Mirrors of crystal clear pure water, turquoise and cobalt coloured sea, bold breeze, scorching sun, austere and rugged beauty of an incomparable land. Our 2016 Summer issue is realized in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. For the shooting of the following pages editorial we had the chance to see places that left us breathless, and the honour of visiting a number of top service facilities that are meant only for an exclusive and elitist clientele.
Sardinia is a proud island, majestic, and yet mischievous and endearing. Here every sensation is amplified: the senses are overwhelmed by the natural scents of wild sage, berry trees, myrtle, juniper and sea air; the colours are so vivid that the sun looks more yellow, the grass greener, clouds whiter, the sea bluer. For those who are going there as tourists, the intensity of the emotions is surreal, they will feel transported into a dream from which luckily, waking up is not an option.
This island is a box of treasures made of an incomparable natural beauty. The Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda), for example, is an intriguing blend between the harshness of the island environment and the luxurious comfort built by humans. So there are both beautiful beaches made of bright colours like Capriccioli, and the bay of Porto Cervo with its exclusive boutiques and fancy hotels.
Exploring the natural landscapes from Olbia to Costa Smeralda, it's enchanting to witness how the wind has whipped, stroked and thus forged bare rocks that adorn the island. Smoothed and shaped over the centuries, these natural architectural wonders are at their best in the archipelago of La Maddalena, where some huge rocks overlooking the crystal waters offer a breathtaking and majestic spectacle of soft harmony. Above some of these rocks it's even possible to lay on the sun, right above the clear waters of Sardinia sea.
The Maddalena is reachable by ferry boat, but the best way to enjoy it is to make a tour with the sailing ship*, and from there a ride with the boat looking for the most beautiful beaches around the archipelago. The "Budelli" beach, aka pink beach, worth a visit; it has been recently re-opened for visitors under the control of the Ente Parco Maddalena. The so called "Taithi" beach is a spectacular place as well, thanks to its tropical look and atmosphere.
This wonderful island's sea is so clear and blue that has a strong appeal to many, especially sailing lovers. We shooted in a marvellous yacht, as you will see, and then we had the pleasure to visit the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Founded in 1967, it was always on top among the most important yacht clubs worldwide, and its continuous research and innovation efforts characterize the YCCS as a benchmark in his category.
Discovering Sardinia is exciting and it's also interesting to see the island through the eyes of those who live there. Our Sardinian experience was full of emotions thanks to the presence of Renato Azara, whose help has enabled us to fully understand the capabilities and the resources of this beautiful area.
Azara is an entrepreneur whose love for his native land can be found in every word he speaks, in every gesture and glance he makes. He owes several successful business companies, and despite his numerous commitments - including politics - he was extremely kind by dedicating us a big part of his time. From his words it's clear his wish of making Sardinia a great tourist and economic resource, so that its residents can count on a certain future, being also proud of a region which evolves in a modern and high-tech way. According to Azara, Costa Smeralda is an important resource for Sardinia, and the attention paid to areas such as Gallura, plus the modernization in technologies of the city of Olbia - with the construction of new convention centres and adaptations for business visitors - are crucial steps to be taken in order to elevate an area that, in the winter months, would otherwise continue to be isolated. Renato Azara is by his own definition "a son of Sardinia and a citizen of the world", a man whose greatest desire is to give visibility and dignity to his land, and the importance it deserves. The whole Sardinia is a beautiful jewel that needs to shine brighter than ever.
Our journey in the golden world of the most exclusive places of Sardinia, later brought us to discover the èlite sport par excellence: golf. For those who love nature, the green, the breathtaking views and the natural scents, the Pevero Golf Club is ideal. The ones who practice this beautiful sport will find a perfect and elegant environment, plus a great attention to details. In addition, those who don't play, have the opportunity to relax with a drink in the beautiful bar of Pevero, in the terrace overlooking the golf field.
Located in the hinterland of Sardinia, among the scents of native flora, and far from the party life and flashing cameras, there is Petra Segreta, a wonderful and exclusive Resort for those seeking for peaceful and quiet places in a very luxurious environment, beautiful and sophisticated. The owners, Luigi Bergeretto and Rossella Marchese take personal care of this paradise, hidden into the island's vegetation. The atmosphere in this resort is magical. The grass colour, the clear water of the swimming pools, the perfectly combined furniture in line with the environment, the inspired cuisine of the restaurant Fuoco Sacro and the exquisiteness of the owners make this place worth a visit.
Visiting these paradisiac places, we wondered what would it be the best way for business travelers and high profile clients to arrive in Costa Smeralda respecting their need for peace and privacy. Thus, we briefly visited the place that there represents the top service: the exclusive airport for private flights Eccelsa Aviation. An excellence of the island that will provide a daydream permanence in Sardinia.
Undoubtedly, the SHOT magazine team had an amazing week from many points of view. Every moment we spent there was blessed by the view of Sardinia's wonders, and we will never forget the beautiful places we had the big pleasure to visit, albeit briefly. The people, the sea, the sky, the sun, the scent of this island will remain etched in our memories for a very long time. We hope you will enjoy the editorial that follows, so that you can experience from our pages the marvellous italian island we are so proud of. Goodbye, Sardinia, we miss you already.