In May of 2009, I accompanied my dear friend Lisa Bartolomei to Sardinia on a scouting trip for Anthony Bordain's 'No Reservations'. Even though Lisa is Florentine, her mothers side of the family comes from Nuoro, a small town in the 'introterra'of Sardinia. We visited her Aunt Luciana who is a true herbalist that harvests wild plants and grows some of her own to make medicines to sell in her 'Erbosteria'. Needless to say, the hospitality was stellar and we ate extremely well. (more on that later)..
In between meals, we raced from venue to venue to 'fix' locations and meet the people to let them know how the production would unfold. Slowly and surely, I fell into a trance as the countryside flew by me.
Tooling around the green hills dotted with sheep was not unexpected. Neither was savoring world class ricotta from 'Pecorino sardo'on pan caracao.
What I didn't expect, was to see such uninhibited passion in the everyday. It shouldn't have surprised me. Italians are passionate about most everything. Take that passion and push it out into the middle of the Mediterranean and you will find an even more independent folk;'I Sardi', used to doing things their own way- even the dishes. And they'll be darned if someone tries to stop them.
A passion for life? Put it to work.
The ladies of Santuario San Francesco di Lula, do just that.
I must be the only visitor to Sardinia who barely saw the sea..but apparently didn't need to.