Join a Secret Italy

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE EZINE

The Warmth of the Sardinian People

Martina, the author of this article, is a born and bred Sardinian and author of A Deal with a Stranger.

Sardinian People

Is there a typical Sardinian person? Can we really generalize and say: people from this place are like this, or like that? Probably not.

Below are just my experiences of being born and brought up in Sardinia, and what I learnt while I lived there.

When I look at Sardinians, I certainly observe a difference between the ones who live in large cities (like Cagliari) and the ones who live in small towns.

The ‘nuoresi’ tend to be wary of strangers and like to mind their own business. But if you are introduced to them by another friend, or if somehow they get to know you, and they like you, then you become their family.

Their hospitality is unbeatable. My parents once visited some distant relatives in Fonni, it was meant to be just a day trip. These relatives insisted they should stay over for a few days, and fed them the most wonderful food: their own cheese, carta da musica bread, finest olive oil, their own delicious ham, etc.

Over those three days, the head of the family dragged my father from bar to bar to introduce him to his friends in town, and they would all compete on buying him a drink.

My mother, who stayed at the house, was treated like a queen: they served her amaretti and pardulas with coffee at every opportunity, not to mention the generosity of their meals. She felt like she put on a few kilos in 3 days! And this was a family of distant relatives.

But this hospitality is common in other towns and villages of Sardinia too, including my hometown.

When you have a visitor, you must make them feel special, treat them really well, they have to feel at home and at the same time totally at ease, without overwhelming them with too much attention.

The greatest chefs of Italy

Generosity is another common trait in Sardinian people. We had an orchard and my father spent most of his retiring days there. When the fruits of the season were ready to be picked, he would prepare a basket for us and a basket for friends and relatives.

Interestingly, the best looking fruit was given away, and the not-so-good looking one, even if all the same delicious, was consumed at home.

When my father gave something, it had to be the best, never second best. But this wasn’t only my dad; this was common among the other farmers too.

We were often given freshly picked vegetables, salads and other fruits we didn’t grow. And they looked so perfect, you thought they were unreal. It was an exchange of gifts from the heart.

The kindness of people, especially in most villages and towns, is touching. When my father passed away, we had a procession of people coming to pay respects at our house. S

Somehow, at lunchtime or dinnertime, the mourning visitors would quietly leave, almost as if an internal signal was indicating they should do so. We would move to the kitchen and found a delicious meal was waiting for us, lovingly prepared by our close neighbours.

On the day of my father’s funeral, Maria Teresa (next-door neighbour) had prepared a lovely bowl of Malloreddus alla Salsiccia – maybe it was the care she put into this, maybe it was the wonderful taste, but I felt so comforted whilst I was eating that pasta. And I knew that my dad, rest his soul, would’ve loved it too.

This kindness and warmth, I have struggled to find in the Sardinian people living in larger cities, especially in Cagliari, the capital. I guess, like in most big cities, people live in apartment blocks, they barely know each other, so a sense of community cannot develop as well as in small towns.

One trait that most Sardinian people have in common is the love for their land. They adore their sea, their mountains, their countryside and the traditions in generally.

Sadly there are no jobs in Sardinia, so many are compelled to leave and go abroad. I know of many Sardinians, like me, who have left.

It’s interesting how, nearly all Sardinian people who live away, visit Sardinia whenever they possibly can and take all their vacations on the island.

They don’t choose new destinations to travel to. After all, Sardinia is the perfect holiday place, and if you combine that with the warmth of your own family, it’s hard to beat it.



Sardinian men
Italian family lunch

You might like these

  • Beach Hotels Sardinia - Turning Dreams into Reality

    Over the last ten years we have visited some beautiful beach hotels in Sardinia but a couple stand out for us. Discover which ones they are here..

  • It Broke My Heart: Travel Insurance for Italy

    The stories we heard broke our hearts. Many asked us to help out, to assist where we could. They were stuck far from home. Sometimes sick. So, when people ask: "Is travel insurance for Italy necessary?" we reply...

  • The Perfect Italian Itinerary

    Planning a trip to Italy? Then you really need to read our Italian itinerary before you book a single thing.

  • Discovering Porto Cervo

    Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda, Cala Luna...Sardinia is so full of beautiful beaches. How do you choose which ones to visit? Here is the answer...

  • Sardinia Bed and Breakfast Guide

    Sardinia Bed and Breakfast features a carefully selected choice of the best bed and breakfast options in Sardinia

  • Sardinia Beaches - The Best Beaches in Italy

    The Sardinia Beaches Guide selects the best beaches in Sardinia and Italy. Everything you need to know about discovering paradise in Sardinia is here...

  • Beach Holidays in Sardinia

    We have selected the five best beaches in Sardinia but a visitor reckons that this beach should have been included. According to him the best beach holidays in Sardinia...

  • Sardinia Hotels - The Al Saraceno

    We don't have whole lists of hotels in Sardinia. We don't have a whole list of beaches. Only the best ones!

Please Book with Us...

If you enjoy my site and Facebook page I'd love your support.

All you need do is book via the search box below, or any of the hotel links elsewhere on the website. It can be for travel to Italy... or anywhere else on earth.

You'll get the best deal available and the income we receive helps us to:

  • Stay independent and to keep bringing you the best of Italy.
  • Never have to accept money from hotels directly - meaning that we can share only those we genuinely love.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Exploring Bonassola and Framura

    May 07, 21 12:43 PM

    Bonassola and Framura are two delightful towns on Italian Riviera and there is an incredible way to explore them too...

    Read More

  2. How To Prepare Italian Style Stuffed Roasted Peppers Recipe

    May 07, 21 06:37 AM

    Want to learn how to cook Italian style stuffed roasted peppers? This is a really simple recipe and it is 100% authentic Italian. A tastier stuffed roast pepper recipe doesn't exist.

    Read More

  3. The Cafe in Turin Guide

    May 06, 21 01:05 PM

    Which is THE best Cafe in Turin Italy? We have selected a couple of the top ones. Not only the best cafes in Turin but the best cafes in Italy!

    Read More

  4. The Candelo Flower Show in one of Italy's Loveliest Villages

    May 06, 21 01:05 PM

    Candelo, an authentic medieval village. Towering castle walls dominate while stone cottages and cobblestone lanes charm. The Candelo Flower show in May transforms Candelo

    Read More

  5. The Best Italian School in Sardinia? The Italiano in Riviera

    May 06, 21 01:04 PM

    The Best Italian school in Sardinia - The Italiano in Riviera school is one of the best and one of only a handful of language schools that I feature in Sardinia.

    Read More

  6. 9 Things You Will Love in Piedmont, Italy

    May 06, 21 01:03 PM

    It was a challenge to narrow down the thousands of fabulous places in the Piedmont region of Italy to these nine but we have done it... discover them now!

    Read More