If you’ve already been to Sardinia or have read much about it, you’ve certainly heard of the Costa Smeralda. This part of Sardinian’s rocky northeastern coast is where where the world’s jet setters flock. It was put on the map in the 1960s by the Aga Khan who developed the coast as a playground for he and his friends. The jewel of the hotels he developed (all with an eye to blending into the coast’s natural beauty) is the Cala di Volpe, one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. When we stopped in for an afternoon drink, we saw how the sweeping ocean views alone were worth top dollar. A bit of trivia for movie buffs, scenes from the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” were filmed here.
The Starwood hotel chain now owns Cala di Volpe (rumored to be opening its own cooking school) and a handful of surrounding hotels. Starwood also runs neighboring Pevero Golf Club, boasting some of the best ocean views from any golf course in Europe. The golf course is open to the public and considering the location, charges very affordable greens fees.
Many of the world’s richest who congregate here each summer choose to stay on their yachts anchored in the charming port town (complete with Bulgari and other luxury outposts) of Porto Cervo. We were told the mega-yachts we spotted belonged to a few Russian billionaires. Russian President Putin has a villa down the road and his friend Italian President Berlusconi reportedly owns a half dozen villas nearby and in other part of Sardinia.
Sardinia: A World Apart (paid subscribers only)
Sardinia’s Ancient Oak Forests Enchant (paid subscribers only)
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