Sardinia (Sardegna)-Land of white beaches and ancient Nuraghe villages

Leaving an aquamarine sea is a sad farewell, but I am looking forward to joining my group of women for the Italy Retreat for Women as we travel to Cinque Terre, Lucca and more.

The water is SO clear and warm here in Sardinia, surrounded by mountains. As I mentioned before, Sardinia, a Mediterranean island, is120 miles off the coast of Italy. Here, you’ll find the highest number of male centenarians in the world.

Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Sardenia.

Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Sardenia (northwestern Sardenia)

Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Sardenia north of Alghero

Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Sardenia north of Alghero

Traveling from the northeastern island of La Maddalena we drove three hours to Alghero on the western shore of Sardinia. We visited  for a couple days, visited churches and the old part of the town. Charming, and close to great sights.

My favorite was Pelosa Beach, voted one of the tope 20 beaches in the world. Then Bombarde Beach, and Capo Caccia, a huge mountaintop over the seaside that offers a 500-step hike down, around and under the mountain (capo caccia).

Cappo Caccia near Alghero, 500 steps down!

Cappo Caccia near Alghero, 500 steps down!

After about a half hour drive from Alghero, we visited Sassari’s Santa Maria chiesa (church), and then another 30 minute drive, in the distance,we finally came upon an ancient tower –the remains of the Nuraghe civilization, built between 1800BC and 500BC. We thought we’d see clusters of buildings, but somehow we just found one off in the distance. So much for the ancient civilization. I’m sure there are many more to view in larger numbers but, we preferred finding the white sandy beaches and perfectly clear water.

Nuraghe Ruin near Sassari, Sardenia

Nuraghe Ruin near Sassari, Sardeni

Photos take a very long time to upload, but more will be coming.
We are enjoying a couple days in San Teodoro 15 minutes southeast of Olbia.

Stay tuned for the map of our travels around the northern part of Sardinia and photos of the incredible agriturismo, Le Tenuta Le Terre 1927, where we savored divine food for lunch yesterday near San Teodoro, or visit my facebook page,





Video: Carry-on Luggage for a month in Italy

Even though it seems that taking carry on only is easier for the guys, I have found that women can do it too, and still look elegant and comfortable! For my 27 essentials for carry-on only, read my previous posts, and enjoy this video. There is such freedom and ease in traveling lightly. The women traveling with me on My Italy Retreat women’s travel tours take carry-on only for 10 days. I do the same for five weeks.  I’ll show you how in this video!

Travel Tips 101 for Italy


Spoleto, in Umbria, Italy
Enjoying walking more stairs in Spoleto, Umbria
Walking up hill!

Walking up hill!



1. WALK DAILY TO GET IN SHAPE: I know I sound like a broken record, but walk many times during the week, uphill and stairs, at least 3 miles per day (about one hour).  You will thank me because you will have more energy, and will enjoy your time more comfortably walking up and down stairs, along steep streets and piazzas. In addition, once we’re in Italy, walking is a good way to rise above jet lag.

2. Stay hydrated before you board and once in flight. Keeps your muscles supple, and your mind clearer. Drink lots of water. Always have a bottle of water with you except, of course, through security.

3. The small carry-on I have been using is from High Sierra.  The size is correct for overseas travel, but it is always best to check the luggage dimensions for your particular airline.  It’s a small carry on.  The attached backpack unzips and that was the personal item I carried on. I also pack a thin lightweight baggallini messenger bag or backpack for daytrips and hiking while in Italy.  Here’s a link for High Sierra suitcase companies, and also from IT, the world’s lightest suitcase.

Check out my 27 Essentials on How to Pack Lightly Post to help you streamline your packing.

4. Plane: I prefer aisle seats on the plane so I can stretch my legs in the aisle sometimes. Be sure to get up to at least walk to the bathroom, do some stretches in the aisles, and exercise your ankles rolling them in both directions. I also upgrade to Comfort Class (about $200 roundtrip from US to to Italy). There is more leg room, often the seats recline further back, and the seats are toward the front of the plane). You have to pay separately for this after you make your flight reservations.

The European leg of the trip:  Often, when we connect with European partner airlines, we cannot get seat assignments until we make our connections.

5. You can wear your sweater and your jacket as layers to keep you warm on the flight (but more importantly to save space in your suitcase). We usually arrive in the Cinque Terre on an 80-degree weather in the afternoon, so we will just strap the warm clothing onto our suitcases as we walk the 10 minutes to our hotel.

6.. Hotels provide:  hairdryers in each room, tiny bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner, hand lotion, towels, and beach towels. There are not usually irons or washcloths in the hotel rooms we stay in.

7. Washcloths: Hotels do not supply washcloths in Italy. If you would like to bring a few, buy light load towels at camping stores or online.  They are the size of a quarter but when wet will enlarge to a 12×24” washable cloth.

8. Italian phrase book is good to have with you to play with the language. Rick Steves or  Barrons.

9.  Bring your Travel Insurance contact information; (just the main pages). Tell your buddy where it is in Italy and leave one with your contact person at home. has always been helpful in finding the right travel insurance which should include medical evacuation.

10. Make copies of your passports, of your credit cards, front and back, so you have records of them in case of loss, and leave a copy with your contact person.

11. Money exchange in the airport (just a small amount so you can pay your taxi driver)—try to get smaller denominations to use in restaurants. Often stores will not have change. You can use other ATM machines (called bancomats in Italy) at other locations, which usually give you a better exchange rate than do the airports.

12. Use Address labels that you can stick on items like your phone and camera.

13. Wash out underwear and other clothing in the sink or shower, even using shampoo provided by the hotel, so you limit your toiletries. If you need more soap, you can always buy a bar in the local store.

14. Rolling clothes tightly does take up less space, and prevents creases, although there will still be wrinkles.

15. Over-the-counter Sleep Remedies: Excedrin PM, melatonin liquid or tablets. Jet lag can affect your sleep.

16. Sleep Aids: such as Excedrin PM, melatonin in liquid or tablet form, homeopathic no-jet-lag tablets, any medications. Please sleep on the plane to minimize jet lag. Forget about the movies or reading a lot.  Keep your eyes closed a lot EVEN IF you cannot sleep.

17. Address List for family/friends to send postcards. However, postage is expensive–2 Euros ($2.40 USD) to mail a postcard. You can also buy some and mail them once you’re back home!

18. Check out more travel tips from previous posts and even one from my world-traveling husband.

If you arrive in Italy in the morning, you will just stay awake, not take naps so that you can acclimate and sleep that night.

Italy is 6 hours later than Eastern Time zone, 7 hours ahead of Central, 8 hours ahead of Mountain Time, and 9 hours later than Pacific.  So, if you arrive in Italy at 11am, it is still 2 am Pacific time.

Buon Viaggio!  Happy Travels.  Have a great trip.  Please sleep on the plane to minimize jetlag. Forget about the movies and the novel you want to finish.  Keep eyes closed EVEN IF you cannot sleep.