Journal

Escape to Sardinia
TRAVEL JOURNAL

Escape to Sardinia

Unspoilt beaches, great food and endless days of sunshine, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia is the perfect post-lockdown getaway, says R&B co-founder, Valentina.

I spent most of lockdown in London at my family home, separated from my fiancé for three months. When the borders opened, we escaped to Italy together. My father is from Sardinia, and I used to visit the island every summer growing up. The smells, the heat, the food take me straight back to those carefree childhood holidays. We chose Sardinia because I know it so well—an uncomplicated place to relax and work...


Just landed, where first?

To the beach - usually Cala Corsara or Beach del Principe. Italian beaches are such a unique experience and a highlight of Sardinia travel - the colours, the chatter - it is always a day out so ensure you come prepared with your parasol and a cooler box.


First impressions?

The unique warmth of the Sardinians - having been lucky enough to travel all over Italy, these guys have distinct traits in their personality; jovial, mischievous and a sense of not taking themselves too seriously which immediately puts you at ease.

The mood?

It’s a country within a country - with a strong cultural and mythological history. The beaches, like the food, change from region to region - both sandy and rocky, with the beauty and blue waters of the Caribbean.


What will you always remember?

Long treks on Caprera Island, to the beaches, especially Cala Coticcio at sunset. Music playing with the windows down and the golden sun through the trees. It’s only campers on the island at the moment; it’s a must see before the hotels move in.

Where to stay?

In the hills above Costa Smeralda is the bohemian art haven village San Pantaleo. They have a lively market every Thursday selling local art and produce. Sip a spritz at sunset in the piazza to get a real flavour for local life in this part of the world. Generations mingle as the sun sets behind gigantic granite monoliths.


Favourite places?

Santa Teresa Gallura, a colourful port town with a beautiful beach is the perfect way to spend a day before catching the boat to Maddalena. In the west of Sardinia is Bosa, for real Sardinia spirit; cobbled streets only accessed by foot, a historical square and each traditional house painted a bright pastel colour.

How to get around?

Pack light and rent a jeep soft top, perfect for the narrow winding panoramic roads and mountainous land.


Rituals?

A sunrise trek when the rest of the island is sleeping or a late night swim under the moon.

Where to eat?

A favourite restaurant is Ristorante Giagoni in San Pantaleo the food and ambience is wonderful and the backdrop is like something from an old western film.


Favourite beaches?

La Maddalena Archipelago is the pinnacle - rent a boat and explore the islands, the water ranges from light blue to emerald greens. The pink shores of Spiaggia Rosa rival any Caribbean beach, or, for the more adventurous, hike Caprera island’s long trails to remote coves - Cala Coticcio or Cala Napoletana.

Secret spots?

Cala Francese, an old granite quarry, abandoned after WW2. The water is turquoise and there’s a pier - perfect for those of us who like to go head first. You’ll find old locomotives - that have dispatched stone as far as Rio De Janeiro - on long-abandoned tracks.


Best time of day?

At Golden hour there's a dusting of magic in the air. It's the best time to show off your sunkissed glow and enjoy an aperitivo.

Can’t miss?

Orgosolo on Sardinia mainland is a special town high in the mountains, the town of bandits and dreamers - loaded with international politically-motivated murals and beautiful paintings, it’s an outdoor museum. This place really gives you a feel for the Sardinian mentality.


How to style it?

With ease - red coral chunky jewelry from the island contrasting against tan, white and gold. By day bikini wraps with layered jewellery and large raffia bags and slinky dresses by night. The Sardinia style vibe is Bella Figura! Elegant, relaxed and chic.

Sardinia snapshot

...reading? Educated by Tara Westover

...listening to? Midnight Sisters - Blue Cigar.

...thinking about? R&B swim 2021 sketching Ideas / inspiration.

...in my suitcase? Film camera & SPF.

...wardrobe? Slips - Valentina or Casablanca Dress over my bikini. The Primrose slip - white always enhances the tan. Aphrodite blouse with layered gold jewellery.

Love,

Valentina x

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