Our focus today is the second-largest town in Sardinia — Sassari. A vibrant place, it is one of the oldest cities on the islands, and is rich in art, culture and history, together with beautiful architecture in the historical center. We meet Pilar, our local guide, who introduces us to the most important sites — starting with the University Palace.
There are indented trenches running down the middle of the streets, and we learn that from medieval times all the way up to the 1960’s people would throw sewage out of their windows to run in the streets! The place must have had a terrible stench. At the Ducal Palace (now the town hall), Pilar talks about how the nobles would retreat to a large terrace on the rooftop to escape the smell from the street.
The Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Bari has an ornate facade in the Baroque style, with three niches housing statues of saints. The bell tower is in Romanesque style.
One of the most iconic sites in Sassari is the Fountain of the Rosello, where women would gather to do their laundry and gossip. There are four statues representing the seasons on each corner, and twelve fountain spouts representing the months of the year. Saint Gavino is riding a horse on top of the crossing arches.
We continue our journey to the seaside resort of Alghero, where we will be spending the next two nights. Our guided tour is tomorrow, but many of us venture out for an impromptu walk in the old town and along the seafront.
Dinner tonight is at Trattoria Lo Romani da Vittoria e Gigi. Roasted suckling pig, a specialty of the region, melts in our mouths, along with many other incredible dishes too numerous to list. Gigi, the owner, comes by frequently to encourage us to finish everything — an impossibility with the quantities being served. Another magical day in an Italian Paradise!