Italian Sideways 2006 – Day 11
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By the time that we land in Olbia however, the gorgeous blue sky, warm weather and the emerald ocean water seen from above even before landing, help wash away part of the fatigue. By the time that we reach San Teodoro, about 20 minutes south of Olbia in our small rented Toyota Yaris car and have unpacked, we are starving and it is past noon.
We go into town and have just the time to shop before the store closes for the lunch break. When traveling to Italy, remember that most stores, gas stations with attendants (other than the ones on the toll highways), close for lunch at around 12:30 and reopen between 3:00 and 4:00 pm, depending on the location and the season.
We purchase pane carassau, the paper- thin, crunchy Sardinian bread that we love seasoned with salt, heated olive oil with rosemary, or just plain, pecorino sardo cheese and one bottle of Monica di Sardegna and a Colli del Limbara red wines, among others.
Since we are famished, we decide to go to a restaurant instead of going back to the apartment and preparing something to eat ourselves. We go to the central Il Covo (The Cove) restaurant and find out that the owner and part of the management are from Romagna, or the eastern part of my home region, Emilia Romagna.
We sit under the gorgeous sun which warms up our tired bodies and have a deliciously fresh salad and a superb mixed grill seafood which I can't refuse to wash down with Ladas, a light, aromatic, unconventionally frizzante (slightly sparking) Vermentino di Sardegna wine by the Cantina di Gallura, perfectly cooled in its ice bucket.
We spend the afternoon relaxing and settling into the apartment.
We run into problems when Brigit tries to prepare dinner. We cannot turn on the stove burners so we call Raffaele and ask for instruction. We're not able to resolve the problem even following his instructions, so Raffaele directs us to ask for the help of a neighbor, signor Eugenio, who comes over immediately and, after more phone consultation with Raffaele and various tests, finds an hidden faucet of which Raffaele himself wasn't aware of, which somehow got closed and prevented the gas from reaching the stove.
As a result, we now have a local friend, signor Eugenio, who immediately offers us a wheel of delicious smoked pecorino cheese which he has bought from a shepherd friend at a fraction of the cost that we see at the stores.
As, by the time the stove problem is resolved, it is already almost 8:00pm, we decide to go out for a pizza at Artista Ristorante Pizzeria, a place were we have eaten in the past and which has been suggested as a good choice by islanders and temporary residents alike.
We retire early to catch up on lost sleep.