute must for any nature lover is a foray into the Etna Regional Park, one of the largest and most bewitching in Italy. The undisputed landmark of the island and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna has been since the Antiquity an object of awe and veneration, as well as the subject of countless myths and observations by Greeks, Celts and Romans. A guided tour of this majestic and legendary mountain – now a UNESCO World Heritage site – is undoubtedly one of the most exciting experiences you can have during your Sicilian holiday.
Deep gorges and windswept plateaus, beautiful sandy dunes and beaches, moutainside forests, sweet-smelling lemon groves, almond trees by the thousand, charming fishing or hill-top villages, lagoon lakes providing shelter for rare species such as cranes, terrapins, flamingos… Sicily’s natural treasures are endless. You’ll even find the Italian baby counterpart of the Grand Canyon near the town of Avola in the south-east of the island, and, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna, the oldest known chestnut tree in the world, at least 2,000 years of age!
SICILIAN ART AND CULTURE
The artistic and cultural riches of Sicily are as manifold as its natural landscapes. The island has seen the emergence of a great number of prestigious writers, thinkers, artists and scientists, whose lineage can be traced back to Gorgias and Empedocles, two notable pre-socratic philosophers, as well as to the highly celebrated Archimedes, a Syracuse native acknowledged to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all times.
Sicily also boasts five UNESCO World Heritage sites of cultural interest. Built in the 4th century AD, the Villa Romana del Casale is home to the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. The Necropolis of Pantalica, near Syracuse, contains no less than 5,000 tombs dating from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC. The eight Baroque towns of the Val di Noto epitomize the culmination and final bloom of Baroque art in Europe. And for visitors interested in Hellenic art and architecture, Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples are a definite must-see.
Famous painters with their roots on the island include Antonello da Messina and Greek-born Giorgio de Chirico, whom many regard as the father of surrealist art.
God’s kitchen… one of the nicknames given to Sicily! The island has a long and rich culinary history. The sweet dishes and specialties are probably the best-known part of Sicilian cuisine. The cannoli, made of fried pastry dough and filled with ricotta cheese, have become an earmark of Sicily worldwide. Other notable sweet delights include the sesame seed cookies, the cuccidati fig biscuits and the braccilatte, a local version of doughnuts.
Even though every part of Sicily has its own specialties, pasta plays a major part in Sicilian gastronomy; and the savoury ingredients it can be combined with are not only countless, but also found, for most of them, on the island itself or in its surrounding waters – artichokes, olives, tomatoes, citrus, apricots, onions, hazelnuts, almonds, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, parsley, lamb, rabbit, swordfish, tuna, sea bream… and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, Sicily also produces its own cheeses and wines, some of the latter being extracted from vines unique to the island.
SHOPPING IN SICILY
Here again, you’ll be spoilt for choice! The Sicilian art of ceramics, for instance, goes back to the ancient natives of the island, the Sicanians, and was later on perfected during the Greek colonization period. You will find in Sicily, particularly in and around Caltagirone, high-quality ceramic items and terracotta sculptures. You’re more into leather goods? Then make sure to visit Agrigento and its area, famous for its leather shoes, handbags and accessories.
Generally speaking, you’ll come across lower prices in the colourful outdoor markets – quite an experience in and of themselves – than in the traditional stores. Your children, if you have any, will surely want one of those beautiful folk art marionettes, the pupi, and yourself will probably not resist the temptation to indulge in a few local food delights…
As D.H. Lawrence once said: “Anyone who has once known this land can never be quite free from the nostalgia for it.”