Remember when people used to do things with their hands? I mean make things, not flipping you off on the highway.
The heart of Sardinia is chock full of artisans who make everything from lace to knives.
How can you see them? That’s easy. Go to the festival called Autunno in Barbagia. You don’t even have to plan to be on the island of Sardinia at a particular time, the festival runs from the first of September to the 17th of December. Each weekend villages open their museums, artist studios, and archaeological sites to visitors. Local specialties are served in restaurants, and street music is everywhere.
This year, four towns have been added to the lineup: Ottana, Orotelli, Oniferi, Ortueri. Ottana happens to have a beautiful Romanesque cathedral built in 1160.
We stayed in a smaller town, Gavoi, and had a great time. There were buses to take us to archaeological areas where we could wander and see rock-cut tombs and standing stones and great scenery. By late afternoon streets of town were alive with traditional street foods and craft demonstrations well into the night. When we’d had enough, we retreated to our little hideaway, Sa Posada, where we could sleep and then awaken to the most incredible homemade breakfast spread in the universe. Highly recommended and very reasonably priced. Gavoi shows itself off October 7-9 in 2017.
Even if you stay in a place like Gavoi, the Barbagia region is dense with history and prehistory. Stay a week that spans to weekends and see another village. They’re all different—and colorful:
These are the painstakingly produced local costumes, different for every village.
To see what we saw at the 2014 Autunno in Barbagia, see Sardinia Travel 101: Barbàgia: What to Expect.
So why not answer the traditional call of the mountains and plan a trip?
Schedule of Autunno in Barbagia 2017
Here are the dates and town of the festival.
You can also download the schedule in PDF form.
How to Get to Sardinia
You can fly from Rome, or take a ferry, which is very convenient if you already have a car and don’t want the expense of renting another one on the island. Martha’s Italy has an article on How to Get to Sardinia on the Ferry. It has tips as well as pictures of a cabin and the amenities you find on the boat.