Roberto Petza’s Sardinia / 2

A craveable itinerary through a different island from the one visited by tourists

Roberto Petza from San Gavino Monreale guides us a

Roberto Petza from San Gavino Monreale guides us among the beauties and the delicious products from his Sardinia, handing us a waterfall of precious locations where we can discover flavours and products often unknown to the tourists who crowd the beaches of the island, such as Caseificio della Nurra in Porto Torres

(see part one)

We head North: crossing Gennargentu you need to stop in Mamoiada, a small village that in the past had been devoured by a blood feud, and is today the capital of Cannonau. Among the various producers, Giovanni Montisci (via Asiago 7/b, Mamioada (Nu), +39.0784.56487) deserves a visit thanks to his Barrosu wine. Having finally reached Sant'Antonio di Gallura, if instead of the beaches on Costa Smeralda you’re looking for an excellent place to dine, go to La Pitraia, a must for mushrooms and game lovers.

A little rest will be necessary before leaving the following day for the next stop: Porto Torres, to visit Massimo Bo’s Caseificio della Nurra (a dairy factory), the union of ancient tradition and experimenting. From here take the road South first stopping in Osilo to taste the homonymous pecorino produced by Gavinuccio Turra (via Campiello 13, Osilo (Ss), +39.079.42695), and then in Thiesi at Pastificio Tanda e Spada (a pasta factory) (31/bis SS 131 Bis, Thiesi (Ss), +39.0798.86751), and finally in Bonorva for the pane zichi produced by the homonymous bakery; for lunch, instead, make reservations in Abbasanta, at Roberto Serra’s Su Carduleu (via Sant'Agostino n. 1, Abbasanta (Or), +39.0785.563134): you will taste the flavour of the melina sarda meat. In the afternoon, move to Montiferru to discover extra virgin olive oil and casizolu. Keeping to the area, for dinner you can pay a visit to Roberto Flore at Antica Dimora del Gruccione, where you can stay overnight as well.

The very photogenic pane zichi of the homonymous bakery in Bonorva

The very photogenic pane zichi of the homonymous bakery in Bonorva

The third and last day includes a stop at Ales, where Gramsci and Luigi Manias were born (loc. Marraconi, Ales (Or), +39.347.7289905) the latter a bee lover and breeder, where you can taste one of the best honeys in Italy. A few km away, there’s Gonnostramatza: at Fattoria dei Fratelli Cuscusa (loc. Pardu Corongiu, via Roma 41, Gonnostramatza (Or), +39.347.0929675) you can taste excellent organic cheese; arrive around 11 when the traditional group snack made of caci, civraxiu, home made lardo and a few glasses of fine wine takes place.

After the snack, cross the plateau of Siddi where you can go shopping in Giampiero Frau’s vegetable garden (Loc. Bareci, Siddi (Vs), +39.333.1910955), and soon continue towards Ussaramanna to visit first Pietro Lilliu (via Sardegna 13, Ussaramanna (Vs), +39.349.7591144), who in a land from which young people flee, has decided to dedicate his heart and soul to his vineyard, and then another young man, Aurelio Podda (zona Pip, Ussaramanna (Vs), +39.0783.95414), who found his dimension among the olive trees and produces a very interesting extra virgin olive oil.

The two managers of restaurant La Pitraia, specialised in mushrooms and game

The two managers of restaurant La Pitraia, specialised in mushrooms and game

Skip lunch and go to San Gavino: this is the village where I was born and together with Turri and Villanovafranca is famous for being the capital of Sardinian saffron. Shopping? Some saffron at Gavino Inconis (loc. Pardu Malu, San Gavino Monreale (Vs), +39.0709.3337530) and some good rice from Stefano Curreli at Molas (via Donizetti 25, San Gavino Monreale (Vs), +39.0709.337057). The last stop before returning to Cagliari is to be made in San Giovanni Suergiu, in Sulcis Iglesiente, to taste a typical local bread of this territory, stuck between ancient tradition and industrial utopia: su pai cun tamatta (bread with tomatoes).

During the three days of this tour, following my recommendations, you will discover a different Sardinia, and bump into many more stimuli you will discover yourselves. Because travelling is a beginning, and changes all the time: in my restaurant, the snack is called “viaggio”, for this reason, but then I always add “in Sardinia”, “in Marmilla” and so on, with an (almost) infinite number of possibilities...

2. the end

Chefs' life stories

Men who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view