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Starting Over in Sardinia

“Why did you move to Sassari from Toronto?” is the question I’ve been asked at least once a week since I got to Sassari about eight years ago. The truth is, it was really just by chance that I ended up on this beautiful island.

I had won a scholarship to study at the University of Bologna after my BA in Toronto and while I was there I met a lovely Sardinian guy. After about a year, I decided to move here to be with him, even though I had no job or idea what I was going to do. I was young and excited about the idea of living in a new country. However, we broke up after a while and, in the end, I decided to stay.

It wasn’t an easy decision and sometimes I wonder what made me do it. Most people think I’m crazy to have left the big city in exchange for small town life, especially during an economic crisis. And it hasn’t been easy being away from my friends, family and all the other things I held dear in Canada, but I can say that Sassari isn’t so bad once you figure out how to deal with all its particularities.

Sardinia is a gorgeous place, and really, who can stand those -20° snow filled Toronto days after having been for a walk along Platamona beach during a warm sunny February day?

Platamona is the local’s beach. It’s great because it’s just 20 minutes from town and a perfect afternoon getaway. Of course, the island is full of beautiful beaches and characteristic small towns. From Alghero to Cagliari, you can go for a walk along the beach any time of the year and enjoy a lovely afternoon surrounded by infinite sea.

I love visiting new places around the island because they’re so full of history. I recently visited a medieval castle in Chiaramonti, just 30 minutes from Sassari. I really enjoyed exploring the little town.

But if you’re looking for a spectacular sunset, Alghero is where you should go. It’s a charming town on the coast, perfect for a Sunday afternoon walk and you could maybe even grab an ice cream while you soak in the amazing views.

Sassari has a very nice historical centre, full of little side streets that I’m still discovering, even after eight years of living here. And while Sassari is a sleepy town most of the time, Via Roma, in the centre, is the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. This street is full of bars and cafès with patios where you can have a drink well into the night, all year long. Of course, the pizza is the best here. I don’t eat pizza often, but when I do, there is only one place I love going to: Pizza al Metro is by far the best little pizzeria in town. With friendly service and metres of delicious pizza, what better way to spend a Saturday night with friends?

I know why I moved to Sassari in the first place, but I’m starting to realize why I stayed.