Chia, the gem of the South

There’s a distinctive scent in the air, like no other place in the world. I can’t specifically point out what it is, because is a mix of fragrances, memories and feelings. It’s the heat of the summer blended with the smell of cistus “su murdegu”, of myrtle “sa mutta”, of wild fennel “sa mata faua” and of lentisk “sa modditzia”. It is a very strong and typical perfume, unique and unforgettable. Along the costal area, where the sea breeze is often a relief from the summer heat, it’s easy to encounter the different species of vegetation that are peculiar to Sardinia and the scent brought by the wind penetrates into my nostrils, into my mind and into my heart.


(Sotto la torre di Chia)

This happens in Chia as well, one of my very favorite places. I haven’t been in here in almost twenty years; I think my last time was when I came back to Sardinia after living in the States for one year. I have beautiful memories here, when I was a young teenager and used to come here with my brother, my sister and our friends. Just the trip to get here was an adventure, driving the green and white minivan that my dad used for work and with a big sign on the side that read “Necchi”. Officially it could fit up to seven people; unofficially it used to carry even eight or nine of us. We got up early in the morning trying to avoid the traffic caused by the Sunday vacationists and once we loaded the car with the passenger, watermelon and beers, we were ready for a day at the beach. How many time we got almost fined by the cops! How many times we recklessly overtook the other cars when the traffic got really bad! There was always one of leaning outside the car window making sure there was neither a traffic block nor a police block in front of us. How many times this person has taken the chance to find his face glued on a road signal when my brother drove on the curb to pass a car from the right. So many laughter and so many memories connected to that Fiat 850, our only mean of transportation for so many years. I like to go back with my mind to those happy and carefree days, when I still thought I could conquer the world.


 (L’acqua di Chia)

I find that Chia has improved with time and I’m happy to see the sand is well taken care of and quite clean, since it’s very common to see people, locals and foreigners, leaving their garbage behind after a day at the beach. Now there are several seasonal kiosks where people can find some relief during the hottest hours of the day; lounge chairs and umbrella are also available to everybody…that wants to pay for them! The coast here is so wide that is divided in different parts:  Cala de sa musica, Isolotto Su Cardulinu, Sa Colonia, Cala del Morto, Porto Campana, Su Giudeu and Cala Cipolla, just to mention few of them, but my favorite one was and always will be Su Giudeu. From the top of the hill where the Spanish tower is, one can admire the entire area all the way to the Lighthouse, now remodeled and converted into a beautiful, luxurious and very expensive boutique hotel. I’ve only recently had the chance to visit the north of the island that everybody describes as a magnificent place, but I really believe that my south has nothing to be jealous of. Each corner of this amazing land is a slice of paradise.

You need to see it to believe it!


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