SARDINIA – ITALY
Budoni is a seaside resort on the northern part of Baronia region, which borders Gallura region to the north. The small town stands on a plain created by the river of the same name, which runs along the town before flowing into Lido del Sole – a sandy beach commonly known as Stella Marina.
Maquis – also Mediterranean scrub or macchia – covers much of the area and especially in spring bloom provides a burst of colours to sandy white beaches and hills, which delimit the area, creating eye-catching landscapes.
What makes these hills originating from granite and slate interesting are rocks eroded by atmospheric agents. A walk in one of the nature trails running along these hills fits perfectly with people who’d like to discover the countryside taking advantage of breath-taking landscapes. A series of small brackish ponds flanked by pine trees lay between the coast and the inland areas. These landlocked shallow water basins are home to very interesting aquatic ecosystems, which sometimes includes pink flamingos, despite their depth. Nevertheless, what characterizes the area is the maquis that gives bright colours to the landscape. Budoni’s beaches boast crystal-clear waters, uncontaminated seabed covered by posidonia meadows and 18km of coastline, which encompasses white sandy shores and small coves flanked either by cliffs or vegetation.
Shepherds, farmers both from Baronia and inland regions, but also pedlars from nearby Gallura have shaped traditions of the town. Being every month full of celebrations, the faithful make traditional sweets and breads to share with people. As for traditional dishes, zuppa gallurese, gnocchetti pasta, tagliatelle pasta, lamb and suckling pig – commonly known as porcetto – are the most popular. On the other hand, papassini (usually made in the event of the Day of the Dead), origliette (fried egg pasta topped with honey), formaggelle (usually made for Easter) and bianchini are some of the most popular sweets. Also, sagre – local festivals – are widespread. One of the most important is St. Anthony the Great feast day, which is celebrated on January 16th. During this celebration local people light fires in every hamlet and participants are given holy traditional sweets.
In May, people living in San Pietro hamlet celebrates St Peter’s day. Shepherds give some of their livestock for preparing a traditional lunch including pecora in cappotto (boiled sheep), stew and cheese served after the Holy Mess.
A cheerful atmosphere dominates Budoni in the event of St. John the Baptist’s day, on August 29. A procession with the statue of the Saint usually accompanied by a band, a chorale and folk dancers, takes place through the town.
St. John the Baptist Church
The church of the town is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, whose celebration is held on August 29, namely the day of his martyrdom. Today’s building was built in the 1960s to replace the older one dating back to the late 1800s and considered structurally unsound. As for the architecture, the new church’s tent-shaped roof aims at recalling tents used by nomad Jews when travelling from one place to another. The church building consists of a single-nave that terminates in an apse – with its altar – decorated with five windows representing Jesus Christ with the four Evangelists. A series of paintings representing the life of Saint John, by Liliana Cano, and fourteen copper paintings representing the Way of the Cross decorate walls, while a wooden crucifix, by Francesco Masuri from Dorgali, hung from the ceiling. A copper clad door, by Totorino (Salvatore) Spanu, is split into panels that represent the most important events in the life of the martyr Saint John the Baptist. On top of the façade is a rose window representing Jesus Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River
Plant and animal life
Sardinia’s vegetation is highly influenced by mild winters and dry summers. Endemic species to Maquis, which are very important to ecology, cover much of the island. These species include shrubland mingled with strawberry tree, lentisk, juniper, wild olive, cistus, myrtle, phillyrea, erica, genisteae, rosemary and viburnum, but also holm oaks forests. On the other hand, degraded soils are covered by garigue – often composed of thyme, helichrysum, euphorbia. Many plants endemic to the island have been used for food preparation and medicinal purposes but also for dyeing textile fibres – especially wool and linen. Endemics highly spread in the island thanks to its good environmental conditions. These special species are able to live isolated for a very long time and differ in sizes compared to their counterparts living in the mainland. In fact, animals living in islands are smaller than their similar living in the mainland. Speaking of animals, mammary glands and hairs are the main features of mammals, which are able to regulate and maintain their body temperature thanks to hairs and body fat that avoid heat loss.
Budoni is a very friendly village located 35 km south of Olbia.
The location is very interesting for those arriving by plane or boat as the port and the airport are in Olbia and it takes only 20 minutes by car to Budoni.
The municipality of Budoni includes 24 smaller towns. Some are located directly on the sea and others in the hinterland.
Budoni is a very popular seaside resort and holiday destination. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world come here to spend their summer holidays here. The best months are May, June, September, if you want to avoid the hot summer. Temperatures rise up to 40 degrees in July to mid-August, the other months are more pleasant with temperatures between 25 to 35 degrees.
Budoni has a lot of coastline with sandy beaches partially drained by pine forests and cliffs. In total, there are about 18 km of beach.
The big luck is that there are tons of driveways that leads to the various beaches and therefore spread in the summer the tourists over the whole beach without it being too crowded.
On the beach are many bars, pizzerias and restaurants, which you can spend the whole day on the beach. At some places umbrellas and chairs are rented.
The beautiful and proud marina Porto Ottiolu has over 450 boat berths. The harbor is very popular because of the fun nightlife in the harbor with its pubs and boutiques.
The other villages are:
Agrustos, Berruiles, Birgalavò, Limpiddu, Li Troni, Ludduì, Lu Linnalvu, Luttuni, Lutturai, Maiorca, Malamurì, Muriscuvò, Nuditta, Ottiolu, Ponte, San Gavino, San Lorenzo, San Pietro, San Silvestro, S’Iscala, Solità, Strugas, Tanaunella, Tamarispa.
The villages are all over the year inhabited.
Budoni has kindergarten and schools up to grade 8. The vocational schools or gynecologists, on the other hand, are located in Siniscola or Olbia.
In fact, Budoni could be defined as a small town – here you will find restaurants, shopping facilities, and professional services of all kinds.The inhabitants are very enlightening, hospitable and many of them speak foreign languages because they may have worked abroad before.
Life in Budoni is very funny over the summer months. In the evening, the main road is closed and demarcated as pedestrian zone, every evening you can find streetcars, concerts and music. The restaurants are all located on the main street and are visited by many people.
There is always something going on. There is no boredom. Also for toddlers many playgrounds are guaranteed for the great fun.
In the winter, however, the streets are getting closer, but despite everything Budoni is always
very frequented by the inhabitants who do their errands day after day.
The children go to school, the adults go to work or do errands.
In Budoni there are many “piazzas” where people meet, sit down and talk.
The restaurants are all friendly and put their tables and chairs on the street in summer.
The church is located in the middle of the village and who would like to go regularly to the fair. Often the church celebrates religious festivals and at the end of August the “festa del patrono” is celebrated, that is a huge festival that stretches over days and is accompanied with a lot of music and traditional Sardinian dances.
The summer officially starts in mid-June with a celebration “Welcome Summer” and ends in mid-September with “Good bye Summer”. There is always a lot going on, it is celebrated and cooked.