A love letter to Cagliari

Cagliari | Photo by Sean Pavone
Cagliari | Photo by Sean Pavone

A love letter to Cagliari

by Amanda Palumbo
Stars & Stripes Europe

Dear Cagliari,

I remember the first time I stumbled upon your existence. A dirt-cheap Ryan Air flight lured me in. I’m ashamed to say, I had to Google you. But, when I saw pictures of your tranquil blue waters surrounding the shores and a backdrop of brightly colored buildings towering above as if they were on risers, I never wanted to swipe right more in my entire life.

I fell in love with your story: an Italian island, not really Italian but a strange Mediterranean-hybrid with all the best cultural features of its surrounding neighbors. You are simply Sardinia, far more unpretentious than your bigger and more famous siblings like Rome, Sicily and Milan.

I had that ticket filled out and ready to go. All I had to do was click ‘purchase.’ However, my traveling partner convinced me to go to Dublin instead. “Let’s go there when it’s warmer,” he said. “Sardinia isn’t going anywhere,” he claimed. But, here we are, with an invisible force keeping us apart. 

I had plans to visit you this month, to relax on your beaches with a big floppy hat and a glass of one of your many wines made from the finest grapes and berries on the island. Though, an entire bottle seems more fitting at the moment. We both know one glass of Sardinian wine would have even the most seasoned traveler saying, “Tuscany who? I don’t know her.”

I was going to hike your mountains, wander your caves, rent a car and drive along your coastline but alas, I am here. Trapped in a not-so-gilded cage, lamenting over the memories we would have made together. Not visiting you at the very first opportunity will be one of my biggest regrets, aside from that time I attempted to highlight my own hair.

We will have to continue our long-distance love affair, as I am unsure when I will see you. But, absence only makes the heart grow fonder and I know you will live up to the hype I have created in my head. I know we will see each other one day. I will make sure of it. You have my word. Just give me yours that you will remain as simple, peaceful and beautiful as I know you have always been and have a glass of wine waiting for me when I arrive.

Missing you always,


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