Welcome back to Ask a Local, a series of posts in which I interview locals all over the world about what to see, where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in in their city or town. The following interview was originally published in my Italy guide.
Today I’m happy to introduce you to Luigi Romagnino, an artist, gardener, and world traveler here to tell us all about Sassari – the second largest city in Sardinia and home to the oldest university on the island.
First, tell us about you.
Originally from Iglesias, I have lived in Sassari for 48 years. In my free time, I do tai chi, study massage, draw, paint, and work in my vegetable garden.
If someone is visiting Sassari for the first time, what do you recommend they see or do?
First, walk around the city center, the old walls, and the old entrance gates to the city. Then, visit the National Museum G.A. Sanna, Pinacoteca of Canopoleno (another good museum), the Fontana del Rosello in the Monte Rosello quarter, Cathedral di San Nicola, and the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate.
What neighborhoods or parts of town are best to stay in?
There are many B&Bs in the city center and the surrounding countryside.
Let’s talk about day trips…what nearby places should everyone make sure to visit?
Platamone, Castelsardo, Stintino, and Alghero.
Tell us about the local dishes. What should people try here?
Lamb’s feet in garlic and white or red sauce, snails with sauce, and lamb entrails roasted or sautéed with peas.
What are your top three favorite bars and restaurants?
Bar Trattoria Zia Forica, located at 39 Corso Di Savoia Margherita, Cassaforte Ristorante Pizzeria, located at 6/A Corso Angioy Giovanni Maria, and Trattoria L’Assassino, located at Via Pettenadu 19.
Is there anything tourists do that locals find rude or strange? What can we do to better fit in with the culture?
Don’t pick your nose or eat with your mouth open.
What is the best way to meet locals and make friends?
Use the Internet: Facebook or Skype. Schedule a tour and you can make some acquaintances that way.
Why should people make sure to visit Sassari?
Sassari is cheaper than other places, is well located to other great places to visit, and is a nice place to be.
What is the best place to go take beautiful photos of the city?
It depends on the time of day and the season, but some good options are the old walls, the main square, the front of the churches, and the old city, including Pozzo di Villa, the first nucleus of the original city.
Anything else you want us to know?
Near Sassari, you can visit some ancient ruins of the Nuragic civilization.