This past summer, ManAboutWorld correspondent, David Alport visited the Mediterranean island of Sardinia with his boyfriend and a few gay friends. They packed the gay (since there’s not much of a scene there) but they did discover Sardinia’s gorgeous beaches, delicious cuisine and warm hospitality.
- Why Sardinia?
Sardinia rose to the top of my list because my good friend Simone grew up there and offered to host six of us at his family’s home. I was also excited to see a less touristy part of Italy, where we had a better chance of soaking up a real slice of Italian life. Oh, and finally there was the call of Sardinia’s famous turquoise blue sea and spectacular beaches … it was hard to argue with that.
2. Who did you travel with?
I always say that the single most important factor in a travel experience is who you go with. For this trip, I went with my partner Jake and two other couples, both of whom I adore. Needless to say, we had a blast. Because Sardinia is a pretty low-key place, I suggest traveling there with friends rather than solo.
3. What is Sardinia’s the gay community like?
There are gay people everywhere, of course, but Sardinia is not about the gay scene. Costa Smeralda is by far the most international spot, but it doesn’t have much of a gay vibe. Down in Cagliari, the island’s capital and biggest city, there is a vibrant street scene at night, and some bars where gays are more likely to gather. But there are not really any gay bars here. The Sardinians, like most Italians, are a bit more closed about their gayness.
4. What surprised you most about Sardinia?
Sardinia is a very simple island. While boasting many of Italy’s assets — great food, physical beauty, amazing shoreline — its charms are more subtle than the rest of Italy’s. Visiting Sardinia is about slowing down and relaxing. Tourist life is entirely focused on the beach, and if you don’t truly enjoy beach-going, Sardinia is not for you. I was a bit surprised by how provincial the island felt, which was actually a wonderful discovery. The one exception to this is on the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) on the northeast corner of the island, where the richest of the world’s rich bring their yachts and fabulosity. A couple days is all you need here, but if you want to experience the lifestyles of the rich, do put it on your list.
5. Favorite moment was…
Every day held the same favorite moment: Arriving on a new beach that was even more spectacular than the one before it. Sardinia will simply floor you with the beauty of its coastline.
6. Best time to go to Sardinia
Summer is when you want to be in Sardinia. May, early June and September are the perfect months because it is a bit cooler, but I personally love a hot day, which it is throughout the peak summer months of July and August.
7. Gay factor
As I mentioned, it’s very low. But you will not feel uncomfortable.
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