Anne & Tom's Italy Adventure 2011 travel blog

Entering Giovianna's small family-run flatbread bakery.

Giovianna

Her daughter at the oven

A cute little girl was visiting

Another daughter rolls the dough into the flat bread

The first baking stage

Out of the oven (in a mere 45 seconds) and on to...

Fresh bread

She was adorable

Adding olive oil and spices

Our samples

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In the bakery

Off to our next adventure

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The rugged Sardinian terrain

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The Nuragic Village

This is really old

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They were masters of water flow

Learning about the Nuragic Village

A bronze pieces still in the mold.

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The shepherd's camp

His dwelling

Eating lunch on a long bench

Cooking on an open fire

He serves us

Flatbread was our "plate."

Preparing the food

Cutting the pig

Eating the pig

His bed

A rather simple life

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Back to Su Gologone

The pool

Lovely gardens

Waxy

A small shop

Follow the signs to your room

Turn at the chickens

The halls were hung with native costumes

Tonight was the farewell dinner

Luciano with his mug we gave him from our last trip in...


Entry #8 May 21, 2011

As you can see, we had three completely different experiences today. We began early at Giovianna's small family-run flatbread bakery. Flatbread is a staple in Sardinia because the shepherds would take a large quantity with them into the mountains for their daily meals. The amazing thing about this bread is how long it stays fresh - up to 6 months! It keeps so long because there is no moisture in this crisp, paper thin bread. It is a yeast bread, but it is rolled flat and two pieces are joined at the edges for baking which is done in two steps. First, the flattened (with a rolling pin) dough is placed into the oven (fired with wood) until it puffs up in a ball. The ball is poked down, turned over, and then removed. After a short cooling period, the two pieces are cut apart with a knife and stacked. The final baking is done with the single ply thickness again in the same wood-fired oven. Giovianna is expert in timing the baking of both the first and second bakes. She has trained her daughters in the art and the three of them work as a smooth team, rolling, baking, cutting, stacking, re-baking, pressing flat after re-baking and adding olive oil and spices for a special flavor. They make the bread for local customers and sell a kilogram for 5 euros ($7.50), so it is probably comparable to the cost of artisan bread in the USA. We got to sample bread right out of the oven, before it crisped up (this happens very quickly!) and it was especially delicious.

Our next stop that morning was to one of the few Nuragic Villages. The nuraghes were built between the middle of the Bronze Age (18th-15th centuries BC) and the Late Bronze Age. Many were in continuous use from their erection until Rome entered Sardinia in the (2nd century BC).

According to Massimo Pallottino, a scholar of Sardinian prehistory and an Etruscologist, the architecture produced by the Nuargic civilization was the most advanced of any civilization in the western Mediterranean during this epoch, including those in the regions of Megna Graecia. Of the 8,000 extant nuraghes, only a few have been scientifically excavated. We were amazed to find actual bronze pieces still in the molds.

Lunch was in the mountain camp of a local shepherd. We had flatbread, cheese produced by the shepherd, sausage. tomatoes, and a suckling pig. The experience was like camping in the wild and we had the backaches (from the benches) to prove it. We returned to Su Gologone for our farewell dinner with Classic Journeys. We surprised Luciano with a custom-made coffee mug with pictures from the trip he led us on last September in Tuscany & the Cinque Terre.

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