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Under a Sardinian Sky

by Sara Alexander

Set against the beautiful backdrop of post-World War II Sardinia, Sara Alexander’s evocative novel is a sweeping story of star-crossed romance between an American lieutenant and a local girl.

Sometimes a family’s deepest silences hide the most important secrets. For Mina, a London-based travel writer, the enigmatic silence surrounding her aunt Carmela has become a personal obsession. Carmela disappeared from her Italian hometown long ago and is mentioned only in fragments and whispers. Mina has resisted prying, respectful of her family’s Sardinian reserve. But now, with her mother battling cancer, it’s time to learn the truth.

In 1952, Simius is a busy Sardinian town surrounded by fertile farms and orchards. Carmela Chirigoni, a farmer’s daughter and talented seamstress, is engaged to Franco, son of the area’s wealthiest family. Everyone agrees it’s a good match. But Carmela’s growing doubts about Franco’s possessiveness are magnified when she meets Captain Joe Kavanagh. Joe, an American officer stationed at a local army base, is charismatic, intelligent, and married. Hired as his interpreter, Carmela resolves to ignore her feelings, knowing that any future together must bring upheaval and heartache to both families.

As Mina follows the threads of Carmela’s life to uncover her fate, she will discover a past still deeply alive in the present, revealing a story of hope, sacrifice, and extraordinary love.

D.H. Lawrence and Italy: Twilight in Italy, Sea and Sardinia, Etruscan Places (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

by D. H. Lawrence, Anthony Burgess

Amazon Reader’s review: “If I were to read only two travel books then this would be the second one, although both my wife and an English friend read it in German translation and reported that it was terrible. Maybe it doesn’t translate well. Lawrence, as young man, describes a thread running through his life as he starts the journey by heading south toward Italy on foot from Bavaria with Frida, a way of travel that many Germans still understand very well. Descriptions of people are attractive, like the one-legged Italian who tried to seduce the cold, northern women at a dance. I liked best his description of his own Alpüberquerung, his description therein of the hurried English hiker, the way that Italians have ruined the alpine valleys with industrialization. And I felt loss at his growing distance from Frida. The book made me want to see the lemon and olive trees above Lago di Garda and the villages high above the lake, but we haven’t done that in spite of our nearness to the region. Gardasee is completely overrun by German tourists now, not just by those wearing heavy hiking boots.”

The Day of Judgment

by Salvatore Satta, Patrick Creagh (Translator)

Slowly, from cobbled path to pastureland to overarching mountain, the ancient town of Nuoro in Sardinia emerges as the chief player in this singular, profoundly intelligent, superbly translated novel. If one man can be said to stand taller than the rest, it is Don Sebastiano, the notary, who, though he has labored hard for 50 years amassing vineyards, wheat fields and oil presses, is not rich, because “only the cemetery is rich.” And indeed as each of his seven sons leaves the town for the university, seeking money, fame, status, Sebastiano mocks their search for “bread made of something better than wheat.” For he knows that even if they don’t remain in Nuoro, the town will remain in them, as it has in all the peasants, shepherds and landowners who figure in the narrative, whose sorrows, grudges and centuries-old habits distinguish them so precisely that the reader can hear their voices. A tenuous yet shattering plot, generated by the hatred of schoolteacher Don Ricciotti for Don Sebastiano, takes shape toward the end. Ricciotti galvanizes the countryside, forms a new political party, stands for election, charges Sebastiano with murder. This wise and glowing novel has been widely read in Europe since its publication in 1979.

Sardinian Silver

by A. Colin Wright

To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It’s an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire. Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero to work as a representative for a tourist company. His ambition is to find a Sard girl for himself. He is quickly thwarted, though, by the orthodox beliefs of the inhabitants. Unmarried couples cannot meet without chaperones, and anyone with “continental” attitudes is immoral. Arthur quickly learns that dating is fraught with real dangers. When Arthur finally falls in love with Anna, a Sard girl, he discovers that she lives in Rome and is no longer accepted at home. But she then falls in love with one of his best friends, and Arthur becomes irrationally obsessed. He incessantly schemes about winning back her affections, despite her efforts to dissuade him. In Sardinian Silver, author Wright masterfully evokes a mysterious society, its flamboyant people, and the Island’s beauty. Like Arthur, you’ll never want to leave Sardinia, with its wide sands, low hills, sun, and blue sea and its superficial pleasantness of life.

Lonely Planet Sardinia

by Damien Simonis

Lonely Planet Sardinia is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Kayak through the sea grottoes of Golfo di Orosei, seek out secluded coves at Costa Smeralda, or boulder-hop in Europe’s Grand Canyon – Gola Su Gorropu; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Sardinia and begin your journey now, with:

  • Colour maps and images
  • Highlights and itineraries to tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local
  • Essential info: hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets: eating, sleeping, sightseeing, shopping, hidden gems
  • Cultural insights
  • Covers Cagliari, the Sarrabus, Iglesias, Oristano, Alghero, Olbia, the Costa Smeralda, the Gallura, Nuoro, Orgosolo, Tiscali, Golfo di Orosei, Gola Su Gorropu, Grotta di Nettuno, Bosa, and more

The Foods of Sicily & Sardinia and the Smaller Islands

by

John Dominis (Photographer)

Charting watery frontiers of authentic Italian cuisine, Bugialli (The Foods of Tuscany) island-hops to observe ancient Roman culinary traditions steeped in encounters with Greek, Phoenician, French, Spanish and other historic trespassers. The galvanic flavors retrieved justify his every stopover. Claiming that Sicily and Sardinia boast Italy’s most varied antipasti, Bugialli offers Swordfish or Tuna Marinated in Aromatic Herbs (lemon verbena, mint, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano and capers) and Grilled Eggplant in Salmoriglio, a sauce of anchovies, garlic, rosemary and sage. Sicilian Pesto fuses tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, parsley and mint. On the tiny island of Favignana, he finds Pasta Baked in a Squid. Some dishes specify homemade pasta, which may scare off many home cooks; Polenta with Sausages, Sardinian Style, asks for 55 minutes of pot-stirring, a long stretch even for old polenta hands. But simple recipes, like Fava Bean Soup with spinach and pancetta or prosciutto, are also offered. Lemon-Flavored Ossobuco with Cannellini Beans from Elba is particularly seductive, as is Chicken with Hot Green Peppers. Expectedly, seafood dishes excel with dishes like Shrimp in Tomato/Caper Sauce and Fresh Tuna in Savory Vinegar Sauce. So too do vegetables (String Beans in Garlic Sauce; Savory Squash Torte). Breads include Sardinia’s classic Carta da Musica (Music Paper Bread). Dominis’s lush photos portray the islands, their marketplaces and traditions with remarkable immediacy.