This Chia city guide to the sounds of Chia, Sardinia, was contributed by Giovanna Iorio and Alan Bates:
Chia is a seaside town on the south-western point of Sardinia with an interesting combination of untouched nature and archaeology. Situated along a diverse coastline, from the pine forests of Santa Margherita, past the ancient Phoenician city of Bithia hidden beneath the golden sands and turquoise waters and onto the open, wild promontory of Capo Spartivento. A holiday in this remote and not so touristic part of Sardinia is pure pleasure that reminds us of a past that we can still touch and experience. This rich collection of sounds from Chia gives us the chance to reconnect with the wind, nature and sea.
Chia city guide
- Sounds of the sea
From the magnificent tower of Chia, the seventeenth-century tower built by the Spanish crown against the incursions of the Barbary pirates, there is access to a long stretch of sand by an emerald-green sea, a true spectacle of nature. My holiday starts here. Every day I reach for the tower to listen to the sounds of Chia’s bay.
Early in the morning I wake up when the cock crows. It is a song that comes from some remote part of the land before the dawn. With that song all the other sounds of the night fade away as the daylight arrives.
- Supermarkets and farmers
After a strong black coffee, I walk down the little paths and look for the farmers to buy freshly-harvested fruits and vegetables. There are figs, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, grapes, plums, peaches and watermelons. The air is filled with the sweet scent of these seasonal delights. The basil, for example, is collected under my eyes and its scent gives me energy all day. At the supermarket, actually a small shop on a rural crossroads filled with summer tourists, you can find local crisp bread (pane carasau) and other indispensable items. The nearby bar fills with tourists who try warm croissants and a morning cappuccino. The sun climbs in the sky as we prepare to go to the beach.
It is a pleasure to reach the most beautiful beaches on foot, along little paths and down steep cliffs. The deafening sound of the cicadas is the only voice until the sea appears and you can hear the waves break on the shore.
- Granite vendor
On the beach the sea is of an extraordinary blue color. There is always a bit of wind and the voices come from afar and mingle with the sound of the waves. From time to time a vendor passes by with his wheel cart offering exquisite handcrafted slushes (granite) that take your thirst away.
Immediately before the sunset the sea becomes pink: the flamingos rise from the lagoon to return to Cagliari to spend the night. People come back home and the seagulls walk on the shore. At this time, you may find flocks of sheep that graze in the shade of eucalyptus trees.
The night is a concert of frogs and crickets. From afar I can see the light of the Spartivento lighthouse. After dinner you can go to the beach to look at the stars and the Milky Way.
Occasionally, the heat becomes unbearable and luckily a storm arrives, announced by thunder and lightning. The sea, before the rain, is calm, without ripples. It will be a big storm.