Italy, Sardinia – Cagliari and the Surroundings
This year did not want to travel much, but we still found tickets to a place we have been planning to see for a long time. The aim of this year's holiday was a diverse Sardinia. Within 14 days we had the opportunity to cross the island from the south through the mountains inland to the east, then north and northwest. Our journey begins in Cagliari, from where we then move east to the island.
The capital of Sardinia is located in the very south of the island and has less than 200,000 inhabitants. The city has a classic Italian atmosphere. Despite restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic, the city's streets are very crowded after dark. During the day we visit probably one of the most famous landmarks of the city, which is the bastion of San Remy. It is a fortification tower standing on Piazza Constitucione, overlooking the city and harbor. In the center there are several important buildings, such as the church of Nostra Signora di Bonaria, San Saturno or the town hall. Via the lively Via Roma you can reach the port.
Cagliari is literally teeming with breathtaking and interesting beaches. It's up to you which one or which one you choose, of course you can also stay on the city beach of Poetto. You certainly won't make a mistake if you go both west and east of the city. Our choice fell on Porto Giunco. The beach is about an hour's drive east. The Torre di Porto Giunco tower rises on a hill and offers beautiful views of the entire bay. You can get to the tower on foot and the way there and back is about 2 kilometers long. We visited Solanas and Mari Pintau beaches in one day. Solanas beach is relatively wide with coarse sand. Mari Pintau beach, on the other hand, is pebbly and narrow, so you should expect more people.
On the way north from Cagliari, a stop at the Su Nuraxi Nurang complex is a very good choice. It is the largest complex of these buildings so typical of Sardinia on the whole island. Admission with a guide is 14 euros per person. Whether you want to relax on the beach, go trekking in the mountains, go cycling or just soak up the relaxed atmosphere and taste the local famous wines and products, this island is a clear choice.
GPS: 39°12'58.7"N 9°06'57.9"E
Text and photos: Veronika Kocmanová
After the first day in Sicily, we decided to exchange walks through the city for a day of climbing a hill overlooking. Since we were moving near Monte Cofano, which is located in the reserve Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Cofano, we were quite clear.
Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island, with an area of 25,426 km² occupying 8.4% of Italy. It is about 3 times smaller than the Czech Republic. The way here is very easy. Probably every second airline flies here.
West Sardinia is completely different from other parts. It is not mountainous, but it is rough, windy, wooded, almost flat and was a pleasant surprise for us at the end. I suddenly feel like I'm on another island, in another country.
Traveling during the corona crisis brings with it considerable positives. One of them is that the number of tourists has been reduced to a minimum, so you can be completely alone on some beaches. We did it too. Let's take a look today at the northwest of the island, which offers beautiful beaches, diverse nature and true tranquility.
When we say Costa Smeralda, probably each of us imagines an emerald coast, luxury yachts and probably the most famous resort of millionaires and the whole of Sardinia - Porto Cervo. But the Costa Smeralda is something more. It impressed us thanks to the breathtaking beaches we were able to visit and the unusual architecture.
More than two thirds of Sardinia are covered by mountains. They do not reach dizzying heights, but you will find beautiful and unspoiled nature. It is therefore not surprising that this island is a popular outdoor Mediterranean destination with interesting treks. If there is a place in Sardinia where it will feel completely small, it is the Su Gorropu canyon. The rock sides of the gorge rise to a height of 500 meters, making it the deepest gorge in Europe.
Whenever we go on vacation, one of the first things we look for is the highest mountain on the island. It is already our tradition to try to look at the highest point of the area. It will not be different today. We set off to the highest mountain in Sardinia, which is Punta la Marmora with a height of 1,834 m above sea level.
The last day in Rome was the perfect day for a trip off the city. We visited two different places. After Villa d‘Este we decided to set off to Frascati. There is Villa Aldobrandini. Frascati is situated 20 kilometers southeast of Rome. A train departs from roma Termini to here regularly. The ride takes half an hour. But bear in mind that the train departs from a pretty remote platform. So don't go to the train station at the last minute.
We were about to stay five days in Rome. So we intended to make some trips around Rome. We received some advice at the visitor's center which led us to visit the town of Cerveteri. The town is situated in the Lazio region about 40 kilometers from Rome. It takes us about an hour by train to reach Marina di Cerveteri station (the train departs several times every day from Roma Termini station). Then you need to reach a bus stop (100 from the train station). A free of charge minibus departs from here to the historic center of Cerveteri (to Piazza Aldo Moro). The ride takes about 20 minutes.
We decided to leave Rome on Sunday for Tivoli, a town about 40 kilometers away. Formerly, this was a place where Rome's rich went to recreate because they had their summer residence there. Today, tourists are most intrigued to visit the magnificent Renaissance villa – Villa d'Este.
We were pondering if winter or early spring are suitable seasons for a stay in Rome. It turned out, it was a great choice. It is off main season, therefore accommodation, and flight tickets are notably cheaper. There are also lesser tourist crowds (yet in Vatican or at the main train station there are still many people there). Moreover, the weather is amazing. It was bit frosty in the morning but as the day goes on, the sun is more powerful. Temparatures then rise up to 18 °C so we wore just sweaters (some even wore T-shirts and shorts).
Being in Rome one should visit Vatican - the smallest country in the world. Millions of tourists visit it every year and sea its museums, the Sistine chapel, or St Peter's basilica. The entire land is surrouned by ramparts. The state of Vatican consists of the Vaticane gardens, St Peter's square, St Peter's basilica, and another significant structures.
We have probably all heard it: "See Naples and die." Yes, Naples is beautiful, but it is also rough, authentic and dirty. Maybe that's why it will be etched under your skin. Half-dilapidated houses, smelly piles of garbage, but you go a little further and breathe the atmosphere of real Italy. Naples is considered the cradle of modern delicacy, which is nothing but pizza. We also plan to taste the real Neapolitan pizza.
Today we leave continental Italy for sunny Sardinia.
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