Cerdenya, Ens Veurem

My trip to Sardinia (in Catalan: Cerdenya) was characterized by the amazing people that helped me out, beautiful scenery, and great experiences. One interesting thing about Alghero (the town we were in) is that it was actually a Catalan colony back in the day. For this reason, I was extremely excited to speak Catalan with people on the street. But unfortunately I came to find out that virtually nobody speaks Catalan anymore - just the occasional centurion grandma.

I had an exit row seat on the airplane, and in total comfort I overheard the kid next to me speak in Italian with the old man next to him. I didn’t really understand very much, but I heard one word: “doctorado”. So I started talking to him. His name was Andrea and he is a PhD student in Sassoli, where he is studying sustainable agriculture yields, something that is actually right in line with the theme of our Italy class. We talked about all kinds of things, from the differences in the PhD experience between the US and Europe to the areas that our research overlap. When we landed, I asked him where I could find the bus. He said that his friends were coming to pick him up, and that they could just take the long way around and drop me off in Alghero. So we all hopped in the car, rolled the windows down, and BLASTED Italian indie music. We stopped by the beach and put our feet in the beautifully clear water of the Mediterranean Sea before he dropped me off in the city center where I met up with my dad and my aunt.

The next day, we attended a tour and tasting that I set up for us at the winery Sella & Mosca, one of the biggest estates in all of Europe. My dad was struggling to set an appointment in Sardinia (probably because people live a very “island” lifestyle). But I met this professor when we were in Verona who gave us a presentation about sustainable finance who actually lived in Sardinia. When I thanked him for giving such a great presentation, I mentioned that I was going to Sardinia with my dad who is a wine expert. He told me that the CEO of Sella & Mosca is a friend of a friend and that he would see if he could get us in. Five days later we were in, with a free tour and tasting that was incredibly well-done and educational. My dad was so happy with the tour and proud of me that he wouldn’t stop bragging about me to everyone in the tour group. Giving my dad (the wine expert) such an experience using my network was probably one of the most special accomplishments of my career thus far.

The next couple of days, we spent touring the old town of Alghero and enjoying the lovely weather, beaches, and views. I just wish I could have spent more time on the island. I just feel like it is so big and untouched by tourists that it is such an exciting place to explore! I am sure that I will be back. And I can’t wait.