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Walking an Ancient Roman Path Along the Sardinian Coast

Damiano Usala

If you want to discover a small corner of Sardinia in which the ancient Romans used to walk with their horses and at the same time be suspended between the turquoise blue sea and the lush, Mediterranean Sardinian coast, plunging in its perfume, I advise you to walk the ancient Roman road that connected Nora to Bithia, two of the first Sardinian cities built by Phoenicians. It is a path of about five kilometers without major slopes and breathtaking views.

This hike, made in the Sardinian spring with the blooming mimosa and lavender on the sides of the path, will wake your senses. Walking, one will see the new colors, smell the spring scents, hear the insects buzz and feel the sprinkles from the sea, bringing you a great feeling of relaxation.

But let us start from the beginning. If you are in Sardinia for a holiday in the province of Cagliari, you must go to Pula and drive along the coast up to the 42 kilometer mark and there turn left at the junction for Pinus Village. This is unfortunately one of those villages full of houses that actually destroyed a corner of Sardinia that was among the most beautiful, called Cala Bernardini.

Cala Bernardini

Cala Bernardini

Follow the road to the beach. Leaving the car, you will understand as you see the small cove of golden sand, granite and sandstone, that you have arrived in a small Eden. The best time for this trip is April, May June and September, out of season but beautiful, especially if you like a cool swim.

Go to the beach and follow the path that climbs gently up the hill along the orange granite coast, where soon you will see a road. An ancient Roman road...

Granite Coast

At this point you are leaving the beach to reach the trek that will take you into another dimension. If you stay on top of the hill before proceeding you will see at once the south west coast of Sardinia up to Cagliari ... a great view.

View Towards Cagliari

View Towards Cagliari

The path stays away from the sea for a bit and then it will turn back into the vegetation tunnel where you can see the sea on the right and on the left the rest of the hill ... there will be no sign around of other human beings. No house or road, which is why some groups choose this path for meditation class.

Path along the coast

Looking back on the path along the coast

After a while, you will understand that this was really an ancient street because, for a short distance up the road, the path is still well marked with its old cobblestone. The feeling of being in a street over two thousand years old within walking distance of Cagliari is very strong because the tract is under a dense vegetation, and you can easily imagine hearing the noises, the gasps and cries of travelers and pilgrims. Don't worry it's just your imagination but it makes sense there.

The Ancient Path

The Ancient Path

The trail is suitable for all; hiking shoes are not required, only the desire to stop and admire the view and listen to nature around. For a long stretch the dirt road is part of the hills, among pine trees, lush vegetation and shrubs bent by the mistral in a typical stamp from Sardinia.

A View of the Sardinian Coast

A view from the path

I've done this trail twice and every time I stop at a different point. Sometimes I even stop to read a book perhaps hoping that at some point the Roman horses suddenly will appear on the horizon.

Damiano Usala is copywriter and social media specialist for www.sardegne.com and www.sardiniaexclusive.com. He loves Sardinia and to travel alone to discover the unusual path and beaches of the island.

© Slow Travel 2011

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