We had such a wonderful time in Cala Gonone, Sardinia (Sardegna). Sardinia is the large island to the west of mainland Italy, just below France’s Corsica. Cala Gonone is on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is a great beach destination. It was here that we had one of our favourite moments of our travels. The best beaches in the area are only accessible from the water, which meant we relied on boats to get there. However, on our last day all of the boats were returning too late for us to be able to catch our bus back to the airport. So instead, on that gorgeous sunny day we rented our own 20ft zodiac in order to head to Cala Mariolu, the most gorgeous beach I’ve been to. It was such a blast. Nothing but bright blue sky, rugged mountain coastlines and water surrounding us. It took us about 45 minutes to reach Cala Mariolu, passing many other white stone beaches along the way. We even saw the coolest looking jellyfish, which we had to circle a few times to get a better look at. When we got to the beach, Ryan had to drop me and off with our stuff so that he could anchor the boat out in the water and swim back to shore. The beach was stunning with crystal clear water. It was such a wonderful day. I hope that we can go back again sometime.
During our stay in Cala Gonone, Sardinia (Sardegna) we stayed at L’Oasi, a great B&B that was a ten minute uphill walk from the harbour with gorgeous views. Once again we trusted the reviews from Lonely Planet who recommended spending the extra money on half board in order to eat three course meals prepared with local ingredients. Twice during our stay we ate dinner at L’Oasi, and it was well worth it! Each day the set menu would rotate with three new options for each course. The menu was displayed at breakfast and you had to select your meal by 4:30 p.m. for the fixed 8:00 p.m. dinner. The staff was wonderful about cooking me gluten free food. Each morning one of the owners would walk through the menu with me and explain what was naturally gluten free and if any substitutions were required.
The food was delicious; some of the best meals of our trip! The first night I had gluten free spaghetti with tomato sauce and sausage as the primi piatti. For the secondi, they brought our table a huge helping of tender pieces of chicken cooked in an olive oil and vinegar sauce with onions. As a side dish there were melt in your mouth beets. After such a filling, delicious meal it was nice to top it off with a fresh fruit bowl in a sweet sauce.
The second night I started off with gluten free pasta with vegetables. This pasta was out of this world with all the vegetables on top. Often when you get pasta with vegetables, there are some sad wilted looking veggies in a tomato sauce, well not here at L’Oasi. It tasted like a hearty, intensely flavorful vegetable stew that was placed on top of the pasta. Secondi was tender slices of veal with arugula and shredded parmesan. Yum, this was one of the best meals I had on the trip! The veal was so tender. There was such a large plate for each of us that I wondered if they meant to only bring us one plate to share like the night before! I was told that morning that the dessert was cheesecake but there was gluten in it, so they offered to give me fruit instead. When it came time for dessert I was so full I didn’t know how I could possibly eat more. Then our waitress placed two large, ripe peaches in front of me. Those were some of the best peaches I have ever eaten. The first peach was so good I told Ryan he had to split the second one with me. It’s so funny to think that so many restaurants offer such complex and fancy desserts, and often I favor gorgeously presented, decadent desserts. But here was a prime example that often the simplest of things, a perfectly ripe, juicy peach for instance, is perfection. I sliced and ate that peach with a knife like I had seen so many Italians do before. Divine. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day.