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Insider's view · Europe · italy · Sardinia

Insider: Giovanna Palimodde

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Insider: Giovanna Palimodde

Centuries of tradition

Giovanna Palimodde is an artist, designer, art collector and the owner and soul of Sardinia's most interesting and exciting hotel, Hotel Su Gologone. She is a charming and spirited Italian woman whose energy is very catching. Sardinia is not only her homeland, but also her passion and her love. Enthusiastically supportive of local artists and craftsmen, Palimodde also acts as a sort of patroness of ancient traditions by keeping them alive and interpreting them according to the sensibilities of the modern age. Instead of a hotel, Hotel Su Gologone feels more like an art gallery and a piece of art itself. Here Palimodde offers some suggestions to travellers searching for the soul of Sardinia.

What do you love most about Sardinia?
I love the nature and the traditions.

How do you characterise Sardinians as a people?
What distinguishes them is their hospitality, but also their sense of identity, their originality and their authenticity.

What should a visitor to Sardinia be sure to do?
Surely visit the sea, but also have a holiday related to the natural environment. They should travel around the island and experience its uniqueness.

Which places should one not miss when visiting the Supramonte region?
In Sardinia there are thousands of years of experience, thus I think that the archaeological sites and nature paths should not to be missed.

What are your favourite cultural landmarks in Sardinia?
Art, archaeology, history, nature.

Which villages/cities must one include in an itinerary in order to feel the cultural soul of Sardinia?
Oliena is special because it's my area. I was born in Oliena and I have much affection for the city because there are many events, for example, Oliena in fiore from June 1 to 24, 2013. I love Lanaittu because it's the most mysterious location. Here there is an archeological village, called Tiscali, which is inside of the mountain.
Galtellì is a nice village with a well-preserved historical centre and many old churches. Grazia Deledda (a Sardinian writer) dedicated one of her books to the town.

What is the most unique tradition in Sardinia that is still alive today?
Sardinia is the only place in the Mediterranean Sea with more than 100 traditional costumes, a different kind in each village; even neighbouring villages have different costumes. And the same happened with the languages.

Which are your favourite beaches and why?
My favorite are all the beaches along the Gulf of Orosei from Cala Gonone to the south because they are wilder and similar to the Seychelles in terms of nature and the Maldives in terms of the sea.

What favourite restaurants/cafés could you recommend for the gourmet traveller in Sardinia?
Number One is a restaurant called Il Gallura in Olbia.

What is the best winery to include in a wine connoisseur's itinerary?
Strada del Cannonau with Barbagia wine cellar.

What is your favourite book featuring Sardinia?
Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence.

Which places would be better to avoid as tourist traps when going around Sardinia?
Industrial areas, but we do not have many in Sardinia.

What is the best time to visit Sardinia?
Spring is the best, but autumn, too. Many flowers and different colours.

Can you tell us a secret about Sardinia?
It is an old island with ancient fashion.

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