Trip Report-Rome & Sardinia

Nov 17th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Trip Report-Rome & Sardinia

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.
~Giuseppe Verdi

I’m finally getting around to posting a trip report (slacker that I am). Our itinerary had us 7 days in Rome and then 10 full days in Sardinia, leaving on the 11th day there. Sadly since AA canceled our Thursday flight (9/1) and was not able to get us out until Sunday (9/4) {supposedly because of the bad weather earlier in the week}, we lost 3 full days in the eternal city. So it goes. We would hop a puddle-jumper to Sardinia on Friday the 9th for a stay in Arbatax for 5 days then to Alghero for another 5 days to wind down the glorious venture. I've done this with daily headings but all in one post, hopefully if you are interested it will not be too difficult to read.

We arrived at O'Hare with plenty of time to spare. For some reason since this flight was replacing our canceled flight we thought we had the same seating arrangements. Sadly we learned when we checked in that we didn't actually have ANY seats on this flight, we were actually stand-by.....never a good thing. Forget having a leisurely dinner with a few glasses of wine, we parked ourselves at the gate and waited to try to get in to queue. Wasn't happening, the gal at the window said go sit down, we'll call you if someone doesn't show or is willing to give up their seat. And so we did get the last two seats on that flight! Tom had row 33 and I had row 41, him a window seat and me an aisle seat, not bad. We were finally on our way to Rome, albeit 3 days late. {I did manage to get some comp from AA because of this.}

The stewardesses, sincerely, were the surliest we have ever had. Not to pick on old people (a group my hubby and I belong to) but all of these gals were older with perpetual grouchy faces and didn't appear to be enjoying what they were doing. They were rude to just about everyone in our ear range and openly made their little eye rolls, etc. every time someone asked for something. Note to self…up that retirement contribution so you don’t have to work longer than you want too.

The flight itself was like a stinking roller coaster practically the entire trip. I didn't move because I felt sure if I did, all my cookies would go, if you know what I mean. But turbulence aside, we landed on time in Rome to bright sunshine. Our baggage showed up, Tom was able to get cash from the ATM and our friendly driver with a sign that read "Draeger" was there waiting for us-doesn't' get much better than that. He zoomed us to our place (OMG Roman drivers!!!) where the friendly landlord was waiting. The place is awesome, huge balcony, clean and spacious, just Perfect. He gave us a few tips and hooked up the WiFi and left us to enjoy Rome.

We were supposed to have a Vatican tour this morning but the missed flights caused us to cancel that (we landed at the time the tour was to begin). We had a Scavi tour scheduled for Monday afternoon but we just didn't feel up to it since we had just arrived and would have had to rush to get there, so passed on that for today too. Instead we walked to the grocery store, picked up wine, beer, cheese, bread & coffee and came back to our place. We had a snack and a nap. Refreshed we got out and took a nice long walk to Piazza Garibaldi. The views of Rome from there are stunning. We strolled on back and had dinner at a place in our neighborhood that the landlord recommended. OH YUM! Roman cuisine at its best. And the dessert was to die for. We then toddled the block home to our place. One last wine later we ready to say good night. A note here, we had absolutely no problem with the landlord due to our late arrival or with the guide we had scheduled for the Vatican that we had to cancel. No refunds on the Scavi tour though.

The next day we were supposed to have a tour of the Colosseum & Forum however almost all of Italy was planning to strike tomorrow so plans had to change.

Tuesday, September 6:

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
~Steven Wright

We were to be at the Colosseum for our tour-including the underground-which has not been open that long. Alas, a General Strike, something that plagues Italy on a pretty regular basis, was happening. This meant no buses, no cabs, no subways or historical sites were open..... Our guide was there but couldn't get us in. He did walk us around the Forum (outside of it) and was very entertaining and informative. We had caught a cab before the strike began but we were on our own getting back to our place. So we walked miles and miles. It did give us nice orientation to the area though, so it wasn't too bad.

Once back at our place we took our little afternoon siesta and then headed out for dinner. By this time the strike was over and the buses were running again. We had a little place in mind for dinner and after searching the back streets we finally found it. And it was worth the search. Anitca trattoria "da Carlone" was wonderful. Our waiter was awesome and the meal Divine! We strolled the Tiber for a bit and then caught a cab home. {We got all of our cabs at cab-stands and never got ripped off; we asked what the cost would be and they pointed to the meter and then gave a rough estimate which most times was higher than the meter.}

Wednesday, September 7:

Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are….

This morning we enjoyed a more leisurely start, coffee on the balcony and then off to our cooking class.

What a wonderful experience it was! Chef Andrea, of Le Fate restaurant, was awesome; young, enthusiastic, energetic and quite patient with all of us. It was an eclectic mix, most from the USA and one gal from Australia now living in London. Andrea shops the local farmers market and the menu for the class reflects what looked good to him. He is a part of the Slow Food movement here in Europe. We did not make it back to the restaurant for a meal we didn’t prepare but will try on our next trip.

We spent 6 hours with him; prepared an appetizer of fried stuffed zucchini flowers, homemade sauce (2 kinds), homemade pasta, a secondo course of beef-pounded thin, stuffed and cooked in our homemade sauce and homemade Tiramisù. We went with the wine pairings he also offered which was wonderful. I had hoped to retain some of this for when we get home {I did recreate all but the zucchini flowers for my Moms birthday and the Tiramisù twice, once for Moms dinner and once for our dinner club}. And his kitchen was not really very big-I have a hundred year old house and my kitchen is in the original footprint, almost bigger than his kitchen. I have never seen anyone that efficient with food. All the guys had a hand in every aspect of the meal as well. The chef wouldn't let us help clean either. Unbelievable. This was a highlight of Rome for sure.

We caught a bus home for late afternoon siesta and after refreshing we headed to the city center. It was hopping! We don't know what was going on but the police presence was in hyper drive. Streets were barricaded and armed personnel everywhere. We did have to laugh though; practically all of them were also on their cell phones and all of them smoking. One area was set up with TV cameras and it appeared they were interviewing people from the union that had gone out on strike the day before. Can't escape it I guess.

We hung around the Pantheon for awhile, headed to Trevi to toss in our coins and marveled at the ruins here and there, right in the middle of streets or Piazzas. We ended up at a quaint little place for a nightcap and some bruschetta and then caught a bus home. Naturally us being us we missed our stop so we walked a few extra blocks to get home. We slept like little lambs that night.

Thursday, September 8:

Ostia, the harbour city of ancient Rome.

We spent the early morning lollygagging on the terrace and then headed out to Ostia Antica, an old preserved port town. Wow, it was awesome and much bigger than we anticipated it would be. Great mosaics and very interesting buildings, most in a wonderful state of preservation. The setting is beautiful. While it was quite warm there were plenty of trees for shade and a lovely breeze most of the day. We took the time with our self guided tours to learn a bit about each stop. There is also a very nice cafeteria however we only had drinks there.

Two buses and a train to get there, all without much of a hitch. I will say we do find getting the buses back to where we need to be a little more challenging because of the one way streets (and as I have mentioned several times, we do seem to be quite challenged in that area ). Oh well, eventually we always figure it out. An afternoon siesta and then to a local place for dinner. Our landlord suggested this place as one that locals eat at for everyday fare. It was very nice. We topped our evening off with dessert at the place right down the block that had the terrific homemade apple cake. We fell in to bed as we did walk miles and miles again this day.

Friday, September 9:

The best journeys are not always in straight lines…..

We leave Rome and head for Sardinia. Our morning was made delightful by watching the BBC and seeing our Green Bay Packers highlighted as Cobb ran back the kickoff!! They showed the entire run back! Very Cool. The driver was to be here at 10:30 to whisk us to the airport....another harrowing ride through traffic here, for sure. As it turned out he was late and we were beginning to get a little frantic. Luckily the landlord was there and made a phone call. Turns out the driver had the wrong address. Roberto gave him the correct address and he showed up shortly after that. Then, boy oh boy, we had the ride of our life to the airport! We did get there in a timely manner though.

Our flight over to Sardinia was awesome and On time, something Alitalia is not known for. We picked up the rental car, hooked up little Missy (our GPS) and headed out. We stopped at the landlords B & B to get the keys and information for finding the place. It was really a challenge to find {since of course we are rather direction challenged...} and we had some pretty sketchy directions (top of the hill, turn when you see the graffiti….). We did find it though, unloaded the car and then headed out to explore the area. We picked a place to eat and enjoyed a couple of pretty good pizzas along with some more good wine. Back to regroup, properly unpack and lay out our plans for this area.

Here I was unable to get any signal so the hunt was on for a place to grab the internet to send notes home to our Moms. Also here, as soon as evening was upon us, all breezes just stopped and we had to turn the a/c on. It was okay on the balcony but stuffy inside. Sleeping was just fine though with the a/c.

Saturday, September 10:

If we get out of here by 1pm we’ll have time for our siesta…..

Saturday was a real lazy day and one my hubby had wisely left as a free day on the itinerary. We did some wash-that alone takes a very long time in these European machines (all 3 of our places had machines and a place to hang laundry). Then we headed downtown, stopped at a place by the water and had a few drinks then over to the shore where there were some beautiful rock formations to explore. Naturally they do their siesta from around noon-ish to 3 or later. This means even the grocery stores are closed during that time.

So we meandered around and then did come back for a short rest. We went looking for an internet place or a place with WiFi but they are few and far between. We finally found a place in the town we were going to eat at but alas, he was closing. The town we were in was Tortoli, quite touristy and very lively. We found a place off one of the back roads and enjoyed a nice meal including dessert. All waiters and waitresses here have been simply lovely, very helpful and very nice.

We had no trouble finding our way back. A nightcap on the balcony and then off to dreamland.

Sunday, September 11:

Don’t get a Ford if you want to go down stairs…………

Today we were out of here by 10am just as we planned. It is winding road day today. We managed to get to the store while it was open and stopped at our landlords place to pay up as well.

I guess they call it the SS125 because it is like double snakes all the way up (and consequently all the way down). We veered off our chosen path for several different reasons; a site, some cheese, a sandwich, a chat with the goats roaming around or a town. We bought some awesome cheese from a farm and then went to a well preserved site that had a Nuraghe-dates back to 1000 BC. It is stone and has a series of buildings, fortifications, etc, all of stone. There are about 3000 of these sites remaining on the island of Sardinia. The fellow in charge, along with his wife, was quite delightful also. They spoke no English but we managed to communicate. They welcomed us to sit with them and have a drink (water) which we did. He was a wood carver and was gathering up wood and carving as we visited.

We headed out again with little Missy (the GPS) leading the way to Dorgali-our ultimate destination. This is where we would have a drink and then turn around and see the view from a different perspective.

Us being us we somehow got turned around trying to get out of town. And the more we turned the worse it got. We turned down one road (may not have even been a road) and eventually had to agree to sacrifice the mirrors in order to get to the bottom (it would have been a crooked straight up going backwards if we had tried to back out, if that makes any sense). We made a left at the bottom of that “road” and prepared to make a left again-we could see real road ahead-only to find that we were actually on stairs…..our Ford rather bottomed on the first one and we felt that it wouldn’t make it safely all the way down. I think when they show cars going down steps in car chases it is either fake or they just don’t use Fords. Now we were making Y-turns trying to figure out which way was best to try… seemed as though we did narrow alleyways for a very long time before we finally came to real road. Good God we were exhausted after that!!! Luckily cars do have breakaway mirrors and the portion of the mirrors that were scraped were the clear lenses and not very noticeable. It did make the S road seem pretty tame, even with the wild boar just hanging out in the middle of the street at one turn and the goats that were clambering their bells all the way home here and there along the way!

Our landlord recommended this place, Sant’Efisio, just between Lotzorai and Talana. We did find it with little trouble even though it was out of the way. It is in the hotel that is there. We had a wonderful appetizer of antipasto, we each had a pasta-Tom had ragu-awesome and I had gnocchi, equally as delightful although I do not believe they were home made. We decided this time to order a secondi-so we ordered the pork and then a side dish of zucchini. The pork chop was good but it was very thin, we could have ordered two. The zucchini was pickled and served chilled, also very good. We had dessert here too, Tom had their specialty, it is like a pie crust with mozzarella cheese inside and then warm honey drizzled on the outside. I had Italian cookies, amaretto. A wonderful meal served by a delightful young man! The restaurant was quite empty but there was a big table with an Italian family of many generations. We have been having the house wine all along the journey with our meals and they have been very good and very inexpensive. The food never stopped coming to that table!

The drive home was a pleasant and uneventful one. We can never let 9/11 pass without a solemn prayer for those lost on that fateful day ten years ago. We pray for those left without their loved ones and for all of our brave young men and women fighting for our freedom, especially my best friend’s son David Walters. He is daily in our prayers.

Monday, September 12, 2011:

He who lives sees much. He who travels sees more.

Once again we head out to try to get on the internet in Tortoli. We get there and she says internet isn’t available until 11am. So we toddle on down the block to the nice little place-Dragon something, and have some coffee and a sweet while we wait. When we return shortly after 11 there is a sign on the door that says be back soon….Finally at almost noon we were able to get in. At that time we simply drop a note to Mom to let her know we are still alive. What a bunch of rigmarole to use the internet. You have to show ID and they make like 2 or 3 copies-all because of new laws (according to her) because of the terrorist activity. As far as WiFi, we haven’t seen that advertised at all on this side of the island. Must be too much of a hassle with the authorities. Our landlord had said that he was able to get a signal at our place but we never got one here.

Once that was done we headed out SS125 heading for Grotte Su Marmuri, one of the finest caves in Europe! As luck would have it the drive was beautiful. The countryside was quite lush looking. Signage was terrible but we found it anyway and the tour was going to begin in less than an hour. A nice wine and beer and the tour was to begin. We climbed up, then down, then up, then down all the way to the end of the cave. There were small openings that they have gone a little ways in to but none that are further open to the public. She jumped on the floor near here to let us hear the echo sound-they believe there is another cave below where we were standing…made me think of the story of the farmer that discovered a cave when one of his sheep went missing….I moved from that spot. Naturally what goes down has to go back up again. We had water after the walk and then went looking for a textile shop in this town. Alas we couldn’t find it, we just ended up going in a circle that wasn’t even close to where we wanted to be so we gave up and headed back home. We are a little gun shy about turning down dubiously narrow roads……………

The ride was a lovely one. We were able to leave the windows open as we drove home. Many terraced grape plantings and grazing goats. The balcony and perhaps a siesta sounded good to us and that is what we did when we got back to our place. A few drinks and then a nap.

Later we headed out to a local pizza place for supper-what a hopping joint! Two appetizers and shared pizza along with wine completed our meal there. We drove down to the waterfront and ended our evening with a gelato. It was pleasant outside but back at our place we once again needed the a/c on.

Tuesday, September 13:

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”
~Michelle Held

This was the first morning that was overcast with the threat of rain. We decided to do a road trip rather than start out at the beach. We took the winding back roads to Santa Maria Navarrese, bummed around town a bit, had a drink and then took another scenic little ride. By now the clouds were gone and it was clearly going to be another warm day.

When we got back to town we grabbed out suits and towels and headed for the beach. The water is crystal clear and the bottom a nice white sand-a little seaweed here and there. The waves were gentle but when you lay on the chair and closed your eyes it seemed to just roar. I think it roared us to sleep. We had the nice umbrellas and the wispy breeze to keep us cool, a very pleasant nap indeed.

Back at our place we had an afternoon game of scrabble (Tom creamed me) enjoying our wine and pretzels. Our dinner plans are at a place up towards the light house with an eating area that is supposed to have spectacular views.

The restaurant was awesome. We didn’t have reservations but he got us in anyway. It was a fancy place and the food was wonderful as was the service. This was another of those places almost impossible to find, no signs at all. There is only one road up to the lighthouse so we knew we were on the right road. We found it at night because there were so many cars parked in the road and the front door was open. During the day there are no cars parked in front on the narrow road and the place looks like a big house. As it turned out the front door that was open was to the hotel and for the restaurant you go down the stairs and towards the back (which of course is where the sea is).

We left there fat and sassy and headed back to our place. Tomorrow is a travel day; we head for the opposite coast, the town of Alghero.

On the road again…..Wednesday, September 14:

"Cloud nine gets all the publicity, but cloud eight actually is cheaper, less crowded, and has a better view."
~George Carlin

We were up and out pretty early this morning. Since we had a car we didn’t have to jam our suitcases, we put the excess in the back seat. We were able to wash all of our clothes at this place which is really nice. We could have brought half the clothing we brought…. {I was a terrible packer on this trip}.

The ride to Alghero was a nice one; the roads were good, almost new in some spots. Some was highway and some was the lesser roads. Not a lot of traffic to deal with and virtually no trucks made for an easy trek. It took us 4 hours though, not the 2 ½ our Missy said it would. The GPS has been helpful but some of the new roads have made her a crazy lady. Many are parallel to the old roads and that is where she wants us to be. She has spent a lot of this trip Re-calculating….

We didn’t have much trouble finding our place. Loredana and her mother were here waiting for us (and she is the quintessential Italian mother!). The place is great, huge terrace that actually wraps the apartment, all to ourselves on the 6th floor (yes there is a lift). The views are spectacular! It faces east so we have the sun and not the water but it is lovely anyway. Parking for our car is across the street and behind the buildings, a free public lot.

We got our bearings and then headed out to the old town for the evening. It was hopping! We found a little Tappas place and enjoyed many different little delights. The red wine here is spectacular and very inexpensive. I don’t think any of Sardinia's wine is exported so it is a pleasure just for those that are here. I may have to carry a few bottles home….

The waterfront is where we will get a boat tomorrow for the Grotto trip and they have a tourist bus that runs every few hours that we may try to grab tomorrow as well. A nice gelato to top off the evening and then home we go. We sleep like babes again.

Thursday, September 15:

The poetry of the earth is never dead.
~John Keats

We get to watch the sunrise from our balcony and from 6 stories up listen to the sounds of the small town waking is good.

Today we went walking to the old town. There we caught a boat out to Neptune's Grotto. It was a wonderful ride, especially enjoyable because it is quite hot here, almost in the 90's. When you find a shady spot it is lovely though. This particular boat saved us walking up and down over 690 steps, I think we did more than a hundred up, down & through as it was. It was a beautiful grotto, temps were moderate and stalactites & stalagmites simply awesome. The water ride back was terrific too, gorgeous views and sprays of water to cool you down. Once back in town we found a little place tucked inside the city walls for a bite and a few drinks and then we took the little trolley around the old town where he pointed out the important buildings, etc. A slow walk back for our afternoon siesta and a few hours later we were good to go.

We strolled back to the old town area which was just hopping with street vendors and performers and tons of young people. We went to the restaurant we had found the day before and had a great meal. We are beginning to really like sitting for hours and having course after course brought out to us..........

The weather was perfect for candles and a nightcap out on the balcony. Once again we slept like little babes. Friday we will be taking the car (hopefully it is still where we parked it) and go wandering around the countryside. We have heard it is pretty dog-gone cold back home {WI} I haven't even put my sweater on yet!)

Friday September 16:

Somewhere on your journey don't forget to turn around and enjoy the view……

Today we headed out on the road to visit the Nuraghe di Palmavera site as well as the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju. The ride was very pleasant as both sites are near the area we are staying. You pass by vineyards and olive groves and many tourist farm accommodations. The nuraghe sites are interesting and it is amazing that they are somewhat intact after thousands of years. The necropolis was only discovered around 100 years ago-really amazing when you see how close to the surface they are.

We then drove along the coast and stopped at a beautiful bay and had a few drinks. One can just sit and gaze at the water for hours here, it is so peaceful and inviting.

Home again for some down time and then off again to the old town for our supper. We discover we can get a connection here which helps us keep in touch (we have our laptop along with us). There are many take-away pizza places here but a surprisingly few restaurants right in our neighborhood. At the old town the focus is mainly seafood in all the restaurants and they are quite pricey. We stopped and investigated a few other places but ended up at Trattoria Maristella again. Supper was very good as was the service. It was very quiet for a Friday night. We thought things would be really crazy downtown but it seemed to have less activity than the night before. Weather is still perfect but vacation season must be winding down.

Back to our place for a nice nightcap on the balcony and then off to dreamland. Tomorrow we go sailing on the Andrea Jenson..................

Saturday, September 17:

"Shells sink, dreams float. Life's good on our boat. "
~Jimmy Buffett

Today is our sailing trip day on the Andrea Jensen. Our hosts, the owners of the boat, Vivian & Geoff were a sheer delight! There were 11 of us plus the crew of 3. Once again the weather was simply perfect.

This was an 8 hour trip. We motored out and they talked about the boat, the sea, and the sights along the way. Very engaging folks. We were the only Americans on board, along with one fellow who has made the trip many, many times who was originally from the US but has been in the UK for many years.

Wine, beer & snacks along the way they settled in to a quiet cove so that people could swim and snorkel. It was all I could do to make myself jump in to water that is roughly 30 to 40 meters deep. And once I did sheer panic set in and my time in the water (short as it was) was clinging to the ladder......but I gave it a try (and oh goodie, it was all captured on film). Tom thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling as did many of the others onboard. Vivian was quite nice, she too isn't a swimmer so did commiserate with me.

The lunch was outstanding. They draped netting above us that served as a sun shade and it was a very pleasant way to dine! Capresse appetizer with yummy bread and the most delish marinated garlic olives ever (note to all that smell us coming home… we have turned in to a bunch of garlic eaters.....), a salad that had homemade dressing almost as good as Mom Rose's and pesto pasta, followed by fresh fruit. Lazing around for a bit and then a few went back in. Many were diving off the high masts and they also had a rope you could swing out on (think Jack Sparrow) and jump in to the water from.

Then we all worked on hoisting the sails and off we went. As if on cue a dolphin showed up and played with the boat for quite a ways. The sail back in was peaceful and pleasant. We passed a fish farm as well as many other boats, small ones and big ones. Again this was a day that was filled with sunshine. The sky and the sea a color that is indescribable. Highly recommend this tour.

When we got back to shore there was some sort of special Olympics going on, people and children everywhere, the busiest we have seen the walkway at the port. We toddled on home to chill for a bit.

Still full and quite lazy we opted to stay in for the evening and just munch on some of the little goodies we have here. The evening was just a touch cooler so pleasant for sleep sans the rocking that occurred when we closed our eyes.....


~Last days of vacation on cloud 8....

We slept in Sunday knowing that Monday was going to be an early-rise day. We went down the block for coffee and a sweet and then headed out for one last road trip. This time it was down to Bosa. The ride was another winding one right along the coast with magnificent views the entire way, along with wild boars and cows and bulls. Many birdwatchers were out today as well.

The town of Bosa was very quaint. The river runs through here but it had no activity today, all the fishing boats were docked. Sunday's are quiet around here although there are surprisingly few churches in Sardinia. There are some remnants of fortifying walls up the hill (always up) so we went up there and had a look around. The castles always have the room with a view.... A walk around town, a few drinks, a gelato and then we ambled on our way. There were many nice looking restaurants here but we just weren't ready to eat our big meal yet.

The area along the coast is hilly and we could see the clouds in some areas were resting on the hills. When we got back to town it looked as though the possibility of rain was in the air. It started as a sprinkle and then just a steady pitter-patter. We had planned on take-away pizza tonight so grabbed the umbrella and headed for the pizza place right down our block.

What a hopping joint! Obviously Sunday night is take-out night! This little place must have sent out over 30-40 pizzas while we waited for ours (which only took about 15 minutes). All locals, she seemed to know all their names and of course the delivery boys with hot-boxes on the back of their little motorcycles motoring off one or two pizzas at a time. This was probably the most authentic "Italian" meal we ate! No English, German or other language as a sub on this menu. The rain was a mere drizzle now and we made the 5 minute walk back and enjoyed our pizza finishing up the wine and beer we had here as well.

Then it began to rain harder and the wind was howling up a storm with lightening in the background although no thunder. This was the first change in the weather since we have been in Italy. It had our shutters clanking in the wind! We got everything packed up and all our travel paperwork in order. Monday morning would be a very early start.

A 7am flight from Alghero to Rome and then an 11:30am flight from Rome to Chicago.
The return flight on AA was much better than the flight out. The crew was wonderful and turbulence at a minimum. Both flights (one from Sardinia to Rome and Rome to Chicago) were late but we still made our connections just fine. It was a long day though, we were up at 4am Italy time and didn't arrive at our doorstep until after 8pm US time. Add the hours in time difference and it makes for a grueling day. That is the half empty side of travel.

We are returning to Rome in 2012...missing almost 4 days because of the flight cancellation and then having the strike interrupt the 5th day really cut in to our plans. The neighborhood we stayed in though and the place we rented was awesome and that is where we are staying again. Transportation from that location was very easy to access. I'm the city girl so Rome to me is absolutely awesome! And the Slow Travel aspect of an apartment in one place for 18 days really appeals to both of us.

Sardinia was very pleasant as well. Both of our places were quite nice, we actually really lucked out this year with all of our rentals. Clean and as advertised, we found that everything worked as it should which is always nice. Day tripping along the coast offered spectacular views and quaint little villages. We didn't get to do some of the walks we wanted to because it was just too hot. The sailing day was the highlight of our time in Sardinia. Those folks were terrific and the entire day was like no other we have ever had. The little villages along the way are always fun (as long as you pay attention to where you are driving). As has been the case in all of our travels we have come across the nicest people!

We could have packed half the clothing we took along. We didn't use a jacket or sweater once while in Italy, only on the airplane did I need my sweater. The only rain was on the last evening and it did not disrupt anything we had planned. The food and wine were awesome. Tom also really enjoyed the Sardinian beer. This trip we did no real shopping. If you can believe it we did not step inside one church! That really wasn’t planned, it just worked out that way since we missed the beginning days we had planned in Rome. The day of the strike the churches were mobbed as most “sites” were shut down. The next trip back (which will be our 3rd trip to Rome) will have us in many churches and hopefully inside the sites we were unable to get to this time. We did get used to the afternoon siesta though and surprisingly they aren’t up for offering me that at work!!

Feel free to email me with any questions. I apologize in advance for any errors, I have done spell check and have reread it but alas, that isn’t always good enough. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone
LuvToRoam is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 11:53 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,708
Thanks so much for that detailed report! Would you mind posting links (or names of) for the places you stayed in Sardinia? (I hope I did not miss these!) Thanks again.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 12:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
ekscrunchy, I will this evening as I am at work now and the real trip notes are at home on that computer.
LuvToRoam is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,290
ttt 4 later
annhig is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 03:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 550
Here is the info on Sardinia accomodations:
Get flat keys at Lemon House Via Dante 19, 08040 Lotzorai on east coast (Ogliastra). Drive 4-5 miles to Casa Bougainvillea Bianca, Flat 11, Via Porto Frailis 40B, Arbatax (NU) 08041
Phones: Anne +39 0782 669507 mobile +39 339 714 6496 Peter +39 335 648 9826
(Note that they have the bed and breakfast Lemon House, we stayed at their flat in another town)

Catalan flat Via Saint Agostino 77/B the surname in the bell is: GIORDANO-VIDILI
Call Loredana Giordano or send message at mobile +39-3478335230
(She also has a B & B right in the area)
LuvToRoam is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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bookmarking to read later. it's exciting to read a trip report on sardinia so many thanks for sharing. I was there in May this year. The beaches - wow. they are probably one of the nicest ones I've ever seen. I hope to return soon.
Piccolina is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 02:35 AM
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Thank you!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Nice to read more about Sardinia. Thank you! I think you'll love your upcoming longer stay in Rome--what a bummer about your lost three days!
Leely2 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Many thanks, Sardinia is on my travel bucket list. Indeed, I was resaerching it as you reported. Any views on the best beach area to visit? Apparrently, the beaches compare to the Carribean but which ones - the North West or the west side of th Island?
stevelyon is offline  
Dec 7th, 2011, 06:20 AM
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Alec Balwin, not one of my favorites....

"Last flight w/American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants," he added."

However I had to laugh and agree...we may have had those flight attendants on our flight, LMBO!
LuvToRoam is offline  
Dec 8th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Loved the TR and the quotes. Especially Cloud 8!
TDudette is offline  
Dec 8th, 2011, 02:14 PM
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Informative and entertaining report. Yeah another vote for Cloud 8. "Cloud nine gets all the publicity, but cloud eight actually is cheaper, less crowded, and has a better view." Luv it
worldinabag is offline  
Dec 10th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Great report, taking it all in for my planning/helping some friends. CAn you give me the name of the sailing company that you used please?

schnauzer is offline  
Dec 14th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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Schnauzer, the link for the sailing company is
Feel free to contact me via our email as Christmas-time usually has me crazy busy and sadly away from haunting the travel forums
LuvToRoam is offline  
Jan 16th, 2012, 01:42 AM
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Hello, what a wonderful recount! Can you please let me know that apt name and address for Rome? We're going in March and haven't found any I really like. Thanking you...
Lynda_Wallace is offline  
Jan 16th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Hello Lynda, the email for Roberto is: [email protected]

The address is Via Poerio 22 if you want to google the address. We are returning again in September and are staying the entire time at this place in Rome. This is on the outer circle but the bus is so very easy to access (stop right up the block). We had no trouble getting around and did walk home from the true center on the day of the strike. We walked at night and never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Good luck and happy travels. Please post when you return!
LuvToRoam is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Little blurb on MSN-Most Hated Companies.... Must suck to be more hated than Goldman Sachs or AT&T!

Sadly since we got a voucher for the miserable treatment last time we are flying AA back to Rome in September (what is that saying, money talks and BS walks?) but of course the half full side of that is that we are returning to Rome . I'll be praying we don't get the same crew heading out LOL
LuvToRoam is offline  
Mar 9th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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It is a shame we are flying AA again ....the bad news for them just keeps on coming. Wondering if this was one of the old bags on our first flight.. LOL
I guess the half full side of this is chances are she won't be bothering any more passengers any time soon.
LuvToRoam is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 06:36 AM
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i thoroughly enjoyed your journal on this trip! appreciate your sense of humor and the quotes added another bit of whimsy to your travels..
Jamie_Delaney is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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, Thanks Jamie...we are on our countdown now for the return trip...40 days! Yea!! Hoping there is a break in the weather. The midwest has been in an oven and I understand that is the same in Rome right now. Here is hoping Fall weather shows up in September.
LuvToRoam is offline  

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