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The road to Ulassai.  17 October 2019.  Italy Sardinia Ulassai
Oct 17, 2019
  Ulassai, Sardinia, Italy  
A bit of hiking, a bit of art.  18 October 2019.  Italy Sardinia Ulassai
Oct 18, 2019
  Ulassai, Sardinia, Italy  
More hiking, more art.  19 October 2019.  Italy Sardinia Ulassai
Oct 19, 2019
  Ulassai, Sardinia, Italy  
More Ulassai.  19 October 2019.  Italy Sardinia Ulassai
Oct 19, 2019
  Sardinia, Italy, Ulassai  
Ulassai panorama.  20 November 2019.  Italy Sardinia Ulassai
Nov 20, 2019
  Italy, Sardinia, Ulassai  
 
 
 
The road to Ulassai  17 October 2019  Italy  Sardinia  Ulassai 
 
 
 

We checked out of our apartment in Cagliari then took the train to the airport where we picked up a rental car. From there we drove north for a few hours to the small (1,400 pop) town of Ulassai.

Ulassai

Driving was easy. It isn't that different from Canada. The roads are good, the signage good. Lots more rotaries though. Lots of tunnels between Cagliari and Ulassai, they go through not over. And the drivers, well, the drivers are more aggressive than I'm accustomed.

Ulassai's setting is spectacular, with limestone and dolomite cliffs that tower over head. It turns an architecturally uninteresting place into something quite beautiful.

We arrived in Ulassai about half past two which is mid siesta in every small Italian town. The town looked abandoned, the stores and cafes all closed, an occasional car. The bar was open so we ate a rather sad bar sandwich. This is the "need food between 2 and 5 in a small Italian town" challenge which can be addressed by either planning ahead or lowering your food standards. Today we lowered.

Later in the afternoon the shops opened and we soon observed two types of people out and about, young people who hike/climb during the day and are commonly living out of an RV, and old people. Sardinians are reputed to be long lived. Which reminds me of the place that is said to be home to "the newly wed and the nearly dead".

 
 
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Jerzu      
We passed the town of Jerzu on the way to Ulassai. Jerzu is known for its full-bodied Cannonau red wine, which I happen to be drinking at this moment and which I find to be very good.
 
Jerzu      
We passed the town of Jerzu on the way to Ulassai. Jerzu is known for its full-bodied Cannonau red wine, which I happen to be drinking at this moment and which I find to be very good.
 
Jerzu      
We passed the town of Jerzu on the way to Ulassai. Jerzu is known for its full-bodied Cannonau red wine, which I happen to be drinking at this moment and which I find to be very good.
 
Ulassai +      
The limestone and dolomite cliffs that surround Ulassai make this a popular hiking and climbing destination.
 
Ulassai +      
The limestone and dolomite cliffs that surround Ulassai make this a popular hiking and climbing destination.
 
Ulassai +      
The limestone and dolomite cliffs that surround Ulassai make this a popular hiking and climbing destination.
 
Ulassai      
The narrow street skirting the ambulance and mounting the hillside is the recommended route to our b&b.
 
Ulassai      
The narrow street skirting the ambulance and mounting the hillside is the recommended route to our b&b.
 
Ulassai      
The narrow street skirting the ambulance and mounting the hillside is the recommended route to our b&b.
 
Ulassai      
Much of Ulassai hugs the side of a mountain and features narrow and winding streets.
 
Ulassai      
Much of Ulassai hugs the side of a mountain and features narrow and winding streets.
 
Ulassai      
Much of Ulassai hugs the side of a mountain and features narrow and winding streets.
 
https://www.jamesgaston.ca/1605
 
 
A bit of hiking, a bit of art  18 October 2019  Italy  Sardinia  Ulassai 
 
 
 

We're in Ulassai and the weather in Sardinia remains perfect. We hiked up a nearby mountain, passing through a slot in the rocks popular with rock climbers, then in the afternoon we visited an exhibit of the works by the Ulassai artist Maria Lai.

 
 
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Old stone wall and town center +      
 
Old stone wall and town center +      
 
Old stone wall and town center +      
 
Yours truly near our very nice b&b      
 
Yours truly near our very nice b&b      
 
Yours truly near our very nice b&b      
 
Paul on hike      
 
Paul on hike      
 
Paul on hike      
 
The Mediterranean is to the east      
 
The Mediterranean is to the east      
 
The Mediterranean is to the east      
 
Yours truly taking photos      
 
Yours truly taking photos      
 
Yours truly taking photos      
 
Paul on hike      
 
Paul on hike      
 
Paul on hike      
 
Ulassai panorama      
 
Ulassai panorama      
 
Ulassai panorama      
 
Rock climbers      
Ulassai is pinned in by steep rock walls so it's popular with climbers. And no, you won't find me climbing any rocks.
 
Rock climbers      
Ulassai is pinned in by steep rock walls so it's popular with climbers. And no, you won't find me climbing any rocks.
 
Rock climbers      
Ulassai is pinned in by steep rock walls so it's popular with climbers. And no, you won't find me climbing any rocks.
 
Maria Lai artwork      
The Stazione dell'arte, a train station turned art gallery, currently features a showing of works by the Ulassai multimedia/performance artist Maria Lai. In addition to a gallery filled with her pieces we also enjoyed her multimedia fairy tale "Holding the shadow by the hand." A number of Lai's pieces are stationed around Ulassai, in an open-air gallery.
 
Maria Lai artwork      
The Stazione dell'arte, a train station turned art gallery, currently features a showing of works by the Ulassai multimedia/performance artist Maria Lai. In addition to a gallery filled with her pieces we also enjoyed her multimedia fairy tale "Holding the shadow by the hand." A number of Lai's pieces are stationed around Ulassai, in an open-air gallery.
 
Maria Lai artwork      
The Stazione dell'arte, a train station turned art gallery, currently features a showing of works by the Ulassai multimedia/performance artist Maria Lai. In addition to a gallery filled with her pieces we also enjoyed her multimedia fairy tale "Holding the shadow by the hand." A number of Lai's pieces are stationed around Ulassai, in an open-air gallery.
 
The Stazione dell'arte      
 
The Stazione dell'arte      
 
The Stazione dell'arte      
 
Ulassai as seen from the Stazione dell'arte      
 
Ulassai as seen from the Stazione dell'arte      
 
Ulassai as seen from the Stazione dell'arte      
 
Paul in front of our Ulassai b&b      
Our very nice b&b managed by a very warm and demonstrative young woman named Monica who speaks no English yet somehow was able to communicate just fine. For €60 per night we got the whole floor, roomy and modern with a living room, bedroom, and bath with laundry.
 
Paul in front of our Ulassai b&b      
Our very nice b&b managed by a very warm and demonstrative young woman named Monica who speaks no English yet somehow was able to communicate just fine. For €60 per night we got the whole floor, roomy and modern with a living room, bedroom, and bath with laundry.
 
Paul in front of our Ulassai b&b      
Our very nice b&b managed by a very warm and demonstrative young woman named Monica who speaks no English yet somehow was able to communicate just fine. For €60 per night we got the whole floor, roomy and modern with a living room, bedroom, and bath with laundry.
 
https://www.jamesgaston.ca/1627
 
 
More hiking, more art  19 October 2019  Italy  Sardinia  Ulassai 
 
 
 

Today was similar to yesterday: perfect weather; a challenging and beautiful hike (to the summit of Bruncu Matzeu, a nearby mountain); and then an evening walk around Ulassai's open-air museum. The major difference was dinner, yesterday it was local cuisine and today it was pizza.

 
 
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Bruncu Matzeu      
We hiked the Tisiddu trail up to Bruncu Matzeu, a 955m peak just opposite of yesterday's hike.
 
Bruncu Matzeu      
We hiked the Tisiddu trail up to Bruncu Matzeu, a 955m peak just opposite of yesterday's hike.
 
Bruncu Matzeu      
We hiked the Tisiddu trail up to Bruncu Matzeu, a 955m peak just opposite of yesterday's hike.
 
Yesterday's destination +      
Today's hike gave us a good view of where we hiked yesterday.
 
Yesterday's destination +      
Today's hike gave us a good view of where we hiked yesterday.
 
Yesterday's destination +      
Today's hike gave us a good view of where we hiked yesterday.
 
East is the Mediterranean      
 
East is the Mediterranean      
 
East is the Mediterranean      
 
Paul at the summit      
 
Paul at the summit      
 
Paul at the summit      
 
Yours truly at the summit      
 
Yours truly at the summit      
 
Yours truly at the summit      
 
Paul heading down from summit      
 
Paul heading down from summit      
 
Paul heading down from summit      
 
Church + Fiat      
 
Church + Fiat      
 
Church + Fiat      
 
Map to open-air museum      
The small town of Ulassai features art by the local artist Maria Lai scattered around the town, part of what they call an open-air museum.
 
Map to open-air museum      
The small town of Ulassai features art by the local artist Maria Lai scattered around the town, part of what they call an open-air museum.
 
Map to open-air museum      
The small town of Ulassai features art by the local artist Maria Lai scattered around the town, part of what they call an open-air museum.
 
Ulassai school with art      
The school in the center of Ulassai is part of the open-air museum. Above each window is a drawing and text plus there is a large piece in the center.
 
Ulassai school with art      
The school in the center of Ulassai is part of the open-air museum. Above each window is a drawing and text plus there is a large piece in the center.
 
Ulassai school with art      
The school in the center of Ulassai is part of the open-air museum. Above each window is a drawing and text plus there is a large piece in the center.
 
Art on the school      
This large piece is on the school.
 
Art on the school      
This large piece is on the school.
 
Art on the school      
This large piece is on the school.
 
La Lavagna      
Part of the open air museum.
 
La Lavagna      
Part of the open air museum.
 
La Lavagna      
Part of the open air museum.
 
Inside La Lavagna, by Maria Lai      
 
Inside La Lavagna, by Maria Lai      
 
Inside La Lavagna, by Maria Lai      
 
Book by Maria Lai      
The small item in the middle right side of the photo is a piece of art by Lai. It is part of a series of small ceramic books placed along Ulassai's oldest street. Lai was a big fan of reading.
 
Book by Maria Lai      
The small item in the middle right side of the photo is a piece of art by Lai. It is part of a series of small ceramic books placed along Ulassai's oldest street. Lai was a big fan of reading.
 
Book by Maria Lai      
The small item in the middle right side of the photo is a piece of art by Lai. It is part of a series of small ceramic books placed along Ulassai's oldest street. Lai was a big fan of reading.
 
Book up close      
 
Book up close      
 
Book up close      
 
Book by Lai      
 
Book by Lai      
 
Book by Lai      
 
Ulassai woman      
Most of the old women in Ulassai dress in a distinctive manner, with dark colors, a long dress, and a hood.
 
Ulassai woman      
Most of the old women in Ulassai dress in a distinctive manner, with dark colors, a long dress, and a hood.
 
Ulassai woman      
Most of the old women in Ulassai dress in a distinctive manner, with dark colors, a long dress, and a hood.
 
They do a brisk business in pizza      
As far as we can tell Ulassai has two restaurants off season. One is for Sardinian delicacies like horse, donkey, and entrails, plus the usual meat and fish. The other is this pizza place. We tried both and, no surprise, we preferred the pizza.
 
They do a brisk business in pizza      
As far as we can tell Ulassai has two restaurants off season. One is for Sardinian delicacies like horse, donkey, and entrails, plus the usual meat and fish. The other is this pizza place. We tried both and, no surprise, we preferred the pizza.
 
They do a brisk business in pizza      
As far as we can tell Ulassai has two restaurants off season. One is for Sardinian delicacies like horse, donkey, and entrails, plus the usual meat and fish. The other is this pizza place. We tried both and, no surprise, we preferred the pizza.
 
https://www.jamesgaston.ca/1628
 
 
More Ulassai  19 October 2019  Italy  Sardinia  Ulassai 
 
 
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Ulassai and two neighboring towns +      
The summit of Bruncu Matzeu gives a view of Ulassai plus, in the distance, two additional hillside towns.
 
Ulassai and two neighboring towns +      
The summit of Bruncu Matzeu gives a view of Ulassai plus, in the distance, two additional hillside towns.
 
Ulassai and two neighboring towns +      
The summit of Bruncu Matzeu gives a view of Ulassai plus, in the distance, two additional hillside towns.
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
At times I'm not sure whether I prefer colour or b&w.
 
Ulassai      
At times I'm not sure whether I prefer colour or b&w.
 
Ulassai      
At times I'm not sure whether I prefer colour or b&w.
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
Ulassai      
 
 

 
 
https://www.jamesgaston.ca/1684
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ulassai panorama  20 November 2019  Italy  Sardinia  Ulassai 
 
 
 

 
 
https://www.jamesgaston.ca/1678