Dream of Italy recently published two special issues profiling more than 70 of the best tour guides and tour companies in Italy. This list of tour guides (only accessible to subscribers) is a must-read for anyone planning a trip to Italy. Here’s a profile of one of the best tour guides in Sardinia:
SARDINIA: Paola Loi
(39) 338 2661320
Rates: start at 120€ for a half day
*Please check website or contact Paola for updating pricing*
A native of Sardinia, Paola lives in the capital Cagliari, but is well-versed in the sites, food, festivals, handicrafts, and culture of the entire island. Paola speaks fluent English, is enthusiastic and energetic and makes her tours fun as well as extremely interesting.
Sardinia can be difficult to really explore on your own since its language, history, and culture are completely different from mainland Italy. Paola gives the visitor an in-depth look at all the island has to offer and is able to provide experiences not always available to tourists.
On her excursions you can discover artisan handicrafts like lace still made by hand in elderly women’s homes in Bosa, eat foods you’ve never heard of such as culingionis, a type of Sardinian ravioli, or pane frattau, a dish made with the Sardinian flat bread. Paola will also take you to visit the megalithic burial structures called Giant’s tombs and nuraghi, prehistoric stone towers unique to Sardinia.
Paola also accompanies her clients to Sardinia’s many festivals — the best in Italy in my opinion. There’s Sa Sartiglia, Sardinia’s centuries-old Carnevale festival with an unusual medieval horseback tournament. Sagra di Sant’Efusio is another favorite. The four-day procession from Cagliari to a Romanesque church at Pula on the coast starts on May 1.
Paola has more than 20 years experience as licensed guide and was previously the guide coordinator for Sardinia shore excursions. She co-authored an app, Sardinia Inside Out, that covers the fascinating island from its beaches to the interior.
— Martha Bakerijian, About.com’s Italy Guide