Although I usually love big cities, from time to time I prefer the exact opposite. When we recently visited Sardinia, I wanted to explore especially other sorts of adventure than city offers.
But I wasn’t really prepared to what I felt when I spent a few days in the small Italian village Baunei. Tiny streets, historical houses and incredible views of to the mountains and the sea. It’s all there and it was fascinating. And most important, I found this place so much authentic! Something, what I appreciate the most when traveling. Even more than any comfort or perfection of luxury places.
As we have been at this hardly accessible location in the winter season, all the hotels were closed. But fortunately, we found beautiful temporary home on airbnb, that was just perfect for us. We reached the village after hundreds of twists on the crazy serpentine road late in the evening. Houses looked magical in the light of street lamps and the starry sky. We were gazing to all those distant little lights from our terrace before going to sleep. The best was yet to come.
In the morning we had the whole world right in front of us. While I was sitting on that amazing rooftop terrace, eating bread with delicious mortadella, mozzarella and olives, I started to think how it would be to live in a place like this.
Seriously, what else does one need than a small house with the royal view and a lemon tree growing in front of it? With the beautiful mountains and even nicer beaches nearby, various fauna and flora and a possibility to ride a horse. Don’t forget the delicious food, even in suspicious – looking restaurants, amazing coffee, sunny weather all year round and nice people.
It’s more likely you will run into the real pig there, rather than to a human swine. The biggest stress might be, how to park the car on a small place uphill.
I know I idealize it, but it’s unbelievable how relaxing that surroundings worked for me. A bit of a chaos during the day makes it even more charming, in my eyes. It’s more than the beauty of the nature that attracts me to this place. I had been in many ‘paradises’ before and I didn’t feel to be so much connected to them. It’s some sort of chemistry, which resonated between me and this place called Baunei.
Sure, it’s not a place to make a career. Most people are living from tourism during the summer season there, or produce something for the others in the village. There are few shops, restaurants, school, library and the church. We also saw various types of craftsmen there. Too bad that all the handicraft genes got to my sister. 🙂 Baunei would be a perfect escape for all sorts of artists and some freelancers too.
Shops are opened only in the specific hours, not all day long. This might be annoying for someone, but isn’t it refreshing? It’s not all about the work. So calm down and enjoy the moment.
We were probably the only tourists in Baunei at this time of the year. Also, we were the only people who wanted to eat in one of the restaurants/coffee places at 7 pm, during the week. Generally, it’s too early for Italians. Firstly, we were told they were not cooking, but when we were about to leave, they stopped us. In the end, the lady chef came and made the lovely food only for us! In that moment I fully realized, that my travel (life) choices are really not that common.
I went outside of my comfort zone when decided to go hiking, just to see one of the most amazing places of Sardinia – Cala Goloritze. It was so much worth it! Few days in that place left us with so many awesome experiences.
Whenever you go to Sardinia, don’t miss Baunei. Maybe, till that time I will already have a small stone house there and will be a proper village girl…
Photos by Daniela Rifai and Martin Jesny for the Smell of Jasmine